Why WordPress?

17 May, 2009 at 2:15 pm (meta) (, , , , , , , , , )

Before starting this blog I investigated the different options there are. Particularly the big three: Blogspot, Livejournal and WordPress. Which one I came to prefer should be obvious. Here’s some reasons, as I know that a few rpg bloggers read my site every now and then. Actually, here are the reasons why I do not use LJ or blogger/blogspot, and consequently the option I ended with was WordPress.

Livejournal

Livejournal is a huge mess. It  lacks an RSS feed for comments. Hence, it is very difficult to follow discussions. Further, the comment threads tend to collapse due to nested comments and hence become difficult to read; always necessary to expand that or this comment and hope you expanded the right one.

I would not want any readers I might get to experience that nightmare. Hence, no LJ.

Blogspot and blogger

Google does offer comment feeds (though they tend to be well hidden), which is good. On some themes the comments are separated to a separate comment page, which is frankly idiotic as it separates the discussion. Likewise the necessity of opening a new page to write a comment; not smart. There is also the annoyance of not being able to use blockquotes when commenting, but I don’t think I was aware of that when starting blogging.

In addition there’s the CAPTCHA, which means the distorted texts that one is supposed to understand when posting. They have the problem of being terribly annoying. The problem is further aggravated by the fact that when using OpenID I must suffer through the trouble twice, as the first time I enter the CAPTCHA it is not accepted. Very annoying. This, again, was not a problem when I first started blogging.

Why not simply use Google account when commenting? The primarily problem is that those comments are difficult to trace back to my blog. I’d have to write some signature, which looks and feels spammy, or hope people check out my Google profile and deduce my blog from it. More importantly, I want to know the blogs or website of any who comment on my website.

In summary: Commenting on Blogspot/Blogger is very inconvenient and finding out where the comments come from is also slow, as opposed to automatic on WordPress blogs, where you just click the link that is the commenter’s handle. It can be to a blog or static website or whatever else.

Truncated feeds

Now that I’m ranting…

I’m not certain of the correct term here, but I mean those feeds that don’t show entire posts, only the first sentence or two or a hand-crafted summary. They are a pain. They force me to open a new tab and read that. Further, I must either wait for the page to load or read other stuff while waiting (which I prefer). Problem: I must keep the article unread in the case of it being of good quality so that I would want to share or star it (in Google reader). Or sometimes I won’t bother, but will rather just read on and forget sharing the truncated stuff. So: Truncated feed is not user-friendly and further might cost you a reader or two. When it is time to prune feeds, those that truncate their content are high on the list of candidates.

By the way: If my blog has truncated feeds, now is exactly the right moment to share the information. I’ll fix it. The feed is supposed to contain entire posts.

I am not exactly sure why people do use truncated feeds. A perversive desire to annoy people? Not likely. Maybe they want people to enter their website? That seems more likely. Maybe there are ads there? Personally, Adblock takes care of those. If I like you and your site, I might turn Adblock off there, but there’s little hope of that as long as I must open pointless tabs to read the posts of yours. Sorry. Want me to read more posts of yours? You might sometimes succeed, but links to former posts are at least as effective a tool and they don’t cause frustration.

If you want me to read your website and whatever goodies are there, here’s an excellent way of accomplishing it: Write a post that I will want to respond to. Also write a post that I will want to link to; that way, the three readers I have are likely to check out what you have there. More importantly, I or my readers will arrive to your website with curiosity or interest, not annoyance.

6 Comments

  1. gregoryweir said,

    Truncated feeds are partly motivated by getting people to your site; visitors see ads, true, but they’re also more likely to comment, and (at least on my blog) the articles look better with my CSS stylesheet on them than they do in a feed reader.

    The other issue is feed reader clutter. I actually prefer blogs with truncated feeds. I can read the first paragraph or so, and decide if I want to read the article. If not, I can move on to the next one easily. With full-length posts, I have to scroll in Google Reader, which gets annoying since several things — like clicking — can auto-scroll back to the top of the current article. I also have to lay on the mouse wheel like mad to get past the longest articles. For me, truncating my feed items is partly an act of courtesy to other readers who find that annoying.

  2. Tommi said,

    Hello gregoryweir.

    Personally I don’t have RSS clutter. The list view makes all the feed entries take exactly one line. J scrolls down one feed, K scrolls up, so if some entry I’m reading is boring I can simply skip it. I am uncertain about the expanded view; J and K might or might not work there.

    If I find a truncated entry interesting enough to open but not sufficiently interesting to read, I have already wasted time by opening a new tab and clicking on it and possibly even waiting for it to load.

  3. gregoryweir said,

    It’s good that that works for you. I find it more efficient to spawn off tabs for interesting posts as I scroll through them, and list view is too short for my tastes. But different approaches suit different people. You expressed puzzlement at why people truncate posts, so I thought I’d explain my reasoning.

  4. Tommi said,

    Yes, I sort of understand it now. I still don’t know the point of using blogger/blogspot, but maybe that is related to admin interface. WordPress is quite slow.

  5. dysonlogos said,

    Truncated feeds also allow the blogger in question to see what the more popular posts are about. When people read your posts through their feed-reader, it doesn’t register on the blog as a pageview. Thus it becomes difficult to track what post types are most popular except by number of comments – and that gets deceiving because you might get a lot more views of a purely helpful post and a lot more comments on a badly written post that doesn’t explain anything.

    • Tommi said,

      Hello dysonlogos. Nice avatar.

      As I don’t use it I don’t know how much information Feedburner gives, but I had the impression of it being helpful in keeping track of one’s feed subscribers and their activity. If not, you have a good point.

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