Locked in a war of WordPress

This is not the first time I’ve published. It’s not even my first experience with a blog. I’ve written a collaborative blog with friends, I’m a ‘regular correspondent’ on Derek’s ALIA Blog, I’m about to start writing for the Swinburne Library Blog, and I even want to add to the huge number of library professional blogs everyone wants to read but no-one has time for … least of all me.

This is probably testament to my obsession with seeing my own words in print. You might ask, what did every ego maniac do for a sense of fulfillment before it became so easy to publish online? The answer: we wrote to the Green Guide, which is entirely soulless and unromantic in online form, hence the need for some other kind of online forum.

This is my first experience with WordPress. In the past, I’ve always used Blogger, but I thought I’d use Swinburne 23 Things as an opportunity to present a more sophisticated-looking WordPress blog. Many people are sceptical of Blogger because it is now owned by Google, and any monopoly that so successfully manages to push everyone else out of the market must be worthy of scorn … Librarians in particular have a love/hate relationship with Google; yes, it has simplified the search mindset (why look it up in a reputable source when you can just Google it?), but a single search engine, however wealthy and powerful it might be, cannot put librarians out of a job. Instead of fighting Google, we should take advantage of the simplicity it has brought to the Web. And my advice to you is that this extends to Blogger. Use it.

WordPress may look pretty, but it allows next to no customisation. Users can’t edit the stylesheet underneath their blogs unless they pay for a CSS upgrade. Blogger, on the other hand, is extremely customisable. Users can have as little or as much involvement in the design layout of their blogs as they choose. This blog post even suggests that Blogger is just as good for professional blogs as personal ones. And what’s the point of a free blog if you can’t make it your own? Tim Berners-Lee never intended us to pay for the Web, especially for a tool that allows users both to read and edit the Web at the same time (part of his original design specifications for a Web browser).

I’m a bit of a Tim Berners-Lee fan. The only money he ever makes out of the Web is from the sale of his books. That means he makes a lot less from realising his utopian knowledge-sharing dream (the Web), which some conservatives consider the ultimate vehicle for committing crime, than this man makes from his consecutive jail terms.

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8 Responses to Locked in a war of WordPress

  1. danamckay says:

    I have to say I agree with you — WordPress has been pretty disappointing. I actually think the reason blogger is scorned has more to do with the reasons MySpace is scorned than the fact that it is owned by Google, though: It is inherently personalisable, and it is the province of those without enough tech knowledge to “do it properly” (i.e. by hand).

  2. Tony says:

    Blogger was a snap to set up, sounds like I made the right (non-techie) choice!

  3. Sara Jervis says:

    Dear rebecca,

    I am in admiration of your erudition and enthusiasm. I watch your blog with interest.

  4. kim says:

    I think I will stick with Blogger for now. Nice and easy to use. Is there such a thing as a usability rating.?I give in 3.5 out of 5 stars for ease of use.

  5. Tony says:

    Kim, I reckon I give blogger 4 out of 5 – but only if you use Firefox!

  6. mary says:

    Thanks bec…. you’re actually chatting with mary aka JWA. Guess you thought JW for Jane W? JWA for me = phonetics for the French word joie = joy. Not sure that it will always be a journey of joy, but starting off optimistically!
    Have now put a link on the wiki to my Flickr account,next to the ‘official’ ones, so others
    can look @ my slide show now.

  7. libodyssey says:

    Hi Mary
    Sorry about that … silly mistake since Jane has her name on her blog. I fixed that comment for you so no other idiot repeats my mistake!

  8. libodyssey says:

    Hi Tony and Kim
    I would give Blogger closer to 4 myself … although I agree that you need to be on Firefox; IE does all sorts of strange things to links. One point in favour of WordPress is that it allows you to choose an action for you external links, ie whether to open the link in a new window. Interesting. Will post about it soon; I realise I’ve commented on nearly everyone else’s blog and just about forgotten about my own!

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