EP473 – Write It Down Blogging for Fun and Making Friends

January 19, 2024

On this episode of WPwatercooler the panel, consisting of Jason Tucker, Sé Reed, and Jason Cosper, delves into the evolving nature of blogging and blogging in the WordPress ecosystem. They discuss the shift from traditional blogging to various modern formats, like microblogging on social media platforms. A significant portion of the conversation revolves around the use of WordPress for blogging, the impact of design and development choices on the writing experience, and the potential of the WordPress mobile app for content creation. The discussion also touches on broader topics related to blogging, such as the role of comments, the use of Markdown for writing, and the distinction between blogs and other forms of digital content. The episode explores how WordPress can adapt to changing user preferences in content creation and consumption.



00:00 Introduction
02:07 The Evolution of Blogging
04:06 Discussing WordPress and Blogging
09:04 Blogging for Fun and Personal Expression
11:27 The Impact of Blogging on Journalism
14:02 The Role of Comments in Blogging
18:27 The Challenge of Keeping WordPress Up-to-Date
23:12 Exploring the Ghost Blogging Platform
28:45 The Complexity of WordPress for Simple Blogging
32:30 The Rise of Managed WordPress Hosting
35:20 Discussing WordPress Mobile App and Blogging
42:36 The Potential of WordPress for Text-Based Blogging
47:26 Conclusion


Episode Transcription

[00:00:00] Jason Tucker: This is episode number 473 of WPWatercooler, write it down, blogging for friends, for fun and making friends. I am Jason Tucker.

[00:00:23] Sé Reed: He’s here. He blogs at jasontucker. blog. I’m Sé Reed. I do stuff at Sé Reed Munida.

[00:00:32] Sé Reed: Oh, no.

[00:00:33] Jason Cosper: y’all know who it is. It’s your boy, Jason Cosper, back at it again on the world’s most influential WordPress podcast.

[00:00:41] Sé Reed: Yes!

[00:00:41] Jason Tucker: of that podcast, you can go and subscribe to us wherever you find great podcasts and look, we’re not just a discord, but we’re also a podcast.

[00:00:53] Sé Reed: Good point. I do want to say I had mentioned this to you to you two, mentioned this to you two that I think I’m going to incorporate into my intro that I am a 2024 California State Lottery winner for the duration of the year, because Cosper’s little tagline there started as a joke.

[00:01:24] Jason Tucker: So there’s

[00:01:25] Sé Reed: I’m just going to

[00:01:26] Jason Tucker: going on here.

[00:01:27] Sé Reed: If we just sit here and manifest something and say it every week, then obviously so far that’s been happening. So I’m just going to do that. And if you understand, I haven’t won yet, but I’m pretty sure by the end of this year, it’s going to be a different conversation.

[00:01:46] Sé Reed: Yes. Influence and money. Power. There’s a song about that, right?

[00:01:51] Jason Cosper: here’s the problem though, is it appears that when I said that we were the most influential podcast, it turned out to be like a monkey paw wish it’s totally a monkey pawish. Oh no. Look at that little piano you got.

[00:02:07] Jason Cosper: Yeah, let’s not get into all that though. We’re here to talk about blogging

[00:02:15] Sé Reed: Yes! Yes!

[00:02:16] Jason Tucker: did you know that WordPress does blogging? It’s like one of the, it’s like one of the things you can do is actually write a blog using WordPress.

[00:02:24] Sé Reed: Yeah, posters so neglected these days. We’ve got all our fancy custom post types, and like poster over here I want to! I want our content now

[00:02:37] Jason Tucker: on Reddit and on different forums and stuff saying does WordPress still need the post feature? Does that still need to be a thing?

[00:02:46] Jason Cosper: In our Slack and on the Fediverse Alda who hangs out there pretty regularly in both places is very much. Very much our, yeah, sorry, not our Slack, our Discord Get your brands right, okay? I, no brand brand.

[00:03:09] Jason Cosper: no brand. But either way in, on the Fediverse in our Discord Alda is very much in favor of like. Why do we even need comments anymore? Like, why do and part of me, sometimes I think that WordPress, especially as they are redoing things as they’re redoing the admin and everything else, it might benefit them to do what Automatic did with Jetpack a few years ago and start to modularize parts of it.

[00:03:43] Sé Reed: Comments is a plug in. What?

[00:03:47] Jason Cosper: Yeah. We talk about things going from a plug in into core. We don’t talk a lot about taking something out of core into a plug in. Because, was it the blogroll? Blogroll? Linkroll? What was

[00:04:02] Sé Reed: it called?

[00:04:03] Jason Cosper: It was the, yeah.

[00:04:06] Sé Reed: It was called links,

[00:04:07] Jason Tucker: Let’s call links.

[00:04:08] Sé Reed: but it was a blog roll.

[00:04:10] Sé Reed: Okay. That is actually a perfect segue. So I am setting up a blog.

[00:04:16] Jason Tucker: Oh, look at

[00:04:16] Jason Cosper: Oh,

[00:04:17] Sé Reed: yourself. It’s called Sé Reads the Internet. There will be one post. Sé Reads the Internet. I think it’s a default website right now. I was setting it up last night and I got really distracted. Because I went to go change the site title.

[00:04:33] Sé Reed: So I don’t think I’ve actually changed the site title. So please let’s not go there. Okay. It’s just another WordPress website right now, which is what the site title has been for the default install site title for I don’t know, the whole time. A good portion of the time. And

[00:04:54] Jason Tucker: of it.

[00:04:55] Sé Reed: I was looking at it and I was like, wait, this is so weird.

[00:04:58] Sé Reed: The site title is just another WordPress site. But then. And there’s no instructions, and then under the tagline, it was empty, but there was a little instruction description box that said, Describe what your site does. Example, just another WordPress site. And I was like, But that’s the title. That’s not it.

[00:05:17] Sé Reed: I’m so confused here. So I actually went because this is, I can’t stop myself. See, this is the problem. I can’t stop helping. Everyone’s got their own problems. Mine is not being helpful. That’s my struggle. Excuse me. So I went to CoreTrack and I went to see like site title and tagline. And it turns out that’s actually been changed recently.

[00:05:42] Sé Reed: I believe if I have grasped the ticket history thread enough, the placeholder in the tagline was removed from the, was put, removed because placeholders are inaccessible. They’re not good accessibility. And then I believe it used to say in both the site title and the tagline, just another WordPress site. Anyway, I was very confused, so I, there’s an active open issue about this, related, so I just went and I’m like, here I am, contributing, instead of doing my blog, and I was like, this is my problem, it, this is my open source, and contributing is such a thing, but I can’t even set up a freaking blog without contributing back, it’s really annoying.

[00:06:34] Sé Reed: That’s all I have to say. I’ll show notes to the to the issue so y’all can read that, but I just thought that was really funny that happened while I was just trying to set up the damn site. so about comments, yeah, comments should be pulled out. They suck. No one uses them. Oh, except us.

[00:06:57] Sé Reed: WordCamp press in if you are using the activity pub plugin on your site, you need comments because people can comment on your the posts and those get sent back to you as comments, if you’re using WooCommerce reviews Get slotted into comments. So same table. So they basically for a while they were trying trying to do everything the WordPress way and not make any new tables, which I think it was the WordPress way because that was the way, that it was easiest to host stuff on wordpress.

[00:07:47] Jason Cosper: com. But that’s just my own little personal conspiracy theory there. But we don’t

[00:07:57] Sé Reed: need more of those, for

[00:07:58] Sé Reed: sure.

[00:07:59] Jason Cosper: Yeah. absolutely. Yeah. I have, an in I have an entire blog that maybe I can spend some Jason Cosper’s conspiracies. blog.

[00:08:17] Sé Reed: Is that really a site? No. Oh, dang. Okay. That would be too brandy. You don’t want that. Okay, so I I, comments, right? There are,

[00:08:31] Sé Reed: I don’t know.

[00:08:31] Jason Cosper: I Turn them off. I turn them off on every site I ever use. I pull out like the parts for, the template. I because I put because I put the activity pub plugin on my site late last year, I started a blog that. As many blogs do, people start them with good intentions and they fizzle for a second.

[00:09:04] Jason Cosper: But I put up a site last year called perennially. online. And I’m going to try to post there a little bit more stretch my legs a little bit, but it was like a I’ve blogged for years at jasoncosper. com, but there’s just so much like cruft and crap. And I will argue that sometimes you just need to start over

[00:09:30] Sé Reed: this is What we just, we’re talking about that, right? Like the idea of this sort of like fresh start and data legacy. So this is like the other, this topic I think is like the other side to that coin, right? Starting fresh, which I think is really important from a business standpoint.

[00:09:47] Sé Reed: But then there’s also the, and we talked about this last week too, the negative aspects of it, but there’s the live journal aspect of it. The documentation aspect of it, whether for private,

[00:10:00] Jason Tucker: to site.

[00:10:01] Sé Reed: yeah, there is something to be said for documenting things that are happening in a public way.

[00:10:10] Sé Reed: And there are There are a lot of, the line between a blog and a news source or journalism has blended to be, I don’t know, is it almost imperceptible completely? Is it based off of website design? Is it like, if it keeps category in its permalink, like what is the, I don’t know what the what makes something a blog versus, an article or journalism versus a diary, a journal, first person journalism versus journaling.

[00:10:55] Sé Reed: Been

[00:10:59] Jason Cosper: I almost feel like the casualness of blogging, the sort of sometimes the tendency that anybody can start things up and can just say whatever they want. To say that blogging has a tendency and has helped make journalism a little more bombastic.

[00:11:27] Jason Cosper: Because it’s here I’m, I’m just a, yeah, it’s keyboard warriors, basically, just out there trying to push things along, trying to take things.

[00:11:44] Sé Reed: reshape the narrative in the comments, for example. That has really transferred, that came from blogging, and has now really transferred over. I think most of The I read a lot of stuff that says, let us know in the comments, and there’s no comments because I’m not reading it like on their webpage or whatever, but I don’t I’ve never really been a comment section participator, lurker for sure, but not participator, so I don’t really know these days, besides Reddit, which is basically all comments is that really even a thing that’s happening on more of the Maybe that is really what is the line of demarcation between a blog and journalism, is that you can’t talk back to the official articles.

[00:12:33] Jason Cosper: yeah In a way.

[00:12:35] Jason Cosper: can talk on, but not back. Cause there are, are I don’t know about about you two with, what, like the Whittier Daily News and like the Press Telegram and Long Beach, but yeah,

[00:12:52] Sé Reed: Local media has died.

[00:12:54] Jason Cosper: Yeah, exactly.

[00:12:55] Sé Reed: Yeah, it’s all gone, actually. It’s Instagram accounts, there’s one Instagram accounts, Long Beach Local News. The local, I’m sorry, I just have to talk about this for a second, the local newspaper here, the Long Beach Post, run on Newspack, incidentally. I know the Web dev, recently converted to a non profit, has gone through multiple holdings.

[00:13:20] Sé Reed: And was founded by, our house representative, Robert Garcia, who was recently cited on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live for making a housewife reference, housewife, housewife’s reference on

[00:13:35] Jason Cosper: Sure.

[00:13:38] Sé Reed: long story short Too late.

[00:13:41] Sé Reed: go, feedback, and is that a blog?

[00:13:46] Jason Cosper: Yes.

[00:13:47] Sé Reed: Okay, we’ll

[00:13:47] Sé Reed: let you

[00:13:48] Jason Cosper: I think it’s, I think it’s all blogs now. Cause the thing I was about

[00:13:52] Sé Reed: I want a shirt that says, it’s all blogs now.

[00:13:56] Jason Cosper: it is though, because, our local

[00:13:59] Sé Reed: Limited, limited merch runs is happening for that

[00:14:02] Jason Cosper: the Bakersfield Californian has.

[00:14:04] Sé Reed: right now.

[00:14:05] Jason Cosper: and has Had for at least the past like 10 to 15 years, on every article. And I remember, I’m enough of a internet old, but I remember that newspaper, articles didn’t have a comment section at the bottom where like the most toxic.

[00:14:24] Jason Cosper: like Commenters hang out and, just say stop the steal and, whatever other, wild ass conspiracy theories and everything else, like the comment section, I get what Alda is saying. It’s let’s get rid of the cesspool because, comments in a lot of places.

[00:14:47] Jason Cosper: And I actually think it’s really interesting. Somebody who’s doing, been doing blogging for. 20 plus years now, Jason Kottke just turned on comments on his site after not having them for like years and years,

[00:15:01] Sé Reed: Because engagement and community and membership and dialogue,

[00:15:06] Jason Cosper: yeah,

[00:15:06] Sé Reed: that’s now it’s shifting over but it’s like moderated comments, right? It’s with codes of conduct and banning, the banning

[00:15:17] Jason Tucker: makes it to the blog.

[00:15:21] Jason Cosper: you have to pay 5 a month to basically have the right to comment on the site. So he has figured

[00:15:28] Sé Reed: like Twitter.

[00:15:31] Jason Cosper: Yeah.

[00:15:32] Sé Reed: That’s the

[00:15:33] Jason Cosper: it’s, it. The people that piloted that all the way back in the day is something awful and the something awful forms in order to comment there, in order to interact or be on there you paid 5 for your account and they would routinely kick people off.

[00:15:55] Jason Cosper: And what would those people do? They’d turn around and just pay another 5 and get back on the site. It was

[00:16:00] Sé Reed: okay but wait, hold on,

[00:16:02] Jason Cosper: absolute revenue driver.

[00:16:04] Sé Reed: a great idea but what is the difference between forums and blog comments? You’re really driving me into an existential crisis here, Cosper. I don’t know what anything is

[00:16:15] Jason Cosper: I, I. Every, every time I try, are multi author, multi commenter, multi Is blogs, or is Quorum?

[00:16:26] Jason Tucker: no, forums.

[00:16:28] Sé Reed: Ah, gotcha. As opposed to one voice.

[00:16:30] Jason Cosper: the show,

[00:16:32] Jason Cosper: Friend of the show, Helen Hosandy, said that really, all the internet is anymore is just, a big form. and a way to Process the form. that Basically like almost every webpage, it has a box you can put text in and a way to process it. You go to a blog post, it has comments at the bottom.

[00:16:58] Jason Cosper: Okay. It’s a form. There’s a way to process the form. You want to write a blog post. You here’s a big form. and yes, it may have A block editor attached to it, but it’s just a big form,

[00:17:13] Sé Reed: this is exactly what I have literally, this, because you can’t get away from it. This is what friends of the show, long time listeners will know. I have been, I used to teach basic word, intro to WordPress, all that fun stuff to business owners, and, I would call it a fancy data inputter.

[00:17:29] Sé Reed: That’s it. That’s what it is. it’s just data In and data out, right? That’s at the core. That’s all we’re doing. And then you slap some pretties on it, basically what’s happening. some other Fancy stuff happens a lot, but mostly it’s moving data around

[00:17:47] Jason Tucker: Yeah,

[00:17:48] Sé Reed: and showing it in different

[00:17:49] Jason Tucker: can I tap it a Little bit into that moving data around

[00:17:53] Sé Reed: Yeah. Tap into that.

[00:17:54] Sé Reed: like moving

[00:17:56] Jason Tucker: So I don’t know, like moving that data around, you, you find that by having HTML that has some classes that has some classes that are highly specific to the theme that you’re using or fricking shortcodes.

[00:18:12] Sé Reed: ah, you just were so

[00:18:14] Jason Tucker: So now you’re dragging around this like dead weight of some bracketed shortcode that doesn’t do anything when you’re not using WordPress anymore, or you’re not using whatever.

[00:18:24] Sé Reed: like size and short code.

[00:18:26] Jason Tucker: Yes. Yes.

[00:18:27] Sé Reed: inside a shortcode, like it’s a shortcode, it’s It’s yeah. Naked shortcodes on your website just is not a good look. It’s not a good look, but what it really comes down to is having the, having that formatted content be in Markdown. If you get, if you can write in Markdown and you can.

[00:18:46] Sé Reed: up Markdown!

[00:18:48] Jason Tucker: you can move that content around in Markdown, then who gives a crap?

[00:18:52] Jason Tucker: Let the processor be the one that processes the Markdown.

[00:18:55] Sé Reed: I

[00:18:56] Sé Reed: hate Markdown.

[00:18:57] Sé Reed: This is, I actually have this in my show notes that I wrote, because I actually did. Because of the setting up of the blog, I knew this was going to have it be a conversation. I’ll prove it to you. I was like, I should have said,

[00:19:12] Jason Tucker: But Markdown’s a great skill to

[00:19:14] Sé Reed: world can be divided into two people.

[00:19:17] Sé Reed: Two types of people. The people who love Markdown and the people who are like, what the hell, stop.

[00:19:21] Jason Tucker: Yep. John Gruber, thank you very much for making Markdown.

[00:19:25] Sé Reed: Ah,

[00:19:26] Jason Cosper: And Aaron Swartz, rest in peace, rest in power. Aaron Swartz. Yeah. Yeah. but the thing that I like about Markdown, and the thing that is a big, reason why I like it, and I understand why you hate it. it seems like a Bunch of fiddly

[00:19:45] Sé Reed: I feel

[00:19:46] Jason Cosper: however. However,

[00:19:49] Sé Reed: It looks like gobbledy goop, but it’s code. It’s great. I get it. It’s fine.

[00:19:54] Jason Cosper: it, it fails Gracefully. So if you can’t actually like it does, if you have a plain text files, that aren’t actually, that haven’t been, formatted like using the markdown formatter or whatever, you can still read it. Sure. Occasionally you have. something that’s Bracketed and then the parentheses to put the, the web link into.

[00:20:23] Jason Cosper: but it’s, it Gives you it the headers, of course.

[00:20:28] Sé Reed: You can read that. My little hashtags, my little header down here.

[00:20:33] Sé Reed: it a header.

[00:20:35] Jason Cosper: Is One of them is for the big one and three of them are for, See, this is why I hate Mark down because I cannot remember that. To save my life, I’m gonna just I don’t think that’s nice for my type of brain to people. Just,

[00:20:51] Jason Cosper: sure. I’m I mark down almost everything that I do, even when I’m writing. In things that don’t support markdown, because at one point in the future, like I, I know that the format will still be around for years and years.

[00:21:09] Sé Reed: Because if it was printed out, and if it was like on a tablet, carved into stone, you could interpret it eventually. For sure. I get it. it’s better Than, because at the end of the day, code is code. You know what I mean? Like it’s actually, it’s code for something.

[00:21:26] Jason Tucker: there’s so many flavors of Markdown. So if Markdown doesn’t work for you, there’s something, there’s a flavor of Markdown that may have

[00:21:34] Sé Reed: Markdown. There’s, oh, there’s like a mermaid markdown that I have been trying to, no, it’s not mermaid, sorry. It might be called mermaid. Markdown that makes diagrams. So this, this is how my brain thinks in diagrams and whatever. So I’m like, oh, I never, I haven’t had the chance to play with it because chaos. but I really want to make diagrams and markdown. That’s the end of that sentence. So I might not hate it totally, but I do remember, I also remembered when thinking about markdown in terms of. formatting That, I did not, when Ghost split right? Cause I just had this confirmed the other day that Ghost, I thought I had remembered it wrong, because the way people are talking about Ghost now is like it was some other thing.

[00:22:21] Sé Reed: And, names are not unique always. And my memory is not the best for many reasons. It’s ADHD, that’s why. That’s why it’s not the best. However many years ago, I remember there being a split, someone splitting from WordPress, and being like, I’m over it, I’m running Ghost. and I Poked into it.

[00:22:45] Sé Reed: I think we even talked about it on the show. Sure we did. because otherwise, why Would I look at it? Or no. anyway, so I poked into it And it was in Markdown, and I was like, bye! That was it. That’s my story about Ghost. That’s why I thought it was different because I purged it from my mind so long ago that it was not for me, that now everyone’s talking about Ghost and I’m like, is Ghost that same thing from like whenever ago?

[00:23:11] Sé Reed: But it is.

[00:23:12] Jason Cosper: I

[00:23:14] Sé Reed: It still

[00:23:15] Jason Cosper: was I remember, I feel like, yes, it is. I still Remember, initially Ghost was discussed as a simpler WordPress and there was maybe hints when the Kickstarter, or whatever crowdfunding started for it, that they were going to, maybe use whatever parts of WordPress that they could.

[00:23:40] Jason Cosper: to make their thing. And then they decided to just go ahead and re engineer everything in JavaScript, et cetera, and use it’s cool because you can deploy it anywhere you can deploy a node application, which, thanks to, to glitch. com, it’s just a couple button clicks and you can have, ghost site like spun up pretty quickly.

[00:24:08] Jason Cosper: But Yeah, it’s still pretty fiddly. I was actually talking just a few days ago, and even earlier this morning, in a few other group chats and slacks and stuff that I’m in, and we were talking about, just how much of, like putting stuff online is still a lot of like fiddly nerd shit.

[00:24:36] Sé Reed: Isn’t it amazing? It really is amazing. Not in a good way. sure. Before

[00:24:45] Jason Cosper: having a, a way to even with WordPress, like some would argue that WordPress is getting to be too hard initially when it was just a blogging software before it was fully a CMS, it was. A lot easier to just, you do the install, you start writing your posts, maybe you have a page or two, like for about me or whatever, but for the most part, you’re just putting your thoughts online, you’re getting them out there.

[00:25:20] Jason Cosper: You can still do that with WordPress, but now it’s Oh, look, there’s all these plugins and there’s all these other things that you can do with WordPress. There’s all of this, there’s all of that. I know. Tucker, you got so frustrated with it. You started using, micro.

[00:25:36] Sé Reed: you Hugo, before you Hugo, before you go to Hugo,

[00:25:40] Jason Cosper: Sure.

[00:25:41] Sé Reed: before he goes to Hugo, I think that that departure from so I feel like this is why blogging feels like archaic. And I have clients who are like, it’s not a blog, it’s news right? That’s the old thing. And it’s the blogs are like cool again, or they’re not really, I’m not really sure where people are with blog.

[00:26:02] Sé Reed: I think it’s the port. Worst name thing ever, honestly. but I Blame capitalism for the failure of the public blog because everything, has to get monetized, which means landing pages and selling pages. And most of the, in terms of getting online, that’s really, Twitter, formerly known as Twitter, and now I don’t even know what it is, but essentially is, that micro blogging.

[00:26:33] Sé Reed: Sort of, so you’ve got the micro blogging of social media over here, and then you’ve got the, on the other side, you have the, what are becoming like, the page built, these big ol monetized e commerce sites, which, to be honest Squarespace Shopify, Wix, all of those All of these solutions, GoDaddyBuilder, are all about what business are you building?

[00:27:00] Sé Reed: let’s build your pages. Let’s build Like their customer, their target focus is business because business is bringing the money in. Regardless of payment processors or whatever. So the focus is just for all of those content management systems that I’m putting in quotation marks, air quotes, that you may not be able to see, that has, that’s been the push.

[00:27:21] Sé Reed: And so that’s also happened with WordPress. And that is what has happened. I think that’s part of the split from Gutenberg’s, that caused the original sort of Gutenberg, tension,

[00:27:34] Jason Cosper: editor. Yeah.

[00:27:35] Sé Reed: the classic editor Gutenberg, because it was like, hey, now we’re going We have to work to build something out.

[00:27:42] Sé Reed: There’s not just a simple way to I used to explain the site again with teaching that was just like, it’s like a Word doc, but just on your screen and you just fill it out, whatever. And that was, just one thing. It wasn’t like, you didn’t have to make a bunch of other decisions.

[00:27:56] Sé Reed: You didn’t have to make a design decisions. you just put your stuff out there and it’s out there. And. That ease is gone. even if you just put one You just want to do one thing. You could use the classic paragraph, but like just paragraphs, they are blocks.

[00:28:15] Sé Reed: They become design entities no matter by default, you cannot have them not be a design entity when they’re modular like that, because it breaks up the content into design. So that’s great for designers who are like, let me move this stuff around and make this a block quote. But for people who are not trying to worry about the design, there is now no just place to put your cohesive thought, on the internet easily.

[00:28:50] Sé Reed: And I believe that is, everything is an element of presentation

[00:28:56] Sé Reed: yes, it’s really shifted. And I believe that has a lot to do with who is designing. What is happening with WordPress, honestly, and not to bring it back to the community, but I think it’s being led, it’s being design led. So if you have designers leading something, they’re going to build design things. It’s if you have a hammer, if someone were using the hammer, everything’s a hammer, right?

[00:29:17] Sé Reed: Like they’re like, let’s nail it. So developers are going to develop and designers are going to design. There’s not a lot of writers for many reasons. Can’t think of any reasons there wouldn’t be any there’s not a lot of writers or people who are bringing that. Text as a block of its own, a text block that is a real big block of text, a thought as opposed to pieces of a thought, a bunch all mixed together as opposed to what is now, you see so much of, which shocks me, is essentially blogging on twitter slash x.

[00:29:58] Sé Reed: People are like, here’s my blog. I’m like, this is a blog post. You could probably SEO this thing with 300 words. Why is this not on your blog? But because they’ve switched, suddenly blogs are now like these pieces, these little individual thoughts plus comments. And then the, x and whatever is now all these like long form blog posts, sub stack with all the newsletters.

[00:30:25] Sé Reed: Those are essentially blog posts. Yeah, I think that, I think The thing was for me is I hate, I’m this, I’m an, I’m a systems administrator first before anything else. But when I have something I want to write, the last thing I want to do is log in and find that my website is cached in like a broken state. And it looks like it’s fine, from the front end, but on the back end, I log in and some plugin that made by some random person that, screwed up something broke my site.

[00:30:58] Jason Tucker: I did an auto update failed. It

[00:31:02] Sé Reed: so bitter about those forms

[00:31:03] Jason Tucker: now I’m just like. I just want to write a fricking blog post. Now I got to sit here and be systems administrator to my blog? Are you kidding me? This is stupid.

[00:31:13] Sé Reed: exactly. That’s really interesting.

[00:31:15] Jason Tucker: And then once I’m in there, I don’t want to go and update a bunch of plugins.

[00:31:19] Jason Tucker: And I don’t want to go and do a bunch of all the extra stuff, and then I don’t want to have to move around a bunch of paragraphs. I know how to copy and paste. I don’t need to have some fancy copy and paster to move a bunch of stuff around on my blog. I just need to write some words

[00:31:32] Sé Reed: Maybe we need a long form text

[00:31:34] Jason Tucker: and hit the submit button.

[00:31:35] Jason Cosper: and speaking of That, that is like speaking of capitalism, speaking of

[00:31:43] Sé Reed: Speaking of capitalism,

[00:31:44] Jason Cosper: I don’t want to maintain this. I don’t like that is like the rise of a lot of VC and venture backed because they see that there is a business model here, manage WordPress hosts any.

[00:32:00] Jason Cosper: any smart hosts That wants to make money goes, Oh, I can help you update your plugins. I can make sure that your PHP version stays up to date. I

[00:32:12] Sé Reed: just take over that, all of that drama.

[00:32:15] Jason Cosper: Yeah. and, it’s a Source of revenue for a number of companies now. I don’t do anything but managed hosting for My clients because I don’t want to deal with, I don’t even want to deal with any of that stuff.

[00:32:30] Jason Tucker: Right.

[00:32:31] Sé Reed: don’t want them to pay me to deal with it.

[00:32:34] Jason Tucker: And that’s what micro, that’s what micro. blog did for me is it’s just a managed Hugo setup. Like I don’t have to do

[00:32:43] Sé Reed: knew you were going to bring Hugo up. You’re

[00:32:45] Jason Tucker: I literally log in, I type in some stuff, I hit submit, and then a little processor on the backend that, the, that the team over at micro. blog did, they just go and spit it out for you and you’re done.

[00:32:58] Jason Tucker: And I’m

[00:32:59] Sé Reed: are they? Is

[00:33:00] Jason Tucker: finished writing my blog post.

[00:33:02] Sé Reed: I always call Markdown,

[00:33:03] Jason Tucker: Yeah. Mark. Yeah. Just I’ll mark down nice and easy.

[00:33:06] Sé Reed: Why is everything, this is, oh, I’m I guess because what? it’s either block editor or Markdown. These are our options. I literally, like this is why I still write everything In Google Docs. I’m like,

[00:33:18] Jason Tucker: HTML.

[00:33:20] Jason Cosper: Either, you have, everything where it’s an element of design see also blocks, or you have, everything stripped away where it’s just text and a few brackets and asterisks and, octothorpes and a few other things like that. yeah, you said hashtags earlier. I let it slide. It’s hors. All right.

[00:33:47] Sé Reed: I, I have never loved you more than this moment. Kaper

[00:33:53] Jason Cosper: and

[00:33:54] Sé Reed: It’s not often that someone can give me a word or a term that I have never heard before, but my friend, I have never heard Octo Thorpe before, and I am here for it. I am gonna go on an etymology deep dive after this show, and it cannot wait. What the hell does that mean? Octo Thorp. Is that literally, that sounds like a Spider Man villain.

[00:34:15] Sé Reed: That’s Dr. Octopus’s middle name is Thorp.

[00:34:20] Jason Tucker: one in the middle? The one in the middle is like the visual text editor that you would like, you would write in Microsoft word and then copy and paste that

[00:34:29] Sé Reed: the classic paragraph editor, which exists because I have this terrible hybrid site. I don’t even know, I don’t even want to talk about it. But it’s the classic paragraph editor. The problem is the classic paragraph editor Which is literally like the tiny MCE in the block, is really bad. So it’s, that’s why I’m saying we need a long form text block.

[00:34:50] Sé Reed: I love, loved me some Tiny MCE, It’s just, it’s like Microsoft Paint. I love it like that right? that’s how I love the tiny MCE. So Little raster glory,

[00:35:03] Sé Reed: gotta be something where you can just like, just select a term and hit, bold. And it goes bold, but you don’t have to like, and you can be like, okay, like there has to be a medium.

[00:35:19] Sé Reed: Oh,

[00:35:20] Jason Tucker: why these other ones came

[00:35:21] Jason Cosper: it’s Funny that you said there has to be a medium there ’cause Medium

[00:35:26] Sé Reed: at that! I didn’t even mean to do that. I am so trendy. It’s like fun.

[00:35:30] Jason Cosper: Yeah, has a text editor like that. They’ve had a text editor like that. it’s fine, but you Then you have to be a part of mediums

[00:35:39] Sé Reed: Yeah, Medium, who’s got major paywalls and is stripping their API out of stuff.

[00:35:45] Jason Cosper: major paywalls.

[00:35:47] Sé Reed: I have major paywalls.

[00:35:48] Jason Tucker: paywalls.

[00:35:49] Sé Reed: Oh my god, major paywalls! This is gonna be like an alternate

[00:35:52] Sé Reed: ego.

[00:35:52] Jason Cosper: I think I, I was going to say, I think I just found another AKA major paywalls no, I

[00:36:01] Sé Reed: 2024 is the best, I gotta tell you.

[00:36:04] Jason Cosper: Agree to

[00:36:05] Sé Reed: it is rich With content. That is All I have to say. But that is major paywalls. Checking in. Hold on, hold

[00:36:15] Jason Cosper: no, so something I want to hit on before.

[00:36:18] Sé Reed: you’re fighting in the day to liberation, Right?

[00:36:22] Jason Cosper: absolutely.

[00:36:24] Jason Tucker: Major paywalls?

[00:36:25] Sé Reed: Dying.

[00:36:26] Jason Cosper: speaking of data liberation, and some interesting

[00:36:31] Sé Reed: And Markdown.

[00:36:33] Jason Cosper: and not markdown say you’ll Be

[00:36:36] Sé Reed: Stone. Okay.

[00:36:38] Jason Cosper: there is, a tool that made its presence known to me just earlier this week,

[00:36:45] Sé Reed: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

[00:36:47] Jason Cosper: yeah, and, Tucker, if you Want to share that up on screen, I put it in our little show notes channel.

[00:36:55] Jason Cosper: there is, a Tool called. Jibberish.

[00:37:01] Sé Reed: wait. I just, I Need you to understand that I did not know it was spelled with a G. And now I’m like gibberish

[00:37:12] Jason Tucker: yeah.

[00:37:13] Sé Reed: gif, I don’t, okay, sorry.

[00:37:16] Jason Cosper: Okay. So jibberish, goes and takes this does something actually novel and new and different

[00:37:27] Sé Reed: Yeah, I like the

[00:37:28] Sé Reed: intuit.

[00:37:29] Jason Cosper: it makes all of your posts look like, a chat. look like text messages. So as you are Having your thoughts, and, if anybody has ever texted with Sé, they know that she basically will type a line and then send another line and send another line.

[00:37:51] Jason Cosper: yeah, so

[00:37:53] Sé Reed: out!

[00:37:54] Sé Reed: I was thinking in my head, I’m like, it looks just like a Message for me. And then you’re like,

[00:37:59] Jason Tucker: she had to write those paragraph tags each time she did it? We should make her do that. She has to write the paragraph tag.

[00:38:06] Sé Reed: See, this is why I hate blocks, because I’m like, I just tried return. Oh

[00:38:11] Sé Reed: man.

[00:38:12] Jason Cosper: the fun thing about this, and actually I think that this is ripe for if somebody who has time and, knows, maybe some Swift or wants to make like a web app, I think that the, that it would be, a really interesting exercise to do something like this for WordPress

[00:38:36] Sé Reed: Or, wait, hear me out, just integrate it. get, a gibberish block that Feeds in from your gibberish or something, because I’m really tired of everyone cloning everything else, and then just, being like, here, we’re gonna do our own version of it. Let’s let gibberish live. Except for I’m gonna call them gibberish,

[00:38:54] Jason Cosper: yeah,

[00:38:56] Jason Tucker: no like API or nothing here.

[00:38:58] Jason Cosper: but They’re doing,

[00:39:01] Sé Reed: they’re brand new aren’t they? have they They’re brand new.

[00:39:05] Jason Cosper: I like

[00:39:06] Sé Reed: We have all kinds of stuff.

[00:39:07] Jason Cosper: the beta Yesterday.

[00:39:10] Sé Reed: We are fancy and edgy.

[00:39:13] Jason Tucker: That’s fun. And it’s five bucks.

[00:39:17] Jason Cosper: but yep, five bucks a month,

[00:39:19] Sé Reed: I think this is really interesting because This leads me into the WordPress mobile app, which I actually didn’t have in my notes, but I think is really, the missing link between, it’s a missing link for sure, between us and for sure the younger generations, us being, WordPress just in general.

[00:39:42] Sé Reed: And also, just the way that people talk and communicate now, like that texting thing that’s very, feels very modern, feels very relevant and now, because that is. is now, and it is familiar, right? Whereas a Word doc format or the tiny MCE does seem very much more dated. It’s like a little blinking DOS box or something, feel that’s old.

[00:40:08] Sé Reed: but I think that the WordPress Mobile app could, whether it’s gibberish or, text messages, cause like I would like the blog to look Not like text messages, even though I might want to blog like text messages, because that, that to me looks just I’m like block, with each text message.

[00:40:28] Sé Reed: So that’s, I think it would be great for the WordPress mobile app to have a way to, I know blocks have not been super successful on the mobile app. I don’t know where it’s at right now, but

[00:40:40] Jason Tucker: Mobile first.

[00:40:42] Sé Reed: seems, yeah, it seems like the mobile app is really ripe for that. Connection back to blogging, like getting things from your phone onto the internet, as opposed to, blogging with a website because of just the dynamic connection and being able to have different accounts, which is very much more like an Instagram where you have different Instagrams or a Twitter where you have different Twitters, so you can really like connect.

[00:41:12] Sé Reed: if you could manage your different things, and Again, not your sites, because everyone’s got millions of ways to manage their sites, but if the WordPress mobile app could manage the content, not the pages, but things that were formulated Whether a post or a custom post type that takes on the post, structure, right?

[00:41:36] Sé Reed: Categories that sort of content. it makes a lot of sense for that to be what the WordPress mobile app really excels at. As opposed to sitting there on your phone and trying to move blocks around with your finger, or hit the little up arrow button, or be like let me have ten flyout menus to add something on

[00:41:58] Jason Cosper: the interesting thing about Gibberish is, you, mean gibberish?

[00:42:04] Jason Cosper: those the blog entries get published, on the web, it’s not just, they don’t just exist in this app,

[00:42:12] Sé Reed: Cool.

[00:42:13] Jason Cosper: when they get Published, each specific like text bubble in the app translates to a paragraph, or, This person and I have similar brains, I think. It

[00:42:28] Jason Cosper: technically like Each one of those, sorry, is

[00:42:34] Sé Reed: a paragraph, yeah, it’s a paragraph block. Or an image block.

[00:42:37] Jason Cosper: Yeah, exactly.

[00:42:39] Sé Reed: it’s totally compati if you break Down the structure of an article, it is par it is blocks, that’s not, it is there, it’s just thinking about them all individually as opposed to thinking about them as a cohesive whole It’s just a perspective shift and I think, it’s, it can be easier to think about things depending on where you’re coming from.

[00:43:05] Sé Reed: looking at it as individual design elements, or looking at it As a whole cohesive thought, concept, whatever, that’s really,

[00:43:13] Jason Tucker: yeah, there’s people that write linear, linearly, and then there’s people that are just like brain dump and go, okay, I’m going to move these paragraphs around. And I think that makes sense, but my brain doesn’t work that way. I just want to spit stuff out, not edit it, push publish and hope for the best.

[00:43:29] Sé Reed: We haven’t even, there’s no threading blocks yet. I guess there’s lists, but that’s not the same thing, but, comments, obviously thread, and threading is huge, but how does that,

[00:43:42] Jason Cosper: you could group blocks to thread Them, but it is a weird, funky like work around.

[00:43:51] Sé Reed: it’s interesting. Anyway, I Think that, we’ve, we just keep coming up with more work for the WordPress world, let’s fix the app, that’s really, I think the mobile app is really, in terms of action takeaways, I think the mobile app is really neglected and has a lot of potential for just being a really good tool, a useful tool.

[00:44:15] Sé Reed: For even uploading, content to your site, like images, it’s so much easier if you can just take a picture. think about from a, again, from a client perspective or a blogger Perspective, out there taking a picture, posting to their site, having a little bit more robust capabilities, custom post types and all of that, makes that process just seamless, more seamless.

[00:44:41] Sé Reed: Right now it’s so clunky, and I think that it really has I think that is really the missing thing for blogging within WordPress. I think that is missing for blog slash post content creation.

[00:44:56] Sé Reed: the page builder that Is essentially Gutenberg is a page builder. It is not a post writer. And I think that is the difference, and we need, the mobile app could be that forum for post writing.

[00:45:12] Sé Reed: And I think, writing like this, or even just, whatever, I think it could really, like an iOS on an iPad like an iOS version, or even, the mobile app could even be, in theory, on the desktop, but in app form. So it’s not logging into your site to do all the back end management.

[00:45:31] Sé Reed: It’s logging into your content component, right? it’s really stripping that part. And making it its own bubble, separate from site management. And I think that would really, we always have this Oh, make it so there’s no distraction on your page and no sidebars. And it’s okay, but what about if I just want to have my phone?

[00:45:56] Sé Reed: Oh, it’s Coming up with work to do. Somebody should go do that. Please. ’cause I’m not

[00:46:06] Jason Cosper: Coming up with work for other people to do.

[00:46:08] Sé Reed: Yes. Oh, I come up with plenty for me to do too. But the, I, no, not that one for now, but I would love it if someone would go help build that. the mobile contributor, contributor team is really Has a lack of people paying attention to it, let’s just say. So if you wanted to be on a team that was not, problematic, you would probably wanna pick that one.

[00:46:33] Sé Reed: Anyway, that’s fun.

[00:46:36] Jason Tucker: good Tip.

[00:46:37] Sé Reed: Just a good tip. Pro tip.

[00:46:40] Jason Tucker: All right. with that being said, I want to say thank you very much for hanging out with Us today. We really appreciate it. We may be in the aftercooler. If so, go over to wpwatercooler. com

[00:46:50] Sé Reed: You’ll never know unless you go.

[00:46:52] Jason Tucker: And go hang out over there. If you show up two days later in the aftercooler, we know, cause we see you stuck in there and you can’t figure out what to do

[00:47:02] Sé Reed: I consider sometimes popping in there when people are just in there and I’m like, Go hit the verify button. Bring in

[00:47:08] Jason Tucker: right.

[00:47:09] Sé Reed: ghouls. if you do want to hang out in the aftercooler after this, then You will be in there alone unless some random person comes in there and wants to help talk to you and be a voice in the darkness. Could be fun. Bye!

[00:47:26] Jason Tucker: Go over to our website at wpwatercooler. com slash subscribe. You can subscribe to it over there. You can also take a look at the shows that we do, WPwatercooler, as well as DevBranch. And we do DevBranch once a month at the first week of the month. Talk to y’all later.

[00:47:41] Jason Tucker: You have a good one. Bye

[00:47:43] Sé Reed: Happy Friday!

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