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).

For Those Who Blog Using an iPhone

As most of you who follow my blog know, I use my iPhone for blogging. Not a laptop computer, not a desktop computer. An iPhone 8 Plus with a 5.5 inch screen. You may also know that I’m not a fan of the WordPress block editor, which is clearly not designed to use on the relatively small screen of a smartphone.

This post is about using an iPhone for blogging and about my disdain for the block editor. So if you are not interested in reading my thoughts on either of those topics, I give you permission to move on.

The good news is that, even though WordPress has retired its classic editor as it is forcing all of us to embrace its clunky block editor, there is a setting on the WordPress iOS app that allows us iPhone bloggers to default to the classic editor (or a version of the classic editor that I call “classic lite) when composing or editing a post using the iOS app.I’ve been worried that, as it did with the classic editor on wordpress.com, the decision makers at WordPress would eventually remove the option to use the classic editor in the iOS app. So, in a resent exchange I had with one of the WordPress “happiness engineers,” I wrote:

I don’t use, or want to use, the block editor or the classic block within the block editor on my iPhone. Please tell me that WordPress is going to continue to support the classic editor in the iOS app.

I suppose, in my naivety, I expected a response like, “Not to worry, Fandango, we’ve got your back.” But instead, this is the response I got:

There are no plans to continue to support the classic editor in the app or even in a web browser. It’s an editor that is being depreciated. Our hope is that the Classic block bridges the gap of the old editor to the new, while you learn to use the new editor!

So much for having my back, WordPress.

Why I Hate the Block Editor

Yeah, I know. Another whiney post about the block editor. But I still hate it and I hate the fact that WordPress is trying to force it down our throats.

Look, I’m not a professional blogger. I don’t run a business and I’m not trying to make any money with my blog. Blogging for me is a hobby, a pastime. So I don’t need a bunch of fancy bells and whistles, many of which in the block editor seem to be geared toward commercial blogs. I just need a straightforward word processor-like editor and a way to insert photos/images into my posts.

I don’t claim to be perspicacious or to have any unique insights into what drives the decision-makers at WordPress. And I may possess some unorthodox perspectives about blogging, but I’ve been a blogger since 2005 and I feel like I know a little bit about what makes blogging enjoyable.

The block editor does not make blogging enjoyable. It’s not at all intuitive and it’s unnecessarily complicated for a casual blogger like me. And because my iPhone is my device of choice for my blog, there’s limited real estate on the relatively small iPhone screen (versus on a laptop) to make using the block editor feasible.

I’m even considering spending $1,100+ to upgrade to the newly announced iPhone 12 Pro Max solely because its screen size is 6.7” versus my three-year-old iPhone 8 Plus, which has a 5.5” screen size. And the only reason to do that would be to see if the block editor is more feasible to use on a 6.7” screen than on the 5.5” one on a device that currently works fine. That’s crazy, right?


Written for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (professional), Word of the Day (hobby), Your Daily Word Prompt (perspicacious), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (unorthodox).

Drop Cap

I read with interest a post today from Frank, aka PCGuy, who was talking about the ability to incorporate a feature called the “drop cap” on his posts. Frank wrote:

With all the frustration that has come with the recent changes that WordPress.com has made to their blogging platform, I though it might be good to shed a little light on a good thing that I have discovered. It’s small, but it makes a big difference in the visual appearance of your text. If you take a look at the settings when you use the paragraph block in the new Gutenberg [block] editor, you’ll see an option for a drop cap.

As Frank noted, this ability to incorporate the drop cap functionality is accessible in the paragraph block within the block editor.

Oh well, I thought, that’s too bad because I hate the block editor and refuse to use it. So I guess I’m SOL if I ever wanted to incorporate a drop cap into my posts.

But then Frank pointed out that having to use the block editor is not entirely accurate. He wrote that one can accomplish inserting a drop cap using the classic editor by leveraging a simple HTML command, which Frank was kind enough to share with his readers:

<p class=”has-drop-cap”>

Now I can honestly say that I never gave much thought to using the drop catch functionality on my posts, but after reading Frank’s post, I figured I’d give it a try using the classic editor available in the WordPress iOS app for the iPhone. So I wrote this paragraph:

“This is a test to see if, within the classic editor on the iPhone’s WordPress iOS app, I can use the Drop Cap functionality without having to use the block editor.”

Then I copied that brief paragraph, selected the “Switch to HTML Mode” in the iOS app, and surrounded the “T” at the begging of the paragraph with the HTML expression that Frank offered. In HTML, here’s what it looks like.

<p class=”has-drop-cap”>T</p>his is a test to see if….

Then I pasted that edited paragraph below and this is what it looks like in the preview mode after I added the HTML to that line.

T

his is a test to see if, within the classic editor on the iPhone’s WordPress iOS app, I can use the Drop Cap functionality without having to use the block editor.

Pretty cool, huh? That said, I may or may not use the drop cap functionality in future posts. But thanks, Frank. It’s alway fun to learn how to do something on my blog that I didn’t know how to do before, especially when I can do it without using the goddam block editor.

Blogging Insights — Easily Distracted

Blogging insightsFor this week’s installment of Blogging Insights, Dr. Tanya wants to know about distractions. She asks…

What distracts you from blogging? Apart from family and work (unless yours is a business blog) what factors or forces prevent you from creating content?

What I find interesting about this question is that, for me, anyway, blogging, in and of itself, is the ultimate distraction.

Creating content for my blog serves to distract me from the political, social, economic, health, and environmental disasters that are happening all around me. I can escape from — at least temporarily — all that crap by creating posts in response to writing and photo prompts. And I can read the fascinating and imaginative posts written by other bloggers in response to my various prompts. For me, writing stories and tall tales and all sorts of flash fiction posts is a really effective way to take my mind off of the real world.

Even posting about the bigotry, hypocrisy, racism, white nationalism, divisiveness, and the unenlightened self-interests of Donald Trump, members of the Trump Administration, most Republicans in Congress, and how they are all destroying the country I love, helps me to cope. The very act of ranting, whining, and venting about their injustices, inhumanity, and immorality is cathartic for me.

So my answer is that nothing distracts me from blogging. Instead blogging distracts me from becoming overwhelmed and depressed by the harsh reality of the world in which we are living in 2020.

Oh wait, now that I think about it, there is one really big thing that distracts me from blogging: the WordPress block editor. But, surely, you knew I would say that, right?