Blogging about blogging

Sorry, I know that blogging about blogging is an incredibly Web 2.0, self-statisfied, I'm too cool for you, wank-knob thing to do, but I'm going to do it anyway.

Now I don't want to appear negative about WordPress (which is the blogging system behind Meromotopia and tens of thousands of other blogs), after all it's an excellent tool, but I've got to say one thing.
Digression, first: just for knowledge's sake, there are two versions of WordPress. There's the version I use here, known as WordPress.com, which is free, hosted by the good folk at WordPress, and comes with a number of pre-defined templates, and you can pretty much start typing away as soon as you've figured out a good name. And there's also the  stand alone version, at WordPress.org, which you download and which is almost infinitely configurable, but  you need to put it on a server somewhere – either your own, or somebody elses, for which you may have to pay.

WordPress.com is younger than Blogger (the Google-owned blogging system) and still developing, and is more difficult in terms of complexity to use, but not excessively so. The payoff is that WordPress blogs tend to look good and work well, and generally be a pleasure to read (even if you disagree with whatever's being said).

In one area though, WordPress seems outrageously complex. Images. Posting an image into your blog requires an inspired leap of genius to figure out what to do. Dr Mike, the rather brusque helper at the WordPress forums has a THIRTEEN STEP how-to on his site. Thirteen steps! Of course, once you've been through it a few times, it makes perfect sense, but if you only upload images every so often, it's nightmare to have to go to the forums, search on the word "image", find a post that has the link to the FAQ, find the link in the FAQ that points to Dr Mike's blog, go there, and read how to upload an image. And then find that if the image is over some undisclosed size, it either gets cut off, or pushes everything on your sidebar down to the bottom of the page. Grrr.

Ah well, the lovely WordPress team implement some improvement or addition nearly every day, so I can't complain too much. And if I got off my arse and posted more frequently, I'd have that thirteen step image upload procedure down pat.

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2 Responses to Blogging about blogging

  1. drmike says:

    Maybe answering the same question five times within five minutes gets on one’s nerves after awhile. Especially since usually the question is already answered in the FAQ posted at the head of the forum. Don’t forget the couple hundred emails I get every week and the dozens of comments I get left all over my blog. 🙂

    Also don’t forget I get little to no answer either when I ask questions to the staff.

    I’m glad you liked the FAQ on the picture uploading though. To answer your question about the image problems, I suggest using the thumbnail option. That way you don’t have it forcing over the sidebar. You can also have it linked to the image instead of a page. That way, when you click through the image, it will show up without the theme getting in the way. You could also use a theme with a larger center column if you want like I do on my site. (One of the reasons why I use the theme I do. It’s center column is very large.)

    Hope this helps,
    -drmike

  2. Meromo says:

    Thanks for the comment. I don’t suppose it’s easy dealing with inane questions (or even….umm… “ane” questions) all day, and you’ll notice I didn’t say being brusque was always a bad thing..

    The image size thing mainly came up because I was trying out posting through Ecto, and also making my own thumbnails (actually, just small images) using a nice little program called Thumbscrew, which with a drag and drop, resizes, adds a border and allows you to rotate your image a little, should you desire it. Without a quite a bit of experimentation, I’m unable to find out what the max size of an image is before the weirdness sets in, and that max obviously also varies depending on the WordPress theme.
    Since I’ll probably end up doing a lot if not all of my posting through the WordPress form, your FAQ was indeed most helpful – I knew it was possible to link to a full size image, just hadn’t quite figured out how to do it.

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