In what has been an interesting week in Blogdom, I happened upon a blog post by my A-Z April Blogging Challenge mentor, Arlee Bird. With the attention catching title of Why I Hate WordPress, and having been posted on a blog run through the Blogger platform I was curious to see not only what Arlee had to say, but also how his readers would respond.
You can read the full article here
In all fairness to Arlee, apart from the shocking title, the post represented a fairly balanced viewpoint on the difficulties of inter-platform commenting. The reality is that crossing the great divide and commenting on a Blogger blog using a WordPress ID is not as streamlined, efficient or as easy as commenting on another blog within the WordPress platform. I liken inter-platform commenting to starting a new job. In a new job, you have to learn what your colleagues all already know and take for granted – the real procedures for getting stuff done, where it is safe to put your personal belongings, where the restrooms and the lunch rooms are etc. These are the basics that once learned and mastered grease the wheels and facilitate job performance.
Commenting WordPress to WordPress is easy. No need to type in your ID or email address, no worrying about HTML to create a live link to your blog or loading a photo. It is all done for you and as an added bonus you get notified by the friendly WordPress system when someone responds to your comment. Cross the great divide to Blogger and you have to supply your own grease.
When I started this blog, I had little expectation other than to use it as a vehicle for learning. After a couple of posts, I discovered that content was the monarchy (you can argue whether King or Queen and there is plenty of literature out there on that issue if you are keen to explore it), but like all palaces it is the servants that keep the place running. In the context of blogging, the main servants are Networking, Promotion, SEO, Analytics, HTML and CSS. I don’t profess to be a master of these, I am but a keen student at the start of what is a very long path. So it was with this in mind, I explored the benefits and drawbacks of each blogging platform before I decided to stick my claim in a small piece of WordPress blogging real estate.
At the time I had a friend who was pushing heavily for Blogger and we in fact ran a joint blog on the Blogger platform for the 2012 A to Z April Blogging Challenge. That blog is dormant now, but you can check it out here if you feel the urge. The concept behind it was to show the difference in viewpoints of a generation X blogger and a generation Y blogger to the same issues.
I have therefore blogged on both platforms.
What tipped me to WordPress for my personal blog was two things: appearance and potential. To me WordPress blogs looked like they had more “gravitas”. They looked more professional and had more plug ins and features. This then tied into the potential point. The literature I read at the time indicated that to enable monetization of a blog, the only serious platform contender was WordPress.org and to move a blog started on the Blogger platform to the WordPress. org platform was fraught. The move from WordPress.com to WordPress. org was more streamlined and enabled continuation of an established following through various plugins.
All of this is rather technical as well as hypothetical and at this stage I have no intention to monetize my blog. However, I do believe in maximizing my options.
Returning to Arlee’s original “hate” post, what surprised me about the comments on it was the sheer negativity that was expressed about WordPress from the predominantly Blogger commentators, most of who had never run a WordPress blog. My search amongst the comments for some objective criteria as to why Blogger was a better blogging platform proved elusive. All that I learned was that comfort is a powerful motivator and clearly, the choice of blogging platform participation is an emotive issue. Of course, when you try something new, it is not going feel as familiar as the old and of course you may initially have a negative perception of your experience. But should this colour your whole view on the inferiority of a blogging platform? Personally, as a reader and a commentator I don’t find the long running scripts on Blogger or Google + comfortable, but I will tolerate them for the sake of expanding my world.
Finally, as a blogger you are not compelled to cross any divide. You can be effective and have a fulfilling blogging experience simply by sticking to blogs on your own platform. Bloggers, of course blog for a host of different reasons and if your main reason is to socialize then there is probably no need to attempt the divide crossing. It’s your choice but if you choose this path, then do so knowing that there is a whole world of blogs and blogging that you are consciously saying no to.
My questions to my fellow WordPress bloggers are:
- Have you ever crossed the great Blogger/WordPress divide to comment on Blogger blogs?
- What has been your experience with cross-platform commenting?
- Is there a way that you have found that may make it easier to comment on Blogger blogs?
- Would you follow a blog on a different platform?
I’d love to hear your comments on the Blogger v WordPress issue.
- BLOGGER vs WORDPRESS (ictwelcome.wordpress.com)