Ongoing Review of WordPress

Part 1

            I adopted Wordpress as my blogging tool of choice for one reason only. There was a unique buzz about it telling me that this was the future of blogging software. OK, the people who were telling me this were friends whose opinions I respect and who aggressively go after the coolest new stuff. One of these guys was Leo Laporte who I worked with at TechTV and have done a radio show with in the past. He was doing blog stuff very early on and has migrated from one system to another. Ironically I actually beat him to using WordPress although he was recommending it.


            As this is written there are a lot of blogging software options and many, if not most, of them are discussed in my book ONLINE! -- available at Amazon and elsewhere. I have personally played with Blogger and Blogger Pro and just glanced at the other systems. I had to choose one. One of the criteria is the limitation on use. Moveable Type, the most popular unhosted system began to announce a lot of limitations for commercial use. I did not want to deal with that knowing that I’ll be using Google Adsense and other possible advertising vehicles to try and break even on the costs of the blog. I needed something where there wasn’t this lame preoccupation with not making money on someone else’s work. What’s the point? If you’re giving something away or creating an open source system, why make it so users must lose money in the process of using it? This has always galled me. It costs money to run a website.


            The other, even more valuable, aspect of WordPress it’s its built-in moderation feature. If I’m going to run an open blog where all users can post original messages I want to see these messages and approve them before they get posted. I’ve been doing online writing since pre-web and the early days of CompuServe and the Source. I was part of PC-MAG-NET on Compuserve which was mostly discussion forums. Over the years it has become apparent to me that a moderated forum is far superior to a wide-open forum, despite the success of wide-open forums such as Slashdot. Slashdot uses an elaborate mechanism to do what moderation does better: filter messages.


            I would say that the most interesting of the unmoderated systems is But the only reason this is interesting is because it’s designed to be over-the-top scurrilous and often defamatory material that is highly amusing. But on a forum where you want some decorum and a thoughtful exchange of ideas and links, you do not want the usual spate of “YOU SUCK” posts from weirdoes with a grudge. Unfortunately some of the complaint posts are the most interesting on many forums. So I do not want to make the blog sound like those gratuitous “we love you” letters you find in many magazines. I just want to kill spam and the “you suck” posts.  This ability is built-in and users rave about it.


            That’s my thinking on using WordPress. Next are my thoughts on making it work for me.


Part Two – Getting Started