Steal not this unreadable blog

Steal this blog (not) — don’t steal content

I’ve written here before about the almost religious feelings I have about WordPress (here and here)…and about the amazing community it has spawned. It was a big disappointment for me that I wasn’t able to attend WordCamp last month. As a consolation, PodCamp Boston 2 is coming up and I can’t wait.

One of the most famous voices in the WordPress world is Lorelle VanFossen. Ms. VanFossen is gaining the kind of well-deserved fame that an original in a new medium deserves. Lately, she’s been getting attention from the mainstream press for her stand on content theft (and more recently on, registration required).

Lorelle, I couldn’t agree more. It pisses me off, too. Especially since you are a working author, I completely agree that it’s like stealing food from your mouth.

But, I have to say one thing about Lorelle on WordPress: sometimes I find it incomprehensible. There’s so much content, I am overwhelmed. And for some reason, I can’t grok the organization of this blog. It all seems like one long stream of text. I have trouble telling one post from another. Sometimes, it’s such a sea of links (all admittedly useful) that I lose all context about the actual post. And it may be picky, but since we read English left to right, I think it adds cognitive dissonance to have a left-hand column in the way of the post content.

However, I sure do appreciate the presbyoia-friendly font on Lorelle’s blog.

I expect to be told I’m an idiot and worse. But, at least my idiot mind will make it impossible for me to steal content from Lorelle.







2 responses to “Steal not this unreadable blog”

  1. Jonathan Bailey Avatar

    Actually, Lorelle, I have to strongly disagree with you about reCAPTCHA. Yes, 99.9% of all captchas are useless, but reCAPTCHA actually works. I’ve used it on PT for about three weeks and no spam comments have entered moderation. I’m going to turn Akismet off.

    I know the guys behind reCAPTCHA and they are a great bunch. It is a very sophisticated system and it does actually work. Annoying, perhaps, but not useless.

    It’s the only anti-spam plugin I know that actually does what it says it will. If you want, email me and I’ll put you in touch with them, they can explain it better than I.

  2. Lorelle Avatar

    Why would anyone tell you that you are an idiot. Except for the font inside of the comment box (ickie), your font is easy to read and you make sense when you write – which is most important.

    Of course, you are brilliant. You are writing about me.

    HA! You can choke on that ridiculous bad joke later.

    Yes, I have a lot of content, but you’re bringing up a couple of different issues. Categorization helps to break the amount into like groups, but too many categories overwhelms as well. It would be nicer if the built-in search on WordPress blogs was improved, that’s for sure. Still, your categories might not really describe what your blog is 1) about, 2) feature search terms, and 3) create a clear expectation of what is in each category.

    The other issue comes with presentation of content. You know that “signature” on my blog posts. It’s unwittingly become a brand, but I created it as the WordPress Theme I was using made each post on the multi-post page views, like the front page, categories, and search results, all look like one big long, never-ending page. There was no break between posts nor dates. So I put a graphic in, but that didn’t do the job.

    I needed something that said “post over – next post begins”, and what more natural “symbol” of the end of a written letter than a signature. I added it manually, people liked it, and it broke up the long stream of content.

    Breaking up content within your posts can easily be done with headings. So there are many ways to format your content without it appearing to be overwhelming to the reader.

    And don’t forget, there are two opinions on your blog’s design and structure. You and your readers. The two can be vastly different. Your readers may not mind the things that make you crazy on your blog. An there may be things, like the annoying and useless CAPTCHA below the comment form, that makes your readers absolutely nuts but you are in love with it.

    Go with what your spirit says and let the rest happen, but learn how to do better if you want, by learning from the best.

    And thanks for being smart enough not to steal from me. That makes you triple smart. 😀

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *