Fandango’s Provocative Question (19 August 2020)

Wednesday. Fandango’s Provocative Question once again. I looked in my reader and what should I see? This week, Fandango asks:

Do we control technology or is technology controlling us?

It depends who “us” is. If you’re a pawn, then yes, you are controlled. For example, when I order my repeat meds, I have to log on to a web site. I have to behave in a certain way just to place the order. In that way, the technology controls me – I have to interact with it in a particular way, otherwise I don’t get my meds.

But some human(s) will have designed that site. The site will function exactly how they decide. So in that sense, we (i.e. some humans) are very much in control.

Fandango uses the example of his current woes with WordPress, so let’s think about that.

There is a free, open-source content management product called WordPress, available from wp.org. I can download it for free and run it on my own web server, if I could be bothered. Plugins, themes, the lot.

There is also a company, wp.com, who maintain servers which run this product. They sell hosting to Fandango and I, and probably you. That’s not what they call it, but that’s what it is. They sell disk space on a web server.

I don’t understand how wp.org and wp.com are related. I feel that they must be related somehow, and wp.com support staff have been happy to create feature requests for me. But what I heard – some wp.org founder walked and founded wp.com seems too simple.

It is wp.org who are pushing Gutenberg. wp.com are taking all the flak from users, but this is coming from wp.org. So, the humans at wp.org are most definitely in control of the technology, although Fandango is not.

My supposition is that wp.org decided to “grow” their product. One way to grow it was to adopt the new editor. Most probably financial. Maybe they wants easier things like shopping carts to attract businesses?

But standard users like Fandango will have been lower down the pecking order. Exactly how it has turned out.

Once you decide new-over-old, it makes sense just to support one, although I’ve been surprised at how quickly this has happened. You double your support costs otherwise. Maybe that’s the bottom line? Maybe the plan is to fire half the support team?

There are other blogging platforms, and it is only a year ago that I moved here from Blogger. The Blogger editor had far more in common with the Classic Editor than with Gutenberg. But Blogger has none of the community. Have a look. Try finding blogs about such-and-such. The only way is through Google Search – there is no hub, no reader.

I blogged for about 2 years on Blogger, and had almost no readers. Not surprising. Maybe anyone who met me pre-wp.com can remember how difficult it was to interact with me? Things we take for granted – following, liking, commenting, even pingbacks, more difficult, for the most part impossible. Blogger has not been built to interact.

Author: Mister Bump UK

Formerly Stroke Survivor UK. Designed/developed IT systems for banks, but had a stroke in 2016, aged 48. Returned to developing from home, plus do some voluntary work. Married, with a grown-up, left-home daughter.

15 thoughts on “Fandango’s Provocative Question (19 August 2020)”

  1. I have a blogspot for my son’s homeschooling. You are right, no one will ever discover that unless I spam it around and that’s the very reason for my choosing that platform because I have created the blog as a way to post and show his homeschool coordinator about his progress.

    Back then, we were actively blogging from this now defunct site called Multiply.com. The interaction in MP is better than WordPress but I think they were unable to monetize it, hence the closure. We moved to blogger afterwards, there was this other option called livejournal.

    I think the reason why people chose blogger back then was because people loved chatting via yahoo messenger. Links are being sent thru chatting and that’s all we can afford to do at that time haha.

    About the editor, blogger has a wp type update too and they are saying that the old version will be permanently unavailable soon.

    I super appreciate the ease of use of WP.

    To answer Fandango’s question: I think technology controls me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha, well, you seem to be doing a good job! I did not realise about Google – I noticed no development whatever while I was there.
      I’m sure F would love it if you felt like joining in one week, by the way.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Very interesting formation. I had a blogger blog foreverrrrr ago, but I never did anything with it so I guess technically I only had a blogger blog in name alone….lol Somehow I tripped over WP and started here. Seriously, I have no idea how I actually got to WP.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I remember I saw some stroke blog details, probably on FB, and followed the links to get to WP. I probably got a WP account so I could “like”. I still follow those bloggers but they never post. I saw an FPQ not long afterwards – must have looked on the reader -and left a comment, we’ve kinda got to know each other since (inasmuch as we “know” any other bloggers). I finally moved my own blog to WP just so that we could all like and comment.

      Like

  3. I don’t think we are really controlled by technology but imagine that it all would be gone in the morning, we would have some serious adjusting to do. I agree with your standpoint that we make choices between what is offered to us, like you prefer to use WP now instead of Blogger.
    As for to Gutenberg or not, I don’t really care. I’ve gotten used to the Gutenberg and as long as I get my thoughts on digital paper I’m quite a happy camper. The lay-out is not that nice and the lettering way too small for me but I’m managing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. where did you learn “happy camper”? Amazing!
      Seriously, I have only ever used Gutenberg so do not really havea comparison. I find Gutenberg is intuitive and althgough I have heard it described as slow, it is fast enough for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am reasonably confident that if I used my laptop for blogging purposes, I would probably embrace the Block/Gutenberg editor. But with a smartphone it just doesn’t cut it. The screen is not large enough to make it “user-friendly.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Interesting perspective Pete. So if I understood what you wrote about that nasty change “WordPress” decided to shove down everyone’s pie hole, it’s not WordPress – The Community Blog site per se, but WordPress DOT ORG (which sounds business oriented, not community oriented). Are they two different companies or different divisions within one monster company? I wrote in my own response or commented somewhere today that I saw a huge hole in the logic of forcing everyone to use a ‘business oriented’ format/platform and that was if the community was destroyed (and it’s unraveling as we speak); who does WordPress think is gonna come and use the shopping carts and buy the business blogs? Now I’m sure that there are plenty who are business oriented strictly, but I’d bet most of the traffic to those business blogs is because of the writer/artist community on WordPress. What a mess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wikipedia say that the wp.org came first, one of the original authors baled out and formed wp.com. At that point, it gets fuzzy for me, because that kinda implies some sort of split. But the two seem to go hand in glove.
      One thing you might find interesting, both wp.com and wp.org have accounts on here and publish maybe monthly. wp.org published just a few weeks ago that they just released some new version which fixed gozillions of bug fixes. That’s how I know they’re pushing Gutenberg

      Like

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