Hello bloggers,

We recently sent out an email to tell you that we were having some problems with our server, and that the site was off-line. As you can see, we’re back! If you’re a registered user on network23 (admin, editor, commenter or whatever…) and you didn’t get that email, you need to consider using a reliable activist mail provider for the address you have registered with us. Remember that if we can’t contact you by email, we may have to delete your blog, as mentioned in our terms & conditions.

Today’s news is that we’ve upgraded from wordpress 5 to 6. Most of you should see no difference, but if you were still using the WPtouch plugin, that’s no longer available (as advised long ago).

If you have any problems, as always, please send a message to n23request@lists.aktivix.org

Problem with calendar plugin

UPDATE 31st August 2021: The all-in-one-event-calendar plugin has been removed from network23. We recommend any users wishing to publicise events to use squat-radar-calendar instead. If you want to manage bookings without using corporate services like eventbrite, we also support the wp-events plugin.

UPDATE 5th August 2021: We’re thinking about dropping the all-in-one-event-calendar plugin, and are consulting our users about this. All administrators of blogs on which it’s active will get an email. If you have thoughts on this, you can comment on this article.

We’ve recently done some routine updates on the software that runs network23. Unfortunately, one of the plugins we make available to you here isn’t working properly with the latest version of the core WordPress.org software.

We are working on a permanent solution to this. Meanwhile, if your site refuses to load, this may be what’s causing it. Please let us know by email to n23request@lists.aktivix.org and we can temporaily disable that plugin for your site.

This might also be a good time to consider switching to the squat-radar-calendar, which makes your events visible to a much wider audience and integrates you better with radical network infrastructure.

This post will be edited when we have a solution.

Plugin news: classic editor is back, WPtouch is dying

Today network23 has had some routine updates and there are a couple of changes to our plugins that writers should know about.

Firstly, by popular demand, the classic editor is back. So if you don’t get along with the newer “block editor” (a.k.a. Gutenberg) you can enable the classic editor plugin, and things will be back like they were in the good old days.

Secondly, the once-popular “WPtouch” plugin seems to have been abandoned by its authors, and is beginning to cause minor problems with the other parts of our software because it’s not being updated. If your site uses WPtouch you should deactivate it and start using a modern theme instead – most themes from the last ten years or so are “responsive”, i.e. they automatically adapt to browsers on smaller-screened devices, which is what WPtouch did for us back in the day when smartphones were a new thing.

You can still use wp-touch now, but at some point in the near future it’s likely to become unusable, so you’d better make your changes soon if this affects you.

Finally we’ve updated our wordpress core software to version 5.4, which you can read about here if you like.

Radar events plugin

Network23 has added the squat-radar calendar/events plugin. This offers improved privacy over the other calendar plugins available here, so we recommend its use. The plugin integrates with https://radar.squat.net/ to display events on your network23 blog.

If you want to publicise your own events, you need to first create an account on https://radar.squat.net/, then continue with these instructions…

Here are some instructions to get it working:

1. Activate the plugin in the dashboard Plugins section

From the dashboard, open the ‘plugins’ page. Scroll down to Squat Radar calendar integration and click ‘Activate’.

how to activate the plugin

2. Get the code for the events you want to display

If you’re publishing events as a group, you will need to sign-up and create a group on https://radar.squat.net/, if this isn’t already done. Now start at https://radar.squat.net/en/events and use the filters to find the “search result URL” that corresponds to your group’s events. Note that this is not the same as your group’s homepage on radar. For example, https://radar.squat.net/en/events/city/London/country/GB/group/360362 is the search result URL for the group with this homepage: https://radar.squat.net/en/london/grass

Alternatively, you can display any list of events that can be searched for on radar, here in your network23 blog; just apply whatever filters you want on radar.squat.net and make a note of the search result URL that you’re interested in. So if you want to write a blog that publicises all the cafe/bar events in Belgium, you could use https://radar.squat.net/en/events/category/bar-cafe/country/BE .

3. Decide where in your blog you want to display the events

3a. To add a widget (e.g. as a sidebar or footer block) from the dashboard visit: Appearance: Widgets section, drag the ‘Squat Radar Events’ widget from the column on the left to where you want it, in the column on the right. Here, I’m about to place the radar widget in the footer of the blog, just after the search box:

3b.To display your events in a page or a post rather than a widget area, you need to take two steps:

3b.(i) In the Widgets section, rather than dragging the ‘Squat Radar Events’ into a real location like above, you have to drag it into a fake widget area called Squat Radar Shortcodes, in order to properly generate the shortcode you will need. Like this:

3b.(ii) Create the page or post that will hold your events listing. Amongst whatever other content you want there, insert the shortcode . In the Gutenberg editor, you can give it it’s own block, like this:

4. Complete the setup

In the Widgets section, open the Squat Radar Events widget to show the settings. Copy the link to your events (from 2., above) and add to the widget settings as ‘Event Search URL’. You can also add a title, choose how many events to display and what fields to include. The widget provides guidance. Scroll down and hit the Save button, and you’re done.

Don’t opt-in to any premium plugins

We provide network23 users with a selection of wordpress plugins. These have been chosen for different reasons. Sometimes, the plugin developers start doing things we don’t like and we have to make a tough choice whether to remove the plugin (which could break some old sites that were relying on it), or deal with it.

Recently some of our plugins have started asking users (i.e. bloggers) to “opt-in”, “upgrade”, or “sign-up” for some extra features. We strongly urge you not to do this. It creates a risk that your privacy could be breached in various ways, and could compromise the way this network runs.

A new look for network23

It’s been a while since the front page for network23 was designed. Lots of the links were dead and some functionality relied on things that don’t work anymore. So we decided to start afresh, and hopefully make a front-page that’s simpler and less cluttered than before.

One of the things we had to drop over the last year was buddypress and a few multisite widgets. Instead, we’re now bringing you a “Top 10” (on the right of the front page) and a “Top 100” listing of the blogs we host that have most recently been active. So if you want to see what’s going on, that’s where to look.

Your feedback is welcome.

You got your blog

So, you have arrived here because you clicked on the link from the automated email confirming your blog details.

Welcome to blogging.

For security reasons you should change the password you have received when you first log in. You can do that in Users > Your Profile

We hope you enjoy your new site. If you have common problems like forgetting your password, please contact us on n23-request at lists.aktivix.org. Be sure to have a look at our Help pages, especially https://network23.org/help/introduction/

You can also request new themes and new functionality on the same email.

If you need an email list for your project then why not get one from our sister project, aktivix. You can get one by emailing aktivix-request at lists dot aktivix dot org and letting them know the name, purpose of the list and confirming that you agree with the usage policy. https://en.wiki.aktivix.org/Aktivix:AUP

Aktivix also offer email addresses on a friend-of-a-friend basis. If you know someone connected to network23 or aktivix then they can recommend you for an email account.

If you want to donate for all or any of these services to contribute to server costs then there are instructions for how to do that here – https://en.wiki.aktivix.org/Aktivix:DonateToAktivix

Please note that the email address this message has been sent to is our only way of getting in touch with you. If there is a problem with your blog at any time in the future, we will try to contact you using this email address. If you can’t be reached, we may have no choice but to remove your blog, so you must keep checking this email address for the life of your blog.