Everybody seems to have their say about the new WordPress.com Dashboard, and so this is my say.
My initial reaction when I logged into the new dashboard, was one of surprise and leaning slightly towards the positive. Positive because whatever improvements WordPress.com does, it’s for the betterment of our blogging experience, or rather at least that’s the intention behind it.
Then I wondered, what’s wrong with the old dashboard?
Well… does it have to be wrong to improve it? Sure, the saying goes, if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it. I’m inclined to agree with that most of the time, but not this time. Why? Because for one, it is better than the previous dashboard. For another, it’s not that big a deal to learn your way around your dashboard, because it honestly isn’t as difficult as one might think. What you need is some sense of adventure and knowing when to take precautions (like saving the information from your text widgets before messing around and losing it, like it happened to me, twice).
I was annoyed with the initial bugs. But having volunteered at the forums, I know that this is something I should take up directly to the support staff. They responded swiftly, even to a complaint I made about a missing feature, when in fact it was there. (Previously there was an edit button in the Comments section of the dashboard to edit a comment, which is now replaced by clicking directly on the username. Well, my logic was that usernames always link to blogs, not to the edit function of their comments!)
I understand to an extent the reasons for the many complaints in the forums about the new dashboard. For some, learning to blog is difficult, and it doesn’t help having to learn their way around their dashboards all over again. For others, it’s a matter of personal tastes, like not liking the new colour scheme and such.
I think those reasons are quite justified. But I also think that when you have a hosted blog that is not self-hosted, you can’t exactly have everything that you want. Blogger allows CSS for free, why can’t I have that here too? I can’t put Google ads here in my blog, but WordPress.com are allowed to place them and profit off them when people read my blog, how is that fair? (I don’t think I have ads on my blog, I’m just echoing what others are experiencing.)
Point is, when you signed up for a blog hosted by WordPress.com, you’ve got to remember that they’re the host. Which kinda means we’re like guests here. What rules they’ve set, we’ve got no choice but to follow. No, wait, we do have a choice. If we’re not happy with those rules, we can choose to go self-hosted or find another blog host.
You might say that we’re not so much guests as clients, because they need us for their business. True. Then it’s kinda like being a citizen in a country, isn’t it? A country needs citizens to help build the economy and boost productivity, etc etc. But if you want to be an American, you’ve got to comply by the rules, even if there are some really stupid ones, like how oral sex is illegal in certain states. If you feel the rules are too restrictive, no one can stop you from migrating to a country where the laws and ideals suit you better. Works the same way with blog hosts. And if you need to exercise your right to free speech, which for the most part WordPress.com allows, well, of course you can, but through the right channels please. As in, that’s what your blog is for, right? Or the support link to e-mail staff directly?
Please excuse the long ramble. I started writing this post actually to talk about those who are grumbling about the new dashboard in the forums. While some complaints are quite justified, I think these bloggers should do two things: one, take it up to staff directly, because they don’t exactly monitor every thread in the forums, and two, rant in your blog for the emotional release, because it’s not the function of the forums to hear all the whining and grumblings of people who just cannot for whatever reasons take to the new dashboard. This post is basically for the volunteers who helped during this period of transition, having even to double up as counsellors in some threads. *thumbs up*
The new Dashboard is here to stay. Just learn to like it.
I’ve been getting feedback that the white font is too straining on the eye after reading a long post. Is this the case with you? Please let me know so I can do something to make your reading experience more comfortable, even if it kills me because grey fonts would ruin the colour scheme!
Haha, I’m just kidding okay. Your reading experience is more important than my whimsical colour scheme tastes.