I’m feeling quite positive about WordPress at the moment. Just from that one global community perspective.
Maybe eighteen months ago, I found links on Facebook posts to a couple of people who happened to blog on WordPress. One English and one French. I created a WordPress account just to allow me to like and comment, and some time later I must’ve started exploring my Reader.
I found a US blogger. In fact it was one of Fandango’s Provocative Questions. Something to do with religion, an interesting question, one that I happened to have thought about myself, so I jotted down a short comment. I saw other people’s comments and realised that there was some kind of a community going on. At the time, I had been blogging in isolation on Blogger for a couple of years. In fact, one of the major drawbacks with Blogger was there was no such thing as a Reader, that it was nigh-on impossible to browse other people’s blogs – the most obvious of things – unless you actually started off with a link to the person’s blog.
I followed Fandango by email. I saw he not only had prompts of his own, but took part in one called Song Lyric Sunday, where I had ideas for my own songs, too. Of course, seeing his post was the tip of the iceberg on that particular prompt – I’ve since discovered twenty or thirty other regular respondents to that prompt. I started writing posts on my own Blogger blog in response to triggers I read on WordPress. Not responding to prompts, but if something sowed a seed… My overriding impression was that it was a pita living with both a Blogger login and a WordPress login. I could see the value straight away of having just a single sign-in, so the seed was sown.
It still took a few months mulling it over, but eventually I decided to switch my own blog to WordPress. Once I was opening WordPress every day I found out more about things like notifications, how relatively easy it is to follow other people’s blogs. And I discovered that blogging, perversely, is 90% reading, not writing. I wonder how many people know this before they jump in? That’s why I think that fundamentally, Blogger have the wrong idea.
Which brings me to the international feel of WordPress. I met a Belgian blogger early on. I guess in part because I have spent many happy times in Belgium myself, we have since become friends – I think so, anyway. It helps, of course, that their English is better than mine! When they post, I feel very out-of-my-depth, a world away from my own background, but at the same time the subject matter is usually something I’d like to understand better.
At the same time, I have met people from Africa, Asia and Australia – a far wider net than ever in real life! Just in the last two weeks, I’ve had brief, enjoyable conversations with somebody from Poland (thank heaven he could speak English) and somebody from Turkey (what a pity she couldn’t, but we had a little chat thanks to Google). Yesterday, my statistics tell me that I had sixty hits from Romania! Sixty hits from one place in one day is noticeable. If you stop by again, please comment and say Hi.
One of the things I used to like about working in London was just that melting pot of different nationalities. I happen to live in a place (now) which is very white, very English, it is not uncommon to meet people who have lived just in this village their whole lives. So it was good to go to London every day and meet people from … everywhere! I guess this site is like that.