Four Thousand

Dear Followers,

I discovered yesterday that my blog has reached a milestone. According to WordPress’ accounting, 4,000 of you are now following my blog.

I know that in the grand scheme of things, the number of followers a blog has is a rather dubious number. After all, my blog has nowhere near 4000 visitors per day. More like between 250 and 350. Where are the rest of you who supposedly follow my blog? Did you follow my blog, read a post or two, and then decide that my blog is not your cup of tea? Or did you follow my blog in the hope that I’d return the favor and when I didn’t, you lost interest?

Well, whatever the case, a milestone is a milestone, right? I want to express my genuine gratitude to the 4,000, 400, or 40 of you who have chosen to follow my blog, and to especially thank those of you who actually regularly visit my blog, who like my posts, and who leave your comments.

You are a prized community of fellow bloggers who have motivated me, despite the games the powers that be at WordPress have played with us (and yes, I’m talking about the block editor among other matters), to stand fast and to continue blogging. I really do love to write and I love to post what I write, but without your encouragement and support, I’d probably have called it quits earlier this year.

So, once again, thank you, thank you, thank you. I know that for many of us, blogging and being a member of this blogging community has helped us to make it through the shitshow that 2020 has been. I hope that the new year will prove to be a better year for all of us.

Sincerely,

Fandango

Blogging from an iPhone

Some people might characterize it as a bit of an aberration. But the truth is that, before I retired, I used to blog using my laptop because I worked from home and sat at my desk in my home office most of the day and I needed my laptop for work. But upon my retirement, my life experienced a total paradigm shift. Suddenly I no longer was tied down to a desk or had the need to use the laptop. Most of what I needed a laptop for could be done using my iPhone, and I found the mobility of being able to blog from anywhere at any time was liberating.

The first sign of trouble after I made the switch from a laptop to my iPhone for my blog happened this past August when WordPress abandoned its classic editor, which was a cinch to use on the relatively small screen of an iPhone, in favor of its block editor, which is close to impossible to use on a smartphone screen. What the hell? Was this some kind of evil plot to drive us smartphone users and casual bloggers away from WordPress so that it could cater to commercial sites and business users? Were they trying to provoke us hobby bloggers to leave WordPress?

What began to emerge was a fear, or perhaps a recognition, that my blogging days were potentially numbered. I contacted WordPress about how nice it would be for those of us who blog using our smartphones if they were to give us the option of keeping the classic editor as the default editor. But each reply that I received from WordPress left little doubt that they were 100% committed to the block editor and, for those of us using smartphones for our blogs, it was “too bad, so sad.” I started to lose all credence with WordPress’ claim to be the biggest and best blog hosting site on the internet. Maybe the biggest, but the best?

And then, on top of the block editor, the latest update to the iOS app for the iPhone created a major issue with the Reader that caused difficulties when it came to liking and commenting on other bloggers’ posts. Being just one of the many unhappy fans of the block editor that WordPress had forced on us, now, with the issues of the most recent update to the iOS app, I was really pissed.

Throughout most of the month of November, I exchanged myriad emails with the Happiness Engineers about the iOS app issue. And finally, on Saturday, the Happiness and I were in concert that there was, indeed, a bug in the most recent iOS app update and they were going to try to get it fixed as soon as possible and to release a new update to the app to fix the problem in the Reader on the iPhone.

I’m still waiting on that fix to be delivered, but in the meantime, I ordered a new iPhone 12 Pro Max, which has a display screen that is 6.7 inches, compared with the 5.5 inch display on my current iPhone 8 Plus. The new iPhone won’t be delivered until the first or second week of December. But maybe with a display that is almost 22% larger on the new iPhone, I might even be able to use the block editor!


Written for these daily prompts from yesterday and today: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aberration/paradigm), Ragtag Daily Prompt (mobility/emerge), Your Daily Word Prompt (switch/credence), Word of the Day Challenge (plot/provoke), The Daily Spur (reply/concert), and MMA Storytime (fans/November).

Truthful Tuesday — Pro-Choice

Frank, aka PCGuy, has published another one of his Truthful Tuesday posts. This week Frank wants to know…

Aside from getting rid of the Gutenberg Block Editor, since it’s fairly clear that it isn’t going anywhere, what three changes would you like to see WordPress.com make? Please explain.

First, I am pro-choice, so when it comes to editors in WordPress, I would like WordPress to offer bloggers a choice. Allow users who have embraced the block editor to use it, but also allow those of us who prefer the classic editor to continue, unimpeded, to use that editor. It should be as simple as putting a toggle switch that sets one or the other as the default editor on WordPress.com.

Second, add a preview function when posting comments. How many times have you posted a comment and then read it only to find typos or misspellings. Why not allow us to preview our comments and edit them before they’re actually posted? Good idea, huh?

Third, fix the reblog functionality. When I am in the WordPress reader on my iPhone and visit a blogger’s post, I always see a reblog button. But if I wish to reblog that blogger’s post and click (or tap) the reblog button, nothing happens. It’s virtually useless (at least on my iPhone. So fix the damn reblog button so that it does what it’s intended to do.

Okay, those are my three changes I’d like to see WordPress make. Are you with me?

Blogging Insights — Tips Off the New Block

Blogging insightsDr. Tanya’s Blogging Insights question this morning, which was inspired by Jennifer at Paperkutzs, is simply this:

Can you share some tips and tricks for using the new Gutenberg (aka block) editor on WordPress?

Yes, my tip or trick for using the new block editor is to avoid it like the plague (or like COVID-19). I use my iPhone for my blog and in the WordPress app for iOS, the iPhone’s operating system, there is an option in the settings to NOT use the block editor. This allows me to craft my posts using what I call “classic lite,” a version of the classic editor that has fewer formatting features than the former classic editor I used to be able to use when I went to wordpress.com on my iPhone to compose my posts.

So, since WordPress imposed its block editor upon us, I have been able to avoid using it for my blog…so far, anyway. I’m fully expecting that, at some point, WordPress will also remove the classic editor option on its iOS app. And when that point comes, I suppose I’ll have to shit or get off the pot. Meaning, I’ll either have to reluctantly figure out how to “embrace” the block editor on my iPhone, or to just stop blogging on WordPress.

Blogger — Just for Grins and Giggles

Since I tend to scream like a banshee every time I have to deal with the WordPress block editor, I went and created a blog on Blogger (blogspot.com) today. I used to blog on Blogger many years ago, but I ultimately, after a short stint using TypePad, moved my blog to WordPress in 2013, where, until recently, I’d been relatively happy.

It didn’t take me too long to set up my blog on Blogger. It wasn’t a cinch, per se, but it was relatively straightforward. And I posted by first post this morning, which, if you wish to read it, you can click here.

I am not sure if I am going to keep that Blogger blog. I guess that depends on whether or not WordPress is going to shitcan the classic editor in the few iterations remaining — on the wp-admin site and within the WordPress app for iOS.

But I can tell you that one mighty difference between WordPress and Blogger is that Blogger has a simple, word processor-like editor that is more well suited for the kind of blogging that I do than is that stupid block editor in WordPress.

That is the primary tangible benefit that Blogger has over WordPress. But there are some intangible benefits that WordPress has that might ultimately make it hard for me to leave WordPress entirely. For example, there’s no “like” button on Blogger. And I don’t think the Blogger community is as large, robust, and supportive as it is here on WordPress.

Of course, I’ve been blogging on WordPress for more than seven years and on Blogger (this time around) for just a few hours, so it’s premature to make any definitive decisions.

Any thoughts any of you might have on WordPress versus Blogger will be welcome.


Written with these daily prompts in mind: Word of the Day Challenge (banshee), Your Daily Word Prompt (cinch), Ragtag Daily Prompt (mighty), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (intangible).