blogging Oct2007

I almost never post here. You know why? I have come to the conclusion that I hate blogging. When I write something intended for public consumption I take a lot of time to formulate my words to ensure that what I intend to say is what the reader understands. However, I often find myself fighting against the blogging software I am using. The fight against the software plus my need to express my thoughts well results in a monumental time sink. So I don't blog.

I can hear you asking what issues I have with blogging software. Let's take a look at b2evolution, which I happen to be using to compose this entry. The number of clickable items on this page is mind boggling. I have 8 different tabs to select from, a language to select, numerous formating buttons, preview, save, spellcheck, upload files, time stamp manipulation, permalink url entry, a pingback option, trackback urls, post status (published, protected, private, draft, deprecated), a category selection, comments options (open, closed, disabled...what's the difference between closed and disabled?), and rendering options (I assume those are options the software will use to interpret the text I have put in this little box). Whew. My fingers are worn out!

So what's wrong with all those options? For starters, all the clutter on the screen makes it easy to get distracted. A clean, screen with a simple entry box would go a long way to making this experience a more pleasurable one.

The next issue is the options I have to set for this post. 99% of the people writing a blog entry are going to use the same options every single time so they don't need to see those options on every post. If they want to change the options for a particular post it should be part of a secondary process, not the primary process of entering a blog post. I ALWAYS want my posts in English because I am an English speaker and never bothered to learn another language (well enough to blog in it at least).

With respect to the comments option, I think most bloggers either have comments open or closed on all posts. Again this could be part of a secondary posting process rather than the primary one and the default should be a configuration item I can set in the initial blog configuration. I don't even want to find out what happens if I click on the disabled comments for the post...does it blow up the world? I always imagine the worse case scenario when I find a redundant feature in software. It HAS to be different some how otherwise no one would have seen a need to develop it. Same with the rendering options, I only want to see these one time.

I see a big issue with the edit timestamp feature. The time it currently displays is 20 minutes in the past. Does this mean my post is going to show up as been posted 20 minutes earlier that I actually posted it? Sure, I started this post 20 minutes ago, but I don't want that as my timestamp on it. For all I know I will save this and post it 10 days from now. Will that make the timestamp 10 days and 20 minutes earlier than the time I actually posted this entry? I really don't know and don't plan to find out so I am posting this now :) ...and to think, I haven't even talked about what is on the other 7 tabs. Scary.

PS: I can't find a post button!?!? Ugh...

These thoughts are my own, unless they're yours. And if they're yours, we may have metaphysical problems beyond simple concept ownership and should probably talk soon.