The Politics of Blogging

My transfer from WordPress.com to WordPress.org is complete. Well, the transfer itself was completed within the space of a few minutes quite some time ago. However, installing a theme, the required plug-ins and tidying things up – that took a little while longer. But it’s almost done now. Apart from any bits or pieces that I may have missed. Feel free to let me know if you find anything broken.

So what was the point of making the switch, you may ask? Well, seeing as a couple of people did ask, I’ll tell you. I’ll make this topical too, just for fun. Allow me to introduce the blogging platforms as political candidates. Starting in the blue corner, with WordPress.com. Good old dependable, socialist WordPress.com. Bernie Sanders would blog on WordPress.com. It’s all hosted for you, centrally. Everything is taken care of. Security is provided in-house against the bad guys, and very effective security it is too. There are a few plugins to choose from, but not many. Just a few selected options that meet with WP.com’s approval. The same with themes. There’s a choice, but it’s not vast. And if you want to go private for a very limited selection of paid options or themes, you’ll pay through the nose. WP.com’s version of tax is high. But if you like the easy life and don’t want to work too hard, then WP.com is for you.

In the yellow corner we have WordPress.org, which would be Dr Paul’s platform of choice. You’d think it would be Steve Cotton’s platform of choice too, but mysteriously it’s not. Not yet, anyway. WP.org is the Libertarian blogging platform. The basics are there, donated charitably, but otherwise you are on your own. You are responsible for hosting, back-ups, security et al. Your life is in your own hands. Make a mistake and you risk losing it all. There’s an open market place with a vast selection of paid, free and freemium themes and plug-ins. But as with real life Libertarians, many (if not most) WordPress Libertarians talk the talk but do not always walk the walk. They like that safety net that socialism provides, and the first things they install are two WP.com add-ons, Akismet and Jetpack.

You might be wondering, where exactly does one go if one is a die-hard Republican voting capitalist? Well, there is an option for you. It’s called Blogger, a Google product. It looks and works like something that lost its relevance about a decade ago and hasn’t been developed much since. It’s not only out of date but has also lost any semblemence of popular support. Very few new, but informed, bloggers would jump on the Blogger bangwagon today. It does still have a huge library of plug-ins and add-ons but they often conflict with each other and sometimes cause the whole system to entirely self destruct. Not great. However, it must be acknowledged that Blogger still exists and does have some hardcore fans, and they will tout the platform’s value of openness and transparency. They don’t always mention that it will relentless spy on you.

It would be unfair of me to presume that everyone can be labelled a socialist, libertarian or capitalist though. Some people, it appears, genuinely intend to vote for Donald Trump. So we also have a ‘mentalist’ camp too. They have some words to share with the world. Some really terrific words. They’ve probably got some of the best words. So what blogging platform is most suitable for this sort of person? The type of person who sees the appeal in a Trump presidency typically have the sort of views that were out of date by the time the biro was invented, let alone the internet.

What they are really looking for are colouring-in and books. They probably need to be simple to use, because – gosh darnit – they are simple people. Antique childrens books should do the trick. They will mostly feature men in pointy white hats. So you could get away with just some chalk, which will conveniently save on coloured crayons. Trump fans don’t tend to like colours anyway. Not brown, not yellow and definitely not black. A whole pack of crayons with the whole range of the rainbow would positively send them into fits.

I’ve digressed from the real point of this. Why I’ve switched to WordPress.org. It’s simple really. I want to have a wider range of themes to use. I want to be able to use the full range of WP.org plug-ins and widgets as and when I see fit. I don’t want the advertising that WP.com foisted upon my blog. I don’t want to be restricted in what I can and can’t embed in a post. I already have a web hosting account, for other websites I have designed for third parties, with spare domain capacity. So the hosting was not an extra cost.

However, had I not had the hosting account, then I would not have switched. I wouldn’t pay an extra £60 to £70 a year just for the privelege of hosting my own blog. It wouldn’t have cost much more to upgrade the WP.com site to remove the adverts and give me a bit more control over the design.

6 thoughts on “The Politics of Blogging

  1. I like your blog Gary and many others, I really have to get down and write my own or at least contribute to it once in a while but I’m in the process of gutting my house and moving sixty clicks up the road. So I have temporarily put my quill away until that has been accomplished and the new house built before resuming with my apprenticeship. So I’ve abandoned most of my popular writers for the moment except for the Facebook frolics which is getting tedious to be honest and I’ll have to divorce myself from that soon too!
    How do you manage for security on your new domain or do you have some sort of VPN to disguise your planet?

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    1. You have my sympathy. We moved home last year, and we only had to move the contents of a one bed flat some 100 metres down the road. But even that was hard work.

      No security as such, not anything I have to do at my end. I just bought an annual £30 WordPress plan, pointed the domains name servers at it and let the others do the work.

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    1. Ah, I see. The hack was on the WordPress.org side of things. It’s an open source show over there, and plugin, servers etc can get hacked. I’m back on WordPress.com. A more limited blogging suite, but a million times more secure. And I don’t have to deal with the security on the .com site. Which is nice!

      I can recover all my lost posts and images. I subscribe to my own blog through an RSS reader for the very purpose, as a back up of last resort. What I can’t recover, very sadly, are the comments.

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  2. I was a little bit confused when you mentioned moving from to WordPress.org! I see now that you are actually on WordPress.com. Afer seeing all of your blogs, I am still trying to get to the one where you mentioned Blogger because they really screwed me up royally, I like the fact that with regards to security, you mentioned that it was more secure on WorPress.com. That is what I am now using.

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