For months now, I’ve been using WordPress to run this little blog, and it’s given me a chance to really examine WP for its much-vaunted powers and prowess, and to see what it’s like from an innovation point of view, I guess.
And I have to say, my overall feeling is one of being quite underwhelmed.
Before I go any further, I probably should provide a little background.
About 3 years ago I was looking at attaching a blog to a site I was running, and naturally chose WordPress for the job; it was the ‘go to’ tool for blogging, and it was written in PHP, the same language the rest of the site was.
My experience then wasn’t that exciting, but I managed to get the site menu and theme integrated, and eventually pull information out of WP for the site’s front page, as well as bodging together two plugins with common data. Again nothing interesting or exciting, but certainly an experience I’m glad I had.
And so it was that time passed and I forgot about the nuances of my WP experience – until getting round to September last year when I decided to start this site. I wasn’t sure what kind of site I wanted to do, whether it was a forum or a blog, but I was reasonably sure I didn’t have the time to start fully community building, and just wanted a place to stand, so I settled on a blog, and naturally the first thought was WP. I’m not even sure I know any other blog platforms, that’s how ubiquitous WP has become.
And so, here I am, 40 or so posts in, and I find myself distinctly underwhelmed by it all. I don’t really see that too much has changed between 2.7 or whatever it was then and 3.1, though I do see a few changes, including the default theme.
It’s interesting, I saw some of the blog entries about the design work that went into the admin panel changes, of the mockups and wireframes and so on, and I realised that it didn’t matter. Even as much as I was technically interested in what was going on, I knew ultimately that I probably wouldn’t be staying with WP unless it gave me reason to. It had to impress me, and given its reputation it should have done.
Trouble is, the biggest single thing that I personally do on the blog is write content, and I find it almost a chore to write. Not the actual writing part, mind, not the act of setting words in motion, because it’s a subject I’m passionate about. But the act of doing it with WordPress… it’s not poetry in motion, it’s poetry at a stop signal.
I find the whole atmosphere of WordPress so uninspiring, so unimaginative. Now, I know people can point at the fact I’m using the default theme and cry that it’s a blank canvas to draw on, but even a blank canvas is more interesting.
I’m not talking quite so much about the browsing bits but the content production area, and the admin area. It’s so dull, lifeless. The most interesting thing you can do is give it blue tones instead of white/grey. It’s also that the writing bit seems detached from the reading bit, as though I’m chugging away at something totally different that is a separate site. It just doesn’t feel right.
I have no plans of stopping writing about innovation, of course, just that in the not too distant future, I need to change platforms. To something more interesting, more inspiring and one that doesn’t make me feel sleepy after staring it for more than 10 minutes.
I have a new platform in mind, though it needs some work before I can use it. Since it’s also a good case study for innovation I’ll see about discussing it then too. But for now… gotta hit the button before I fall asleep…