One of the things that intrigues me about WordPress is discovering how it works and what it does. I certainly don’t find it as intuitive as I might hope, yet sadly no less intuitive than the multitude of other blogging and social networking sites that I’ve come across before. Facebook is mystifyingly cumbersome to me, and so far on Twitter I haven’t found anything remotely interesting to follow (never mind tweet).
At the very least, WordPress seems to at least follow the misshapen logic of most domain registration sites, wherein lots of friendly colors and chunky buttons help to conceal their functions’ ambiguity. What do we have under appearance? Strange talk of banners and headers. What do I have surrounding this box I’m typing in? Well, as a starting point, vast amounts of text. Interesting, that on a site where my writing is purportedly the most important thing, I am faced insurmountably by someone else’s words.
I fail to see why simple design becomes so difficult. I picked the WordPress theme you see here (Chateau, I believe it’s called), because of its wide spaces, pleasant use of a mildly interesting serif font, and the simple contrast of black, and gray, and red. I wasn’t looking for digital wood panelling to prop my blog posts as though they were back issues of National Geographic on a decaying library shelf (though I’m sure I am no more read than they).
I seem unable even to remove some of the less desirable elements from the page. Why on earth would anyone want to subscribe to an RSS feed of my blog’s comments? I suppose I can understand the need for an archive, and I may eventually come to use categories (thought I doubt my ‘readers’ will find browsing them of much use).
Even my handle – satis – was mysteriously taken, though by whom I can’t tell (satis.wordpress.com is abandoned, so why, I wonder, can’t I have it?). The double-line between the post and the ‘sidebar’ is nice touch.
I will admit, however, that it could be worse. WordPress could have asked my to worry about HTML (ha, I laugh in the face of danger); they could have asked me to submit my site to search engines myself (ha, even louder). They even seem to autosave my draft every time I stop to think about what to write next (how do they know…?).
In short, I could be doing this on a web-building application on my computer.
The proliferation of the blog and the tweet has all but destroyed the personal website, and in some ways it’s about time. If you want a personal website, the information you share on it could like as not be shared in an email to the people you actually know. If you want a ‘personal’ website that actually acts as a public showcase of your own banality, well hey – there’s Facebook and Twitter. And if you want a professional website, there’s always the old-fashioned way: get someone to do it for you.
In any case, I can’t say I’ve spent a huge amount of time exploring exactly what WordPress has to offer, but I will continue to play, in the hopes that one day someone other than myself might read it.
Now I’m off to find out what happened to my last post.