I can truly say that the Internet was a lifesaver during the pandemic — and still is — but WordPress has had little to do with that. If anything, their persistent refusal to listen to anything their customers — aka “us” — has to say about what we want and need as users has made a difficult situation more difficult.
I have put a lot of effort into trying to make their “block” editor (which isn’t actually a block editor) function in a way that serves my interests. Since I do just as much — and these days, even more — blogging as a photographer than as a writer, their unwillingness to reconsider forcing us all to use the same format if that does not serve our needs has made me ponder if this is what I want to do with my time.
I have loved blogging. I’ve loved the comradery, the international relationships, the unique insights gained by talking with people from all around the world. But this format WordPress has decided we must use or give up works poorly for graphics. When I try to explain the problem, they treat me as if I’m an at-will employee at minimum wage. This alone is interesting since I pay them. So how did it happen that they view themselves as more important than their customers?
Why do they care how I write my posts? Why does it consume them? Why do we all have to produce our work in lockstep and march to the beat of their drum? Why does it matter?
I could live with their straight text and I suppose I can reduce my graphics to single photographs. I’m just not sure that I feel inclined to pay them for the privilege of doing what I’m told. I’ve never been very good at doing what I’m told and the more you push me, the less interested I am in cooperating. This is not new behavior, either. I’m willing to take advice and suggestions, but I loathe being forced.
This blog was my escape. I could fly to anywhere on or even off the earth on virtual wings. Now, thinking about WordPress is more like a lead weight. Whatever I do — whether I stick with it and spend money I don’t have for a service will never be what I need or want — or I quit in defeat, I won’t leave feeling like a winner. After nine dedicated years, shouldn’t I get a prize or something? Instead, I guess I get what so many other working people have gotten: shoved out the door. Except how bizarre is it that I am the CUSTOMER and it’s the company I have been paying for years is doing the shoving?
I don’t know what I’m going to do. I keep hoping that the Great Minds who run WordPress will have an epiphany. They will suddenly realize it doesn’t matter how we write or present our graphic arts — or in what format we do it. What ought to matter is that we produce quality material.
I’m not seeing a happy ending and that makes me feel surprisingly bad. I’ve put so much work into this blog. And it is all going to vanish as if it never existed. But then again, so will I and everyone else. I guess I should be satisfied with that. Nothing lasts forever.