A Little Bit Free


Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today’s Daily Post asks “Facebook has recently come under attack for failing to enforce its own guidelines on hate speech and violent imagery. Is it a website’s job to moderate the content its users post, or should users have complete freedom?”

This is an interesting question, perhaps it comes down to the question of exactly what Facebook is providing.

We settled this question for the telephone company and your internet provider years ago — they are a carriage service and can’t be held responsible for the information they carry.

We also seem to have settled it when it comes to your web page. You’re responsible for your web page. There is also an expectation that you will control what other people post to your web page.

How about something half way between those. What about right here? WordPress.com says it “is an internet service provider. We are based in the US, as are all of our servers. As such we are covered by section 230(c) of the US Communications Decency Act which states that internet service providers are not held liable for content (such as allegedly defamatory, offensive, inaccurate, or harassing content) that is posted on the sites they host for their users.”

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Why the Changes WordPress.com?


WordPress

WordPress (Photo credit: Adriano Gasparri)

So now WordPress.com bloggers have two different top bars. The old one you see when you first go to your blog or another WordPress.com blog and a new one when you go to almost any administration task.

How do I like the new top bar? To say that I don’t like it at all would be an understatement. It adds the ability to quickly get to the blog reader and Freshly Pressed and takes away the ability to quickly get to the two most important parts of the Dashboard, managing comments and the best New Post editor.

The simplified New Post editor, the only one accessible from the new top bar, lacks three extremely important features, the ability to set a category for your blog post, the ability to edit the ‘Publicize’ slug and where it will be publicised (I like to be able to turn off LinkedIn for my more personal posts) and finally it doesn’t support ‘Text’ mode which I use constantly since I type most of my posts into a text editor using MarkDown for format (which isn’t supported by WordPress.com) and then use “Export to clipboard in HTML” and paste the result into Text mode.

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Two Things Annoying Me About WordPress.com


Today I discovered two things about WordPress.com that are annoying. One they can easily fix, the other is just a result of the wierd society of the net . Well, I sort of knew about them before but today they annoyed me. Perhaps I’m in an annoyable state?

The easy one to fix is that the “New Post” link under the logo on the left of the top bar takes you to a really nice page to choose the type of post you want to make but then takes you to a post editing page that doesn’t let you categorise the post or change the publicize link.

On the other hand if you go to your blog name in the menu under your name and icon on the right of the bar you can go straight to the “Add New Post” page of the Dashboard. Unfortunately you don’t get those nice pre-formatted link types you get the other way.

I know, I know. First world problem. What am I complaining about, it’s really great blogging software?

Then the second problem. “Like” whores. If you have a blog here on WordPress.com you know them, the people who come along and they hit the “Like” button on more than half a dozen posts on your blog and when you check their notifications it links back to ‘yourultimatediet.net’ or something similar. I wonder why they bother when on the post itself the link is to their Gravatar profile? I like to think my writing is good but to hit the “Like” button on the last eight posts. I’m not that good. I guess it could be that hitting the like button costs them nothing and they do actually think the post is worth reading. They may just set the bar a lot lower than me, frankly I read a lot of posts and I don’t hit that button unless I really do think your post is a good one. Indeed I’m almost certain to now go and read a few more of your posts and if I find another couple worth liking likely to follow you in my WordPress.com Reader.

Yeah, yeah, another first world problem. Hey, it might surprise you to learn it but I live in the first world, by definition all my problems are going to be first world problems.

So as a blogger what rattles your cage?

Hitting Freshly Pressed


There's my post up on the Freshly Pressed page.

There’s my post up on the Freshly Pressed page

Tony was up to his usual morning routine: radio on 702 Sydney and MacBook Air on his lap as he sat on the couch, web browser open with multiple tabs showing his mailbox, calendar, RSS reader, Google Plus and Facebook – the usual list of suspects.

This morning he also had open a tab new to his routine, WordPress.com showing the blog reader, a feed of blogs on WordPress.com that he had started to follow.

I had started up a WordPress.com blog after giving up trying to keep my own blog free of spam comments and malware break ins. It had been an entire weekend’s work to extract all my posts from two other blogs and shift them to WordPress.com. I was happy with the shift, I’d found a theme I liked and even spent some time tweaking and customising it. I’d already had a couple of good comments on posts and a few other WordPress.com bloggers were following my blog.

A post on “Daily Post”, a blog written by staff at WordPress.com, caught his eye. Weekly Writing Challenge — Mind the Gap asked bloggers a question “Are animated GIFs the stuff of junior highschool hijinks or, are they the political cartoons of the new millenium?”.

Brain cells lit up, synapses connected and a few vague memories surfaced in Tony’s mind. He remembered seeing some animated GIFs which were high quality photographs with a small amount of subtle movement animated on top. New York Fashion Week also seemed to be associated with the memory.

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