blogging gobbledygook and such

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.

Comments on: "New WordPress Dashboard – Just Learn To Like It" (22)

  1. The new Dashboard is here to stay. Just learn to like it.

    So true.

    I haven’t used my wp.com blogs since I said I would (and which you know I did), so I really don’t care about what’s going on over there.

    Don’t get me wrong, but really, since when the wp.com guys have really cared if people are happy with changes or not? the answer is simple: Never

    I went to the forums to read what users think about this change, and surely most of them are unhappy and complain about lots of bugs.

    Since when have the wp.com guys cared about rolling new things out with as less bugs as possible? the answer is just the same.

    I wrote something about it some time ago.

    Anyway, I think I understand how much of a frustration this can be for some (if not many) of the wp.com members, but like you said, if they don’t like it, they could always move their blog elsewhere.

    wp.com really doesn’t care how many people leave their service, because there will always be more people signing up for new accounts than those leaving for a new blogging service… so they don’t care.

    And if other bloggers who are self hosted, like myself, don’t like the new 2.5 version, they can always use a different blogging software such as Movable Type. They even have an upgrade guide.

    So far, I’m happy with what I have with version 2.5, but I might take a look at Movable Type. If for me, turns out to be better than WordPress, I’ll move… Hey! I digressed.

    Anyway, again… I agree with you, if people want to keep blogging on wp.com, they will have to get used to the new changes.

    Again, I’m not trying to dis what others think or feel about these changes, I’m just trying to be as objective as I possibly can.

    Regarding the text color, yes… I’d suggest to change it to a darker color… white is too bright for me eyes.

    sulz: i don’t deny that wp.com’s pr style is less than desirable at times, and they might want to consider in future warning users before doing such a major upgrade. (i like to think that despite the many bugs, the staff did believe that they thoroughly tested the new dashboard and that the sheer amount of bugs that surfaced were not expected. that’s what i like to believe, and if it’s not the case, then they should know better.) and definitely there were, and are still, plenty of bugs with the new dashboard. if there’s anything i can give credit to wp.com for, it’s that their support responded swift when a respond was necessary (in my experience) and i believe that the staff concentrated more on fixing the bugs than doing pr on the forums (though they did, in some threads).

    you have a point about wp.com not caring (much) bloggers leaving here because there’d always be more coming. also, i think even though the forums portrayed a number of unhappy users regarding the new dashboard, it doesn’t show the happy users who may be quite stoked with the new dashboard that they don’t visit the forums to tell people how they feel. that, or they’ve relayed their satisfaction directly to staff. therefore, the negative reaction can’t be a good indication for the overall satisfaction among wp.com users of the new dashboard. but if wp.com truly cared about these unhappy users, i think they should adopt a more polite approach dealing with them; perhaps a sticky addressing these people.

    well, you didn’t have to say anything about the font colour, considering you were the feedback i was talking about. πŸ™‚ thank you for spending time to comment about this.

  2. I really like the new dashboard. But then, if I didn’t I could switch to the previous version, since I’m self hosted. But I like it, and the wp devs created the new dashboard for user usability. the redesigned it for the way we blog. or so it says on the wp dev blog.

    I think once people play around with the dashboard they’ll grow to like it.

    referring to the white font, I usually read your posts in google reader, but when I re-read this entire post on wp it does hurt my eyes a bit. but i still like the theme the way it is! maybe everyone should subscribe to your rss and read the posts in their fav rss aggregator. πŸ™‚

    sulz: yeah, exactly. the new dashboard is supposed to be better, but if you look at it in a negative way, no matter how much better it is there would always be some fault or other about it. something i’ve been guilty of doing before, so i speak from experience!

    i know, i like it too. i don’t know if i can persuade readers to subscribe to my rss feed on the basis that my theme hurts their eyes; it’d probably drive them away instead! but that’s definitely the recommended solution from myself. πŸ˜›

  3. I like the new dashboard. I was startled by it because suddenly it was there with no warning, and it seems that was what a lot of complaints were about. I had that question, too: why not let us know when it was happening so we could get offline, or save our stuff first? The most intelligent answer I found so far came from the comments by dissfunktional and raincoaster in the forum: http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic.php?id=25638&page=2&replies=39
    After reading those, it made perfect sense to me. Other than that, I feel it’s a learning curve, and once we get used to the dashboard–which has some new great features–this past weekend will fade into memory like it never happened. I’m compassionate towards the staff, because it seems many, many folks felt it necessary to “really, really hate it” before even giving themselves a tour, or reading the message from staff which described it. Patience, people!
    I liked your analogy of guests or citizens. Most apt.
    As for the white type, I don’t think going to gray type would help that much, as it would have less contrast. The best, easiest to read is still black on white, but that sure would compromise the look of your great theme. I find it helpful when reading a long post here to increase the size (Ctrl + on Firefox). It makes the white seem friendlier πŸ™‚

    sulz: thanks for the link, i understand now why there was no prior warning given, and that does make sense. exactly, many of those disgruntled users sound like they didn’t even give it much of a chance, or have decided it sucks when a couple of stuff they tried to do didn’t go as desired.

    hey, good alternative! ctrl + scroll, people! πŸ˜› (but if there are enough people asking to change the colour, i would really consider it… no point having a pretty theme if people find it hard to read with it, right?)

  4. i think even though the forums portrayed a number of unhappy users regarding the new dashboard, it doesn’t show the happy users who may be quite stoked with the new dashboard that they don’t visit the forums to tell people how they feel. that, or they’ve relayed their satisfaction directly to staff.

    Yes, you have a point there too.

    Regarding why they didn’t tell anyone prior to rolling out the changes, I think dissfunktional meant a DOS attack not DNS. DOS = Denial Of Service.

    If that was the case, I don’t think that should be a reason for not informing everyone of the upgrade.

    A DOS attack can happen anytime for no reason whatsoever, and I bet that the wp.com guys have taken every precaution so that such attacks won’t affect their servers… at least that’s what I think.

    Those are my 2 cents; of course, I could be wrong.

    sulz: yeah, dos attack. i don’t know much about this sort of stuff, you’d know better. but what we’d never know is why they don’t like informing users about such things. *shrugs* maybe you should start your own mu platform and show them how to treat users. πŸ˜‰ (when i had a blog at drmike’s platform, he would inform of upgrades most of the time, which i didn’t really appreciate – because i trusted him, so i didn’t need warnings, just as long as my stuff’s alright – until now. πŸ˜› )

  5. I couldn’t agree more about what’s going on in the forums. Don’t people know whingeing doesn’t help anyone? The volunteers are doing well keeping their cool and I think TSP in particular has been amazing during this.

    I’m warming to the new dashboard. I like it more now than I did a few days ago. My main complaint is with the bugs and like you with the lack of the edit button as with my eyesight and the smaller font I’m finding it hard to click the username. But I understand that’s not going to be a problem for most people. I still think they should have given us a warning, though. I know they couldn’t give two day’s notice or something because of the risk of an attack, but why couldn’t they have put up a message an hour or so before like they do with maintenance? At least then people wouldn’t have been caught in the middle of writing new posts.

    I think once we get used to the new dashboard that it will be better and I like the new gallery feature… so you’re right, there’s not much point complaining. The upgrade is as much a part of WP’s business model as it is for our benefit, though. That’s the main reason I disagree about our being guests of WordPress; we chose them and they have as much of a responsibility to us as we do to them. I think their service has been disappointing recently (the blog surfer, Akismet, comment emails, not to mention timethief!) and for a company that’s looking to monetise their property I think their recent record has been very poor. But as Juan said it doesn’t really matter if they lose a few users because there’ll be more to replace them. Either way the new dashboard isn”t going anywhere, so we should all just get on with blogging… even if it’s just blogging about how annoyed we are. πŸ˜‰

    For the white text, I am finding it a little hard to read. I think grey would be even worse, though, so I wouldn’t change to that! Could you maybe make the font a little larger or would that change the design too much? Otherwise maybe a darker colour. I have you in my feed reader anyway, so it doesn’t bother me! 8)

    sulz: yeah, the smaller font gets to me, so i just read comments after i click on the edit button, not before like i did.

    yeah, a warning would have been nice. luckily the upgrade only happened after i woke up and i didn’t feel like writing anything then! πŸ˜› hmm, yeah, those incidences are not pleasant… as juan said, they’re not going to cater to the minority. haha, that’s the spirit! πŸ˜‰

    okay, your feedback noted. πŸ™‚ i should use more eye-hurting skins if it drives them to subscribe to my feed like you! :mrgreen:

  6. Both WordPress and a forum I frequent decided to change their layouts overnight and boy I was in for a shock. I thought it was something wrong with my computer. πŸ˜›
    Somehow the new dashboard is growing on it; especially the parts on Design, whereby it’s now easier to edit textboxes, and the animation/transition/bouncy feel of opening the textboxes look cute. Go check it out and you’d know what I mean.

    sulz: haha! i think change is good every now and then. you mean the text widgets? yeah, i like it too, but i still haven’t gotten over the fear of losing my information there, ‘cos it happened twice just after they upgraded it recently!

  7. These are my thoughts as well. Although there are a few glitches, and the new layout may take some getting used to, WP is free, does not come with tons of advertisements, with speedy customer service. What more can you ask for? πŸ™‚ T

    sulz: hi there! πŸ™‚ you’re right about almost everything. there are ads, just that we don’t see them because we’re logged in. to check if your blog has google ads on them, you should visit your blog by searching through google. if you’re lucky, you won’t have ads, but i have seen myself those ads on wp.com blogs when i’m logged out. but, in perspective, at least we don’t have to see those ads. πŸ™‚

    the most true thing is that it’s free, so we can’t expect stuff like a paying customer. heck, even as paying customers we don’t get what we want in the real world! πŸ˜‰

  8. You’re right when you say that the people aren’t looking at the new dashboard the right way. Somehow, everyone is sad about the things they lost and stuff but nobody seems to be giving much thought to the things that they gained. I personally think that the new dashboard is very cool. Especially the main dashboard page. Now, I don’t need to go to my blog stats page ever so frequently because I can see everything on my main page. Even though somethings are a little complicated but you’ve got to figure them out eventually. I like it.

    sulz: exactly! but i still check the blog stats page as obsessively as ever. old habits die hard. πŸ˜›

  9. I like the new dashboard. Some people can’t handle change. The bugs were annoying. The one that bit me the hardest was the image uplod problem. Updating my version of Flash fixed that (I really should keep that up to date).

    I usually read your blog in my feed reader, but I wanted to comment. The white is hard on the eyes.

    sulz: i know! and i thought i don’t like change. πŸ˜•

    thanks for telling me that, noted. πŸ™‚

  10. i am loving the new dashboard! and i am loving the new gallery options even more, although i am yet to figure out how to put gallery shortcodes to best use. you know, it’s a good thing that i am super-late in working at my image blog. cos now i can use the gallery option! {dancing}.

    sulz: even though i’m pro-new dashboard, i’ve still yet to figure out lots of the features like the gallery! πŸ˜› but i’ll take my time.

    when you do get your new blog up and running, let me know! πŸ™‚

  11. I am slow to change. I do not like having to relearn something I have become accustomed to using in a format I was comfortable with. I cannot say I like the new dashboard. At best I tolerate it because it is free. If I was actually paying out money for the service I would probably be somewhere on the board screeching. It did not help when the change hit in the middle of saving a new post!

    The white on black looks fine to me. But I understand some may find it harsh. A more faded orange colored font on the black does seem to be easier on the eyes.

    sulz: i can see where you’re coming from. i haven’t learnt using everything there is in our dashboards, but i know in time i will, and i’m sure you will too, slow as you may be to change. πŸ™‚

    hmm, orange. that would go with the colour scheme too, wouldn’t it?

  12. I am sorry but I cannot get past your “in some states in the US oral sex is illegal”…. am I the only one who noticed that? Good grief this orange colour at the sides is making me unhinged. I do find the white hard on the eyes but a bigger problem for me is the brightness of the orange…it is like looking into the sun. Maybe it is cause you had eleven comments and so that was a lot of looking into the sun!!!

    Seriously I have nothing to say yet as have not done a post since it changed..but lots of me crafty types are complaining cause they rely on photos a lot and cannot get the uploader to work…one woman said she thought giving birth to her kids was easier than uploading her photos now!
    I too use a google reader now but what shall I do about comments apart from putting sunglasses on?

    sulz: haha, but it’s true, really. i guess you’re a night owl huh? πŸ™‚ you could follow the comments via the ‘my comments’ section in dashboard, that way you don’t have to see the orange?

    i guess i know now to choose a more visual-friendly skin next time…

  13. Agreed. I find more new cool things everyday. Change is a constant, and people need to get used to it.

    BTW, I also make the font on your blog bigger, so it’s easier to read.

    But I’m an old broad, so I make everything big πŸ™‚

    sulz: yes, sometimes i have to remind myself that ‘cos i’m not a big fan of change!

    hmm, do you think it would help if i made the font bigger?

    well, maybe you’re old, but you’re young at heart, where it matters most! πŸ™‚

  14. I do that but have to come across to write one out, there is no way around that is there, apart from emailing one and you copy and paste and oh too much work and you have all your assignments ..its okay CJ has lots of cool sunglasses.

    Interesting what impact colour can have over a period of time…something I have to take into consideration not just when giving quilts to people but in actually making them as have to work closely with said colours if they are too bright too pale too bilious.

    Great post, am sending measurements of aforementioned skirt..don’t worry won’t tell CJ or Ish or Juan or K Stafford..where is he anyway..he seems to have disappeared off your comments. Come on you did not have a fight about your new skin did you?

    sulz: what about writing your comments in notepad or something similar, then copy and paste into the comment form of the post? that way you could minimise seeing the skin too long. thank goodness for feed readers / blog surfer!

    thanks! if the measurements fit me, then the skirt’s meant to be with me. πŸ˜› i don’t know… i’ve seen him around in the forums but he hasn’t visited here in a while. i hope i didn’t unknowingly offended him or something.

  15. I didn’t get the whole meltdown either. I was kind of excited to try it out. Okay it was buggy at first, but most of that is fixed.

    I work on massive projects for a large auto-finance company. We’re talking big IT upgrades and system deployments. We go in knowing that everyone will bitch and cry. People just hate change. They want all their little macros and such to be right their at their fingertips. You just ignore it and plow through it.

    I haven’t had some of the headaches with pics and videos I heard some complaining about, and I’ve found a lot of the features quite useful.

    Maybe these were there before and I just never realized it – but I like the “full screen” option in the text-editor VERY MUCH. I also think the volume of information available at our fingertips has increased. PLus I keep finding new things that make me say “hmmm…what is that?” It’s fun to experiment.

    Now, regarding the font/color – please don’t hate me but I have real problems reading black background text. It makes my eyes water and strain. I know some feel the same way about white though and you can’t please everyone so just go with what you like best. I’ll still read – eye strain and all – I promise. πŸ™‚

    sulz: yeah, i think i’m more receptive to the new dashboard because i don’t feel pressured to learn all its function at one go. i still haven’t yet, but i’ll just take my time with it. though i must say it was nice with the old dashboard, where i knew almost everything and their functions. πŸ™‚

    of course i don’t hate you. i also experience those problems reading my blog sometimes. hey, don’t strain yourself – that’s what feed readers are for! πŸ™‚ i’m busy this month, being the last of my college days and exams during this time too, but i’ll try to tweak it soon.

  16. I usually don’t respond to change well, especially considering I’d gotten to the point where I could navigate wp with my eyes close, but Im beginning to learn that sometimes change is for the better.

    sulz: change is always for the better, but it makes you a better person for coping with the change. πŸ™‚

  17. […] Boys, There Were Toys Do you think the blog’s easier to read now than before? […]

  18. I was directed here by your new post…

    The blog easier to read? OR the dashboard? I’m confused…

    sulz: the blog, of course! ‘cos some people said the yellow background is too bright and the white text on black is hard on the eyes, so i, or rather juan, has changed it a bit.

  19. Oh goodie. I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s confused.

    Then again, I’m perpetually confused πŸ™‚

    sulz: haha, it’s the blog’s look, sorry for the confusion!

  20. You make it confusing by putting a link to this post. What does this post have to do with anything?

    sulz: because it’s in this post that i asked for feedback about the previous blog look, and some comments here show that they didn’t really like the look.

  21. I did not find it confusing but then I was the one who whined and bitched and made a nuisance of herself about the “looking into the sun” ….which I had kind of gotten used to by now as well!

    sulz: you were not bitching at all! whinnying maybe. :mrgreen: haha, now i don’t know if i should keep using this or the original one!

  22. […] not that techno-savvy) that this feature is the source of an influx of spam I experienced recently. This post is linked to from this WordPress.com blog post through this feature. I received an influx of spam […]

Comments are closed.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: