I have joined this. This is a way to connect and do things that respect people and engender freedom and dignity.

It gives me the promise of an opportunity to bring to fruition something I want to do – plant trees with people.

It would give me great pleasure to think that at least one person joined in as a result of this post.




My wife Tamara alerted me to this. She started watching and I joined her..

I just got a message in a little Chatbox in the bottom corner of my Admin page.

And the person on the other end asked whether there was anything they could help me with.

So I ask who the person is.

Of course, I pretty much know it is someone from WordPress. And I am feeling slightly uptight.

And the reason for that is that sometimes WP seems to decide things that a lot of WP bloggers aren’t too happy about. I think that prevailing mood has affected me.

So when I see a chat box asking if there is anything they can help me with, I decide to be proactive and ask who the person is.

Me →Who are you?
Lisa – Hi there! Anything I can help with?
Me →Who are you Lisa?
Lisa – I’m a Happiness Engineer – we help with any of your questions about WordPress or getting your site set up 🙂
Me →I have been using for about seven years. I have several self-hosted sites as well – this is the first time I have seen this little popup. Is it a new ‘feature’?
Lisa – Yep! We’re experimenting with live chat support.
Me →Aha
Me →Is it Qualaroo ?
Me →I mean, the popup system – is it Qualaroo
Lisa – We’re trying this with Olark right now, but have a few systems we’d like to test.
Me →Which others are you looking at?
Lisa – I’m not sure, to be honest, we have a team evaluating a few options.
Me →How may people are on the chat system? With so many users it must take a huge team, no?
Lisa – Not yet, we’re just testing it with a few people for now to see how it goes 🙂
Me →My first reaction was egotistical. I thought ‘Why would I with all my years of WP experience want any help???? (sounds of indignation) – but it’s kind of nice chatting to real WP person.
Me →However,
Me →may I suggest
Me →that your teams has a ‘profile’ for the person you are chatting with – and that you tailor your opening line to that?
Lisa – Meaning your name for instance?
Me →It was the “Is there anything I can help you with?” that kind of grated – for the egotistical reason I mentioned.
Me →Question: Is there a desired end game from your team’s point of view? Like that I would buy an upgrade? Sorry for being so blunt.
Lisa – No end game, we’re just here to help with any questions a user may have.
Me →OK, good. Well, to answer your original question – I think the only thing that comes to mind is whether a comment or a like that is done via the WP Reader ‘counts’ as a view of the site for stats?
Me →Or does a person have to actually click to go in to the site in order for that visit to be registered as a visit?
Lisa – The person has to actually click and visit the site for the visit to be registered.
Me →Thanks – that answers a question that came up on a site I like to visit.
Me →
Me →Timethief there is really helpful and gives advice to lots of bloggers.
Lisa – Oh good to hear!

hand dryer

The Decibel Meter app from FutureApps samples noises and tells you what the decibel(dB) level is.

The Center For Hearing and Communication Noise states that noise levels are measured in decibels, or dB for short. The higher the decibel level, the louder the noise. Sounds that are louder than 85 dB can cause permanent hearing loss. The hearing system can be injured not only by a loud blast or explosion but also by prolonged exposure to high noise levels.

The fact sheet of the Center For Hearing And Communication states:

Experts agree that continued exposure to noise above 85 dBA over time, will cause hearing loss. To know if a sound is loud enough to damage your ears, it is important to know both the loudness level (measured in decibels, dBA) and the length of exposure to the sound. In general, the louder the noise, the less time required before hearing loss will occur. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (1998), the maximum exposure time at 85 dBA is 8 hours. At 110 dBA, the maximum exposure time is one minute and 29 seconds.

The image at the top here is from a a small collection of decibel readings I’ve taken for hand dryers in public restrooms.

Have you noticed how people subject themselves to noise without raising an objection? Of course, perceived or measured noise is a factor of not only the noise the machine puts out, but also the size of the room and the reflectivity or otherwise of the walls, floor, and ceiling.

Tiled surfaces are easy to clean, but they reflect rather than absorb sound. Curtains, on the other hand, are great for absorbing sound. I vote for curtains in restrooms.

I remember having a conversation with an accountant once in a restaurant that was owned by one of his clients. In fact it was a large chain of restaurants, and they had the ‘dining experience’ down to a fine art (and science).

They knew exactly the sound reflectivity of the materials in the restaurant so that they could tweak the subjective experience of the diners so that they didn’t get too comfortable in the restaurant and so stay too long.

Which reminds me that a week or two ago, my wife and I went into a restaurant and we couldn’t stand the noise and walked out without sitting down. We asked ourselves whether we could brave it and just eat – but it was just too clattery and noisy. I wondered how the other diners could stand it.