something something Blog Anniversary something something

Post by Mark

Today is my blogs 14th anniversary (maybe 15?) and around a week back it was my 16th anniversary (or was it 17th?) since I first started blogging. 2018 might have been the most stress-free year for me blogging-wise. I decided to kinda take a very chill approach to the blog, and not pressure myself as much where I have to post 2 or 3 times every day. If I have something to post I’ll post, if not I won’t. I know it sucks for you but I really am getting too old for this 😅.

I’ve mentioned this before but it is a lot of pressure having to constantly try and find stuff to write about every day, it’s also really difficult to do when I have a job, a social life and a lot of days where I just want to sit on my couch, watch a TV show and not leave the house.

Last month I started a new job and it’s taking up so much of my time so I don’t know how 2019 is going to turn out. I’m trying to wake up at 7AM every day to get the posting out of the way, and so far it seems like its working. Surprisingly (to me), this is probably the first time in a while where I’m not considering stopping the blog. I realized that the blog helps me stay current and active, so even with my busy work schedule, I’ll keep finding time for it especially now that I’m putting less pressure on myself.

Anyway, that’s all.

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Give me your opinion!

Post by Mark

As many of you know I’ve been working on a blog redesign for sometime now. I don’t mind change, but I also like routine and when I’m used to a website being a certain way I don’t like it when they suddenly change things. With the redesign I tried to keep most of the things in the same place and just simplify the design a bit. I also had two issues I wanted to improve with the redesign:

1- I wanted the images and videos to be displayed larger on the blog
2- I wanted a mobile friendly version of the blog

I got the first issue sorted, with the redesign both the images and videos would now be embedded in a larger size. I did that by basically killing the middle column of the blog and integrating it into the sidebar.

What I haven’t been able to sort out is the mobile friendly version of the blog. My current theme can be adapted to become mobile friendly with a click of a button, and so can the new theme. But my issue isn’t with that, the problem I have is the fact there doesn’t seem to be a way to have the advertisement banners show while in the mobile friendly version of the blog. The banners are my only source of revenue for the blog and so have to be on the blog at all times. Right now if I turn on the mobile version of the blog, the banners get shoved down to the bottom of the page and that’s not good.

If anyone has any idea how to sort this out let me know, or if anyone has an idea on a different income model for the blog that doesn’t rely on banners also let me know. I’m open to suggestions.

If you want to give me your opinion on the new redesign, check out a live preview of the new design [Here]

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I Shared Fake News (I think)

Post by Mark

Yesterday I posted about Eddie Griffin being barred from entry into Kuwait and this morning I found out it wasn’t true, it was fake news. I never fall for fake news, I’m usually the one telling friends if the news is fake or not but this time I messed up.

How did it happen?

Originally when I was writing up my post about Eddie Griffin, the working title was “Calls for Eddie Griffin to be Barred from Entering Kuwait”. My source originally for this “news” was @tafteeesh. So as I was writing up my post I decided to look for news on twitter. Eventually I found the hashtag #لا_لدخول_الملحد_جريفين_الكويت with a ton of people posting about this including MP’s, users with over a million followers, and various news sources. So I concluded this was a fact and not just a rumor or a call for a ban. I then edited my title and removed “Calls for” because it was no longer a call for action but an action that had already been taken and I published my post.

Throughout the day yesterday, I was reading the comments when one reader posted stating that the organizer Algas Events were doing damage control saying it was just a rumor and that the event would still take place. So I quickly checked their instagram account so I could post an update but didn’t find anything concrete to dispute the original story. The organizers were replying to their followers with vague comments like “we got this” and then when a follower called them out on their vagueness they responded with the following:

That to me didn’t read as a denial to the rumor. In fact, it read to me like a decision was made to ban Eddie Griffin, but that they were in talks with the authorities to reverse the ban and they would keep us updated. Then, this morning I got a phone call.

A friend who is working with the organizers called to let me know that no decision was made to ban Eddie Griffin yet, and that all the sources for this news including reputable sources were not basing it off any official announcement by the MOI.

So, I basically posted fake news… I think. The only reason I’m not really sure is because they haven’t issued an official statement yet denying the ban. So there might be a bit of truth to all of this, we will have to wait and see. For now the event is still on and they’re still selling tickets.

I’m sorry I posted news that wasn’t verified yet (basically fake news) and I’ve updated my previous post to reflect this. I always try to post facts unless they’re clearly stated as rumors but this time I messed up.

Check out the events page for more info on this show [Here]

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Vacation Notice

Post by Mark

I’m in Lebanon on a short vacation which is why posting has been slow this week. I should have posted this at the start of my trip but I originally thought I was going to continue to post normally which I’m clearly not doing.

News tips are appreciated a lot more than usual when I’m on holiday so if you have anything interesting for me to share on this blog, send it in!

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The Blog Plan

Post by Mark

Just to keep you guys in the loop, I’m currently working on a major facelift for the blog. Visually it shouldn’t differ too drastically from the current look, the biggest change is that the new design will be 2 columns instead of 3. This will allow me to post larger photos in my posts and visually make the blog look a lot cleaner and simpler. The biggest changes though will be behind the scene. The current theme code is extremely outdated and so I’m pretty limited with what I can do to the blog. For example, I want to add like buttons or upvote buttons to the comments like how it is on Reddit, but I can’t do that right now with the current theme.

For mobile users, you’ll be pleased to hear that with the new update there will be a mobile friendly version of the website. That should make browsing and commenting from your phone a lot easier.

If there is anything specific you think I should add or do with this upcoming facelift let me know. I can’t promise I’ll actually implement them but I would be curious to hear your thoughts.

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Post by Mark

I’m heading to LA and San Fransisco for a few days so expect me to either not post at all in the upcoming days, or if I do post it will be at odd hours. Everything should get back to normal once I’m back next week.

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Post by Mark

If you’re a GUST student I’ll be at your campus today (Wednesday, March 14) for a Q&A session. The session will be led by Motez Bishara, a visiting instructor at GUST who also happens to be a good friend of mine. I met Motez through the blog 5 years ago when I posted about his book “Beating the NBA: Tales From a Frugal Fan” so this should be pretty fun.

The Q&A is taking place in theater W1-010 at 12:30PM.

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15 Years Blogging Anniversary

Post by Mark

I posted my first blog post ever exactly 15 years ago to this day. It wasn’t on 248AM, I launched that two years later, it was on another blog called qHate. Back then I was still living with my parents, I was piss-ass broke and didn’t really know anyone in Kuwait. Crazy how that was just 15 years ago since a lot has happened over that time. It’s kinda scary when I think about where I’ll be 15 years from now, probably in L.A. working in the electronics section of a Walmart would be my best bet.

My computer setup back in 2003

There are dates that represent important moments in my life, I was born in 1978, 1988 was my first trip to L.A., the Gulf War in 1990, graduating from high school in 96 and so on.

2003 is when I started blogging.

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The 248AM iPhone App Doesn’t Exist

Post by Mark

I’ve been getting emails from readers letting me know that my iPhone app no longer works on their phones after updating to iOS 11. The thing is, I’m surprised people actually still have the app on their phone. Apple removed my iPhone app from the store around 5 years ago (maybe longer?) and I haven’t it had on my phone ever since. Yet somehow it managed to survive on other peoples phones and now I’m getting complaints that it isn’t working.

So in case you still have the app and you aren’t aware:

1) The app doesn’t exist anymore, if you have it you’re lucky, I don’t even have it
2) If you upgrade to iOS 11 the app will no longer work

There are no plans for another 248AM app in the foreseeable future, but what I’d like to do is eventually have a mobile friendly version of the website. But I don’t have a timeframe for when that will happen.

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Stalk Me

Post by Mark

If you’re ever interested in more content than whats on here, you can follow me around the web using the links below:

Twitter: @mark248am
Instagram: @mark248am
Facebook: /248am
Soundcloud: @mark248am
Spotify: interdigitate
Yelp: mark248am

If you do follow me on Spotify make sure you follow my “ice cream run 🍦” playlist which is updated constantly with tracks I’m currently liking. [Link]

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