Thursday, June 30, 2011

Third time's the charm

On Independence Day, this blog will be exactly two years old. A lot has happened since, both in the world around us and on this blog. I've changed it's layout, changed the format, and ran different series of posts. However, one thing that has not changed during that time is my belief in the importance of organ donation.

1st Edition
On May 31, 2010, I announced the unveiling of my website, (see screen shot upper right). Seven months later, in December, I began having problems with the website creation software I had used to construct the site. The software was called WebEasy 8 Professional, and it was made by a company called Avanquest. The software is fairly easy to use, especially for a novice like me who had never built a website before. I was happy with the overall look of the website for a while and with the hosting provider I had chosen, HostGator. However, I decided to make some modifications to the site to simplify it. My goal was to cut it down in size and shift it's focus off of politics and back to where it should have been which was solely on organ donation. That's when the problems began.

One day in December of last year, I opened WebEasy and begin the modification. I changed a few things, but when I tried to save the changes, the program crashed. I tried to re-open WebEasy 8 and was denied access. So, I contacted their customer support department. During a long two-week process around Christmas, I contacted their customer support multiple times. They told me to re-install the software. They sent me new downloads. I even cleaned out all the old files, but it went on and on. I even un-installed anti-virus, spyware, and malware programs that they said were the problem. Nothing worked. WebEasy 8 had went from working perfectly one day to not even opening the next. Lastly, when all else failed and they didn't have a clue what the problem was, they told me it was my computer and told me I needed to re-install my operating system which would wipe everything off my computer. Then, I could re-install WebEasy 8 and the rest of my software. You can only imagine what I told them, and it wasn't "Merry Christmas." No way was I gonna wipe everything off my hard drive and start over when everything else they tried had not worked. These guys didn't have a clue. They reminded me a lot of a car dealership who sells you a car, thanks you, but then when you bring it back for service because something's wrong, they can't help you or don't want to. So, I have a "word for the wise" - if you start to buy computer software and you see that the company that manufactured it was Avanquest .......RUN FOR YOUR LIFE !! It will probably work well at first, but if you have a problem with it later and need "customer service," you are on your own.

2nd Edition
Since I knew I was gonna be unable to modify my original website due to the WebEasy 8 debacle, I had to come up with a game plan. I thought about buying different software, but the really good, recommended programs were out of my budget. So, since my hosting provider was HostGator, I began looking at their free templates. I found one I liked, so I begin putting the "2nd edition" of my website together. I rolled it out on May 22, 2011, and it was substantially different from the original (see screen shot middle right). It was slimmed down and contained a lot less political material than its predecessor. I was really happy with it. Then, HostGator made the mistake of condemning hunting.

As a HostGator affiliate, I receive their e-mails. In one dated May 6, 2011, they proclaimed, "HostGator Loves Elephants." It was in regards to an elephant hunting trip by GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons, one of their competitors. Parsons went on a elephant hunting trip in Zimbabwe. The purpose of the trip was to remove a single bull elephant that was destroying the villagers' crops. Parsons successfully harvested the problem elephant, and the villagers ate it's meat. I guess you could say, "he got two birds with one stone" - problem elephant gone and villagers fed meat as you will see in this video on CNN where Parsons was interviewed along with a PETA official.

The CNN interviewer was less than neutral with Parsons. It was basically two against one. I salute Mr. Parsons for remaining professional during the interview even though he was ganged up on. I sent an e-mail to HostGator asking what their view was on hunting, since they had criticized Parsons hunting trip. I received an e-mail back from someone named Brent stating that, "... every employee is free to make the choice on their own and do what is morally right to themselves." In other words, the company doesn't have a stated position either way. However, when I see a company team up on a hunter along with PETA, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out where they actually stand.

I was pretty hacked over HostGator's unwarranted attack upon Parsons, a fellow hunter, and the gloating they did related to it. HostGator stated in the aforementioned affiliate newsletter that, "We have welcomed a very large number of former GoDaddy clients over the last month over his (hunting) actions." After much thought, I decided I had to stand up for what I believed in and ceased doing business with HostGator. They may have gained some customers from this, but they lost one, too - me. In fact, guess who now has my hosting business ? Yep. You got it - GoDaddy. They sponsor race cars and like hunting. What other reasons does a Southern boy need ? Plus, when HostGator chose to stand with the radical nuts at PETA and their anti-hunting platform, they chose not to stand with me. See ya later ..... Gator. If you're a hunter who does business with them, I encourage you to tell them the same.

3rd Edition
Since I left HostGator and switched to GoDaddy, it meant I had to rebuild my website using one of GoDaddy's website templates. With this blog post, I am officially rolling out what could be called "The Third Edition of" Hopefully, the third time will be the charm. I am very happy with GoDaddy at this point. I had a couple of issues trying to publish the new site the first time, but they were very helpful and fixed the problems, which were my fault, each time in just a few minutes. I hope you will take a few minutes and check it out by clicking on the "3rd Edition" screen shot to the lower right. My hope, prayer, and goal is that the website will help to save lives by helping to ensure that everyone that needs a life-saving organ transplant gets one.

P.S. If you shop on or need domains or web hosting, both the website and this blog are and Affiliates. If you click on their links on my sites and make a purchase, I get paid. Sheepdogs like capitalism, too, and we gotta eat !!! After all - we're meat-atarians. Ruff !!!

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