Yes. I know. You all wanted to read the ‘Wankers, seriously…’ post. Or at least those of you who spotted it in Reader and didn’t manage to get there fast enough before I took it down.
I may tidy it up and post it later, but that involves too much work, so for now I shall have a brief snipe and gripe at WordPress.
I’ll start with Reader. I think I’m going to have to put up a sticky on roughseas apologising to people for not visiting their blogs.
There was me thinking everyone had got severe attacks of Writer’s Cramp or got bored with blogging, but no, it was just Reader not bothering to include everyone on my notifications. Only the élite few got through the Reader filter. if you’ve had a comment from me recently, consider yourself élite, at least in the opinion of WordPress.
It used to be that posts didn’t show up in order, so I always had to scan down to see if one had popped up that hadn’t been there previously. Now they just don’t show up at all. Stupid system. Instead of implementing retrograde redesigns, it might be a good idea to make them work correctly in the first place. [Here is a link to WordPress blog post about Reader]
The display of Freshly Pressed blogs has also changed. Now we just get the title, and not the first few words of the intro par. No wonder WP is exhorting everyone to choose an eye-catching title.
There is absolutely nothing on Freshly Pressed to tell the reader what the post will be about. Which is why I gave this an obvious title, although possibly one that won’t get me Freshly Pressed.
However, on the topics section or blogs I follow section of Reader, there are still fifty or so words of the intro to allure and tempt us in. Or not.
Surely it should be the other way around. If you are following a blog anyway, chances are you find it an ok read until you get bored with it or pissed off with their opinionated views – which aren’t the same as your opinionated views. So you don’t need the intro. But if you are looking for new blogs, and you are foolish enough to browse Freshly Pressed, as I do when choosing to put off the cleaning, then an intro would be a tiny bit helpful.
In the midst of all this inconsistency from our Lords and Ladies, Masters and Mistresses who rule WordPress and know everything there is to know about blogging, us mere mortals are exhorted to be regular in our blog posting.
So that our desperate audience knows when we post. This is probably because WP can’t get their act together with Reader. If you haven’t seen a post from Someone Who Always Posts On Saturday or Moaning on Monday, you know to go over there to have a look.
Well me, I am extremely lazy. I want new blog posts spoon fed to me in my Reader thank you very much, or else what is the point of it? My next less lazy option is to visit the blogs of those who have commented as there is a good chance they may have posted because they are clearly on-line in WordPress. Finally, the last resort is to hit on my blogroll page and work my way down the list. Tedious in the extreme.
So the latest post to irritate me on The Daily Post was about posting regularly so that your readers know when to expect you. What irritated me even more, was the puerile link with going to the toilet. Or rather, gastro-intestinal health. But to be blunt it was about crapping regularly. And on top of that, the author of the post asked people to come up with appropriate supposedly witty comments using metaphors for that.
There is a place for schoolboy humour, but on one hand encouraging people to blog professionally and well, and yet on the other, asking them to come up with asinine crass jokes about poo just doesn’t do it for me.
And while I didn’t comment on the links between blogging regularly and going to the toilet, I did say that the worst thing in the world is for people to write something when they have nothing to say:
My one comment to new/inexperienced bloggers would be – don’t force yourself to blog. It will come across as contrived and without feeling.
And the idea of needing a prompt defies, to me, what blogging is about. If you can’t think of anything to write, I would say don’t bother.
I wrote a longer comment but those are the salient points to save you all the effort of ploughing through 100 comments over on the Daily Post. I did however find an interesting blog out of it. The dissenters are always the interesting ones.
I recommend the following link from NannaPrawn as a good read, with far more humour than griping whingeing cloudy roughseas has managed.
Still on blogging, Ella_Dee gave me a couple of awards, which natch, I never acknowledge properly, apart from to say thank you.
I looked specifically at three areas, feminism, vegetarianism/veganism and geographical location. I have interests in all those, obviously, and write about them to greater or lesser degrees. But with a few rare exceptions, I don’t get comments from veg*ans, feminists, or geographical neighbours ie Gib or Spain.
There are some single topic blogs, who get regular and sometimes, loads of comments from people who have the same passion for the same subject. The truth is, however, there is only so much you can read about feminism when you have been thinking it for years. Same goes for not eating animals. I just couldn’t do a whole blog about either of them, although ironically this blog started off as predominantly feminist.
Women aren’t treated equally, regardless of a few high-profile western women and heads of state elsewhere, plus the odd CEO. They are still raped, killed, bought, sold, and regarded as sex objects. How many times can you say that? How many times can you discuss gender-specific language, sexist language, whether or not to wear a wedding ring (or even get married, let alone changing your name), shaving your legs, your armpits, pubic hair, or wearing high heels and make-up?
It gets boring after a while. Even to me. Yes, I might write about some issues from time to time, but I normally switch off to endless feminist blogs. Or vegan recipe blogs. I’ve not been eating meat for more than 20 years. There’s not much that I don’t know about the issues – animals are abused and killed, the environment suffers, the food industry profits and people eat shit – and, the recipes or the food alternatives. So why read about them? I don’t usually.
What about geography? Well, I think I follow a handful of Spanish blogs. One, when she writes it (hint Totty) is interesting because I like her personal take on life. Plus she has been living in Spain a hell of a lot longer than I have, so there is lots to learn and
chupa absorb from her. A couple are in Asturias. One posts interesting photos of life in Asturias where I haven’t visited, and the other is rarely in Asturias as she is on the road most of the time, currently teaching English in Hanoi.
Another lives a few miles from my finca in Spain (few being relative, anyway we are both in the same district of Málaga province). Like me, she has followers and commenters from around the world, but unlike me, they have something to say on her blog. Because I know the area, know the local fiestas, have lived in Spain for more than ten years, I have absolutely nothing to add to her blog in terms of comments. You would think it would be the other way round, but no. I’ve commented a couple of times I think, but how many times can you say, been there, done that, without sounding like the biggest sabelotodo (know-it-all) in the world?
Similarly Gibraltar blogs. I think I can proudly claim that not a single Gibraltar blogger has ever commented on mine. One wanted me to follow him so that he could achieve 1000 followers (or some such number before he left to return to the UK). Uh? He might have listed me on his blogroll but he never took the time to comment on mine. I didn’t follow.
I’ve commented on another local Gib one, but never had the courtesy of a return visit. It’s a bit like the one in Spain. Yes, I’ve been there. Yes, I’ve also taken photos of that. Are we all in competition? Or is it just boring to read about the same things that we all write about?
I muse on this from time to time, because I find it interesting that the people who read and comment on my blogs come from all over the world, and although some might have similar views, there aren’t that many feminist, lefty, vegetarian, environmentalist, animal rights supporters commenting on any of my blog posts.
And while I think it would be interesting to receive comments from the above rare species, the plain fact is, that it is more interesting to get readers and comments who come from a different perspective. At least it makes for discussion. And probably explains why I rarely comment on blogs that write about the same topics as I do.
I’ll end with a quotation which has nothing to do with anything, except it is far more witty than garbage in, garbage out jokes on The Daily Post.
Wandering back from the shops today, my partner met a couple of construction acquaintances. They were having a coffee before starting work.
‘It’s a hard life for the working classes,’ he said cheerfully to them, as he came back home to varnish the doors yet again and later have a couple of beers.
Had they known anything about Oscar Wilde, the obvious reply might have been on the lines of ‘It’s an easy life for the drinking classes.’
I’ve adapted the quotes there, but for anyone who doesn’t drool over any Oscar Wilde quote and isn’t aware of it, his original was ‘work is the curse of the drinking classes.’ Which was a reference to the earlier much-touted British quotation (origin unknown) of ‘drink is the curse of the working classes’.
The first time I read it was when I had sat my O-levels and we all signed each other’s school hymnbooks! One friend wrote, ‘Drink is the curse of the working class, work is the cursing of the drinking class’. Maybe not entirely accurate in quotation terms, but it has stayed with me ever since.
To me it meant, some people have such a shit life they have to resort to drink. Some people have such a rich life they can avoid work, and drink as much as they choose, and probably not cheap gin, which is what 18th century Britain was famous for. ‘Drunk for a penny, dead drunk for tuppence’.
Regardless I would recommend the quotations of Mr Wilde before the banal attempts at lavatory humour on The Daily Post.
PS I tried to post on one of my old Blogger blogs. It was appalling!! Far worse than WordPress. If WP takes one step forward and two backwards, Blogger takes ten backwards. Just to say that WordPress isn’t all bad. And because I so like to be fair and objective.