Unstrapping Jetpack

I have been using the Jetpack plugin on my blog for about five years. It comes as a default tool available to free wordpress accounts, you see, and I installed it on my blog when I realised that I really did care about how much or how little attention my work was getting. There’s a long ongoing story that starts with the Long Live The Queen Game Pile review (which, really, isn’t that good, and for all I know the soundcloud has long since been shut down), but which has steadily progressed through a yearning burning nerding over feedback.

I got rid of it because it was doing some things to maintain its own statistics but also in case it maybe sorta wanted to serve ads of its own, or maybe just putting graphics on the page without telling me, but the important thing is that a proper web developer looked at this useful package of tools and recoiled, hissing, like I’d tried to bring a Domovoi over the threshold of the family home it protects.

Jetpack has problems, see.

Thing is, I didn’t exactly shop around for Jetpack. Jetpack is a plugin I was using on my university-required blogs, which I made, over there, where you can’t see them, because I wanted to keep my classwork and my personal work separate. When I monetised this blog (well after I stopped doing class blogwork for uni), it seemed an even better idea to maintain that distinction. When I started to admit I had students on this blog, well, yeah it became real important. Point is, if I use the word blog enough in a paragraph, the word becomes tacky and sticks to the roof of your mouth, devoid of both structure, and meaning.

Uni blogs had jetpack, jetpack let me do some things I wanted there, so I installed it on this blog, thinking it would do the things I wanted. What a fool I was. I mean it did do what I wanted, but it did a pretty terrible job of it and it also did other things I didn’t want it to do. Plus it just kept adding features I didn’t want, and asked me if I wanted to buy it, a lot, which kinda put a damper on the whole independent spirit of trying stuff on WordPress if all I was doing was just picking up those kind of banners and toolbars you find on boomer explorer browsers.

I still wanted what Jetpack offered, though, in the form of sweet sweet statistics about the performance of posts on my blog which I can absolutely not affect. I mean, these statistics have had some fun things to them, like determining that I am apparently the only queer expert on both Death Note and The Blacklist, and that people seem to think they can buy eggs from me. The Death Note thing is especially galling because that post is a kind of mastercut repost of a blog post from seven years before that, so the people who show up and periodically holler in that comment section like I’m going to publish their comments are basically at this point not just arguing with a nerd they find tiersome on the internet, but are in fact arguing with a nerd that nerd finds tiresome on the internet. Like, me seven years ago was a twerp, and that guy is summarising me from seven years earlier. Yeesh.

Anyway, Jetpack is a service that I think I want even though I can’t give you a good reason I have it. It does do the neat automatic posting of tweets which is why you’re here…

… right?

And I needed that. So, I turned to Fox, web goblin and all-purpose gremlin with a keyboard, and she installed plugins that she uses for when she does this kind of work professionally. Ahuh, like, for a profession. SImple, just punch in this information from your twitter account and you’re good to go.

Except turns out that’s not quite that easy.

See, when Fox installed this service on her other websites, it just flew on by, and I can see why, it was being installed by her, at a different time. But now, twitter tells, the API is gone, or different and suddenly I had to create a developer account and prove to Twitter that I wasn’t doing anything nefarious. I had to email twitter and explain what I wanted to do, complete with a confused ‘surely this is a standard toolset?’ kind of quizzicality.

It’s installed now and now I can try and make it work, but if you’re wondering why the tweets promoting blog posts have been weird, that’s why.

Don’t give me that look.

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