I’ve been blogging irregularly since the age of thirteen, so I’m familiar with WordPress. Familiar, yes, but not exactly a fan. Inevitably, each usage of the platform in the past caused me some form of grief or another: entire blog posts eaten, controls I couldn’t quite figure out, posting things to the wrong blog when I was a contributor to multiple blogs at once… I could go on. Still, I was required to use WordPress for two of my classes this semester, mainly on this blog. The entirety of my last blog post was composed on WordPress, as were all of my reflection posts.
How did it go? Well, I still prefer Blogger, but it was better than it used to be. There were no catastrophic losses of writing, which is always good. And yet, I’m still not sold.
One thing I don’t like: in order to compose a piece for a specific blog, you have to switch sites. This has led to an incident where one of my posts nearly ended up on my other school blog. Is this an annoyance as opposed to a genuine problem? Absolutely. But on Blogger, the platform I usually use, I just click the orange buttons next to each blog’s name on my site. It’s a layout difference, but it’s more convenient, and it lets me get writing faster.
Another thing I prefer about Blogger: I can customize the text further. WordPress limits to one text size, one font. Blogger doesn’t have a huge variety of fonts or size options, but it offers eight font choices and five size options. Another small issue, but one that matters, especially when you’re the sort of blogger who likes to mess around with text size for comedic effect. Here, text is text. You can put things in bold, italicize them, or even
cross them out use strikethrough, but that’s it. It can get a little boring.
Other than those small problems that are more about personal preference than anything wrong with WordPress, the sites are very similar. They allow you to save drafts, back them up for you in your browser in case of emergency (since my internet died twice while writing the previous blog post, I’m very grateful for that), you can share things on social media by connecting your accounts… it’s all fairly standard blogging. Rather than apples and oranges, comparing the two is more like iPhones and Androids: They’re not all that different when you get down to it.
So, how to connect this to what I’ve learned in class? It probably says more about me than it does about either blogging platform. As Nancy K. Baym says in Personal Connections in the Digital Age, people’s views on technologies are reflective. (p. 28) As a result, the way I view these blogging sites is more about me and my finicky nature.
For one thing, my bias toward Blogger and against WordPress can be attributed to my pro-Google stance. (After all, I’m one of the only people in my area who regularly uses Google+, so it’s safe to say that I have an inclination toward the company and its sites/products.) It also shows that I’m really picky about very small things, which isn’t news to me but is still worth noting. And maybe I prefer the color orange on Blogger’s site to WordPress’s blue color scheme as well. Whatever the case, my appraisal of WordPress isn’t exactly fair since I have another similar site to compare it to.
Still, this is something we have to navigate in the digital age. When there are so many similar sites, how do we choose the “right” one? And is there ever a “right” one? Perhaps I need to get to know WordPress a little better before I decide whether or not it’s right/wrong for me…