Blogging Insights — Learnings

For this week’s edition of Blogging Insights, Dr. Tanya wants to know…

What are you learning (or are you still learning) from your blogging experience?

Most recently I’ve learned how to conquer the block editor, which isn’t the disaster that I thought it was, but that I strenuously resisted for almost a year.

I use the WordPress iOS app from my iPhone for my blog, and the version of the block editor on the iPhone is what I call “block-lite” because it doesn’t have all of the features and functionality that the one available on laptops or desktops does. But that’s okay because neither did the iOS app classic editor, which I called “classic-lite,” have all of the bells and whistles of the full-fledged classic editor. But I can get by with the “lite” version of the block editor because I don’t really do any fancy things with my blog.

Another thing that I have learned is that the developers at WordPress focus more on rolling out new “features” and “functionality” that few of us casual (i.e., non-business, non-commercial, non-professional) bloggers need or want. But they don’t spend nearly enough time fixing bugs in the current functionality, bugs that drive many of us crazy.

I’ve also learned since migrating to WordPress from two previous blog hosting sites (Blogger and Typepad), that the community of bloggers here on WordPress is what keeps me going, even with the frustrations that I’ve expressed ad infinitum over the years — in particular, this past year — in my posts. Were it not for you all who read, like, and comment on my posts, I’d have been long gone from blogging.

Blogging Insights — WordPress in the Time of the Pandemic

Blogging insightsFor this week’s edition of Blogging Insights, Dr. Tanya wants to know…

How satisfied (or not) are you with WordPress during the pandemic?

Up until August 2020, when WordPress decided to decommission the classic editor and force the block editor down our throats, I was very satisfied with WordPress. But I’m not a fan of the block editor and so my level of satisfaction diminished considerably.

The good news, though, is that, while the block editor is not a viable option for me to use on my iPhone if blogging on wordpress.com using a browser, I can still use the WordPress iOS version of the classic editor on my iPhone. However, WordPress has recently announced that the classic editor option will soon be removed from its iOS app, as well. And that, as far as I’m concerned, will suck.

The other consideration that has lessened my satisfaction with WordPress is that when WordPress rolled out version 16.0 of its iOS app this past November, there was a major bug in it, which I wrote about in this post on November 3rd.

Since that time, I’ve had countless exchanges with various happiness engineers, explaining the bug, providing screenshots, and even a video clip illustrating the issue. Over the months I have been told that the developers had been able to replicate the issue and were working on a fix. And yet here we are, five and a half months later and that bug has yet to be fixed.

So, overall, I have not been very satisfied with WordPress. I’m disappointed, frustrated, and pissed off.

But none of that has anything to do with the pandemic. It’s more about how the powers that be at WordPress don’t seem to give a shit about how we feel about the removal of the classic editor and their insistence that we embrace the block editor. Basically, they’re telling us that it’s their way or the highway.

And it’s also about how the happiness engineers and developers at WordPress are terrible when it comes to fixing bugs.

Unfortunately, as far as other blog hosting sites, none of them have the blogging community that WordPress does. It was that blogging community that landed me at WordPress to start with and it’s that blogging community (i.e., all of you) that is keeping me on WordPress.

Blogging Insights — What’s a Blog?

Blogging insightsFor this week’s edition of Blogging Insights, Dr. Tanya wants to know…

How would you describe blogging to someone who has never heard of it before?

Back in the early 2000s, while I had heard the words “weblog” and “blog,” I really didn’t understand what blogging was all about or why someone would want to blog. I knew that I enjoyed writing and I felt that I was a better communicator using the written word than I was verbally. But I hadn’t really given any thought to blogging.

I was having a conversation with a co-worker in maybe 2003 or 2004. He knew I enjoyed writing and suggested that I might want to consider starting a blog. He told me that he was a blogger and he loved blogging. I asked him why and he said it was a way to exercise and improve his writing skills. I asked him why he needed a blog to do what sounded like writing in a diary or a personal journal and he gave me a few insightful answers.

He said:

  • He could express his points of view on the world around him and publish them on the internet, where they would be out there for anyone to stumble upon, virtually speaking.
  • People had, in fact, stumbled upon his blog posts and they seemed to enjoy what he wrote and actually responded to his posts.
  • It was not just his family and friends, whom he had told about his blog, but total strangers from around the world, who had read, liked, and commented on his posts.
  • There was a large and growing community of bloggers and he had formed connections with many of them.
  • It felt great to see his thoughts, perspectives, ideas, notions, and opinions “in print” for all the world to see.
  • He had, in fact, become a better writer as a result of putting himself out there in cyberspace.

I said to him that it sounded like blogging was a narcissistic, ego-boosting, self-serving waste of time.

I started my first blog in 2005 and immediately got hooked. Turns out that he was right on all the good things he said about blogging. It also turns out that I was right as well. Blogging is a bit of a narcissistic, ego-boosting, self-serving endeavor.

But it’s not a waste of time.

MLMM Photo Challenge — Soft Landing

img_2129Suddenly there was no wind beneath her wings and, as she looked down at the earth below her, she knew that she was going to crash. All she could do was strive for a soft landing.

She managed to land in a small clearing in the forest on a bed of fallen leaves and thick moss, so while she was shaken up, she was, after a thorough self-investigation, unable to detect any serious injury.

Night was falling and she didn’t want to linger in the deep woods for very long. She stood up slowly so as to not lose her balance, since she was still feeling a bit shaky. She looked around for a path or trail that might lead her out of the forest, and when she found one, she pulled her large wings as close to her torso as she could and began walking.

She didn’t know how long she’d been walking when she saw the twinkling lights of a small community in the distance. Despite being tired, hungry, and thirsty, she picked up her pace, hoping to find some hospitable locals who might offer her nourishment and shelter.

As she got closer to the town, she began to question the wisdom of her decision to leave the forest. She encountered several younger children who saw her and her strange anatomy and scurried away. She decided that it was too late to turn back, so she cautiously continued walking toward the village.

And then she saw a rather large group of men and women carrying torches heading rapidly in her direction. She stood as tall as she could and spread her wings as high and as wide as they could go. The mob stopped, but she wondered for how long.


Written for the following prompts:

Photo Credit: ezorenier@deviantart.

Wow!

Apparently when I was off entertaining our out-of-town visitors, this happened:img_1922I am totally blown away! And all I can say to those of you who follow my blog, especially to those who really follow my blog, is thank you.

Thank you for taking the time to read, like, and comment on my sometimes nonsensical flash fiction, my political rants, my weird takes on various prompts, and my periodic whining about the curse of technology glitches. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I appreciate you being here and interacting with me.

Pat yourselves on the back, bloggers. You are members of a great community. Thank you for welcoming me and accepting me. I’m honored to be just a small part of it.

THANK YOU!