WANA: We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.
This post is for Friday, March 17. I’m posting a day early because I won’t have web access to post tomorrow. I probably won’t be able to reply to comments, either, but please do comment anyhow.
My friend Marji Laine is in the process of moving her blog from Blogspot to WordPress. While doing this, she discovered something that has bothered me ever since I began reading and commenting on other writers’ blogs: the unfriendliness of the interfaces among different blog hosts.
Almost everyone I know uses one of these two, so I’ll limit my
cursing discussion here to them. If you use WordPress for your own blog, commenting on other WordPress blogs is a simple process. You write your comment and then click a button to confirm your identity. Voila! From what Marji said in her Wednesday blog “Commenting on Blogspot,” I suppose it’s a relatively simple matter for a Blogspot blogger to comment on another Blogspot blog, too.
The problems arise when a WordPress blogger wants to comment on a Blogspot blog or, I suppose, vice-versa. It’s as if you were in a store in a strip shopping center and wanted to go to the store next door but the strip owner has erected walls between stores that require you to leave the parking lot you’re in, drive back out into the busy street, and pull into the adjacent parking lot.
Most retailers and real estate developers have more sense than that. They build a parking lot common to all stores in the strip and put in a sidewalk that passes easily from store to store. You simply leave your car where it is and walk next door.
Due to the childishness of the blog hosts, we have to drive out into the street and over to the next parking lot to get from one to the other. Every time I comment on a post on Blogspot, I have to enter my name and email address and WordPress name. I understand it’s just as bad for Blogspotters trying to comment on a WordPress site.
Lots of times I even have to play the CAPTCHA game. You know, where I have to guess what letters are represented by a bunch of indecipherable squiggles. Does anyone get those right every time? I think not.
Does Blogspot think it’s attracting me as a potential customer by making it as difficult as possible to do this? Does WordPress think it makes itself desirable to people from other blog hosts? I’ve got news for both of them. The way to impress me would be to make my life as simple as possible. Let me comment on a Blogspot post by clicking on a simple button, and let Blogspotters have just as easy a time commenting on WordPress posts.
railing and ranting discussing this subject, let me air another problem I have peculiar to Blogspot. When I want to reply to a comment on my site, or any other WordPress site, I can click the word “Reply” and enter what I want to say right under the comment I’m replying to. With Blogspot I’ve never found any such feature. I have to enter my reply as a new comment not attached to anyone else’s. This prevents me from thanking commenters when I guest post on a Blogspot site.
If some brilliant techie would develop a blog hosting site that incorporated the solutions to these problems, we might hear a large sucking sound as that new host sucked all the customers away from the current hosts.
What sort of problems have you run into in commenting on a competing blog host site? Have you found things I haven’t mentioned?
David N. Walker is a Christian father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years as a health insurance agent. Most of that career was spent in Texas, but for a few years he traveled many other states. He started writing about 20 years ago, and has six unpublished novels to use as primers on how NOT to write fiction. He is currently putting the finishing touches on his non-fiction Web Wisdom: Godly Inspiration from the Inbox and starting his new fiction work—a series of novellas set during the period from 1860 to 1880.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me at @davidnwalkertx