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Hugging the cactus – part 2

January 25, 2012

Geez, talk about feeling prickly again today!  I was getting all bent about the web hosting and domain requirements of #ds106, which are quite different from #change11, and then I finally read Jim’s bit for week 2 about skipping past all that if we like.  I was leaning towards skipping it anyway, so his message was affirming.  And why I even needed affirmation at the moment, I’m not sure?  Perhaps I still have more of a hangover from traditional paradigms of authority and control in education than I’d like to admit!  🙂

Anyway, here is a bit about my serendipitous blogexperiment of the past few months.  One slow Friday afternoon at work, I tuned into #ds106 radio for the first time and developed an immediate sense of kinship with the lovely @giuliaforsythe, who was playing “Song for whoever” by The Beautiful South (which has the best use of pink jello in a music video).

A couple of weeks later, in the early throes of #change11, it was the lovely Giulia who nudged me into the reciprocity of the open web by encouraging me to set up this blog.  I asked my personal learning network what flavour they preferred (WordPress or Blogger) and Giulia’s voice rang out again, singing the praises of WP.

I find the WP environment to be very intuitive, clean and professional looking.  The Titan template that came up as the default for my new account looks quite sharp (even on Internet Explorer 8) and seems to have good contrast on the screen so I haven’t messed with it.  There are lots of blogs out there that I simply can’t read because the font is too small, the colours are too crazy or the contrast is poor.

The insert buttons for new posts are really easy, as are the quick edit options.  I have a small collection of photos at my fingertips that I can easily pop into my posts and part of my ritual is to use my own work as the lead image.  I managed to insert a YouTube video once and wasn’t able to do that more recently so I may have to look into it further (it’s probably just some firewall thing at work).  The spam filters in WP are excellent and the stats on views and followers are fascinating to look at from time to time.  Best tip I read early on from WP is to not insert the ‘like’ button as it will attract spam.

So far,  I’ve written 25 posts and received over 1800 views (202 on my best day).  It turns out that my workplace has been using WP for an internal blog for a couple of years and my current team is using a pro version of WP for a new external site to promote learning for public servants.  I’ve seen Blogger used by many fellow moocers but I don’t like it’s comment thing with OpenID.  It just doesn’t feel right to me to have all of these services to talk to each other when I don’t trust most of them in the first place.  More on trust in a future post, no doubt.

Are others in #ds106 already using WP?  What are your thoughts?


From → Smarter worker

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