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Infinite scrolling, [Off topic]

There we go again…

http://wpbtips.wordpress.com/
Matt, the founder of WordPress, has his own way of dealing with negative feedback and objections. Namely, he can’t.

The latest incident involves the newly introduced infinite scrolling feature. But first, some notable previous cases:

✸ June 2010: WP, with an eye to the popularity of Facebook, introduces reblogging. Lots of protests in the wordpress.com forum (some reasonable, some not), several staff replies (some reasonable, some not). Many users support a reasonable suggestion: make it optional. WP refuses to do that, and refuses to explain why. Matt comes up with some marvellous ‘arguments’ (see the June 10 Update in my post on reblogging), and finally closes the main thread. His closing words:
“I would like everyone to try out this feature for two weeks. [...] In two weeks I’m happy to have a discussion with everyone on their concerns, ideas, bugs, and hugs, but we really need people to actually use and comprehend the feature first!”
But when, three weeks later, a follow-up thread was opened, Matt wasn’t happy at all (especially since some of us had already “used and comprehended” the feature better than them). Matt’s only reply:
“The feature is not going away, and is going to continue evolving. If you don’t like that, perhaps consider an alternative blogging service or hosting your own WordPress.”
[See Update 14]

✸ July 2010: WP imposes an outrageous 30-minute block on volunteers in the wordrpress.com forums, to give staff a head start. “Considering focusing more staff support on the forums”, they say. “Going to do our utmost to respond to every thread that comes through quickly”, they say. Volunteers protest, WP doesn’t listen, Matt replies by resorting to irrelevancies and dreams about plans that never materialized.
Block remains in effect for almost a year (up to May 2011), although staff presence in the forums never increased, and staff very rarely managed to reply faster than us.

✸ June 2011: WP imposes a monospace font for the HTML editor. Some users protest. Matt doesn’t show up this time. A staff member replies, echoing His Master’s Voice:
“The new font is actually here to stay”.
Unbelievably, he then urges us wordpress.com users to voice our complaints in the wordpress.org forum.
His reply also includes a cheap politician’s trick: the new font, he says, is
“part of the core WordPress Dashboard redesign, built on the feedback of millions of WordPress users”.
The overall dashboard redesign may be based on the feedback of millions, but that doesn’t neceassarily include the HTML editor font. Three days later, on the same thread, another staff member gives a link that reveals exactly how many the alleged millions were:
http://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/17640

✸ November 2011: WP introduces the gallery carousel slideshow (in my opinion, a great improvement over attachment pages). Many users complain, and again they make the reasonable suggestion: make it optional.
When Matt first shows up, the only thing he’s got to say is that he’s interested in buying a print from one of the users!
When he finally gives in, his main reply is the usual serving of poor arguments:
“Fixing the core issues, rather than ignoring it by allowing the loudest people complaining to turn it off, will benefit everybody.”
(That’s the rhetorical ploy known as false dilemma: fixing the issues and allowing users to turn the feature off aren’t mutually exclusive.)
“This may sound uninteresting because the issue in front of you seems like the most important in the world, and would be SO EASY to fix if we just added a toggle or switch, but that path ends in ruin. Either we do that for everything and WP is just a thousand options that no one remembers or cares about anymore, or there’s some shortcode switch or hidden feature for you to deactivate the carousel and because it’s not widely used it’ll probably break in a future release, or it makes the underlying code more complex in a way that slows down future development, or you end up with so many non-default hoops you have to jump through to get your blog the way you want that posting becomes slower and slower until one day you just give it up or switch to something else. I’m exaggerating for effect, but I’ve personally witnessed the above happen to many, many software projects.”
(And that’s the rhetorical ploy known as appeal to fear or scare tactics. Matt isn’t exaggerating, he’s just lying: WP already has a thousand options, there are other little used features yet they don’t break so long as WP doesn’t want them to, and making the carousel optional is easy if you want it. It’s also particularly revealing that twice in the same reply Matt feels the need to belittle users: they aren’t users making a legitimate and reasonable request, they are “the loudest people complaining”, and –according to Matt and only Matt– “the issue in front of [them] seems like the most important in the world”.)
[See Update 14]

And so we come to February 2012…

Users who are using Twenty Ten and Twenty Eleven wake up one morning and find that their front page has changed: instead of displaying the number of posts they’ve set it to, it continues to load more and more posts as you scroll down. “Infinite scrolling!” says WP, happy that they aped Facebook once again.

(By the way, that wasn’t the first time that users found their blogs changed without a warning or a notice. For another example, see my post “On the recent featured image issues” – and notice the Update 2 at the bottom of that post. But the most despicable case was the Pearson/Pressrow/Cutline affair: Matt quarrels with a designer, so the same day he removes the designer’s name from the credits of Pressrow; soon after that, more than 300,000 blogs no longer wear the themes their users had selected, because Matt had been pissed off…)

A staff member posts a sticky thread in the forums, expressly asking for feedback. Eighty-two users reply before Matt comes in, almost all of them negatively. Again they make the reasonable suggestion: make it optional. Again Matt refuses, again he offers poor arguments (for instance that usage stats increased, as if this couldn’t be due to any other factor, or as if the stats is the only thing that matters), and again he closes the thread (two days after it was started).

This resulted in some behind-the-scenes reactions as well:
WP had started a private blog in which experienced forum volunteers could communicate and collaborate with staff. Two of the most experienced volunteers were so annoyed by what Matt did again that they asked to be removed from that group blog. (Matt accepted, without being able to realize —or pretending he couldn’t realize— that the issue wasn’t the new feature). One of these two experienced volunteers stopped helping in the forums, and so did a third one. Matt personally banned a fourth volunteer from the forums (on the pretext of rude language), closed the group blog, then changed his mind and opened it again, then closed it again I think.
(If you want to know about me: I was never a member of that blog, I’m still helping in the forums but a lot less than I used to, and ever since the 30-minute block I don’t reply to wordpress.org users, I don’t modlook threads that need staff or moderator attention, and I don’t report mistakes when I test new themes, except if I have to correct a wrong staff reply.)

As for the feature itself, it was badly and prematurely implemented (and Matt knows this: in contrast to most other great or purportedly great features, this one wasn’t announced in the official wordpress.com blog). Check this post:
http://uxmovement.com/navigation/infinite-scrolling-best-practices/
WP didn’t observe any of these suggestions (not yet, at least).

In the meantime another forum thread had been opened, and a gross side-effect was pointed out: both Twenty Ten and Twenty Eleven support footer widgets, but infinite scrolling disables them. So Matt came to realize that people are very into their footer widgets (what a startling discovery: Twenty Eleven doesn’t display the sidebar on the single post view, so what else did he expect?)redface smilie and was forced to make infinite scrolling optional – but only if you use footer widgets.

In other words: Matt didn’t know how to use this gimmick correctly yet, but he was so excited that he couldn’t wait, or select a retired theme to play with till he learned. Instead, he started with the most widely used theme and its younger sibling (the default theme for 2010 and the current default theme). He was so excited that he didn’t notice it disables another feature, or he didn’t think it matters, forgetting that the other feature is essential in the case of the younger sibling…

Why did he start with those themes? Why did he get so excited?

There’s a common denominator in the cases in which Matt has personally intervened and refused to make a feature optional: the features in question result in more posts or more traffic or more page views or more time on a page; and this means more money for the company.

Is that wrong? To me, not at all. (And I consider it the single most realistic and persuading reply to complaining users). But Matt seems to think it’s not a nice thing to say, so he always hides or denies the fact when talking to users, and always says it’s all for our own good.

Right. Now check my post on reblogging again, near the bottom: WP cares so much for you that if you dare hide the Reblog button they’ll suspend your blog…

(By the way, when not on the forums, Matt can be more candid as to what we wordpress.com users are. Recent interview video, at 25:10: “on wordpress.com we’ve got 25 million beta testers”.)

And why does he have difficulties with reasoning, finds it hard to accept criticism, closes threads, alienates users and such? Well, you tell me… Couple of extra hints: a) he just turned twenty eight; b) the name he gave to his company is Automattic, and the name he gave to the theme he designed is Matala.


Update 1:
The second thread on infinite scrolling didn’t get closed. But they found a more sly way to kill the thread: they exiled it to Off Topic. Nice, Matt, very nice…

Update 2:
Infinite scrolling got added to Coraline. And messed the background of the theme. Great job, Matt.

Update 3 (March 14):
Bottom of main page in Twenty Ten, Twenty Eleven and Coraline now sports a “Load more posts” tab. Seems they’re beginning to learn? Not really: as before, the tab will show up only if you’ve added at least one footer widget. And infinite scrolling was just added to MistyLook as well: MistyLook doesn’t support footer widgets.
Oh, and they goofed again: infinite scrolling in MistyLook disabled image scaling down. Great job, Matt.

Update 4 (March 17):
Infinite scrolling was just added to Bueno (as expected, they target the most popular themes first). And when more posts are loaded, their text shows up in huge bold font. Once again: great job, Matt.

Update 5:
I start a thread, scorning WP for the mistakes in Twenty Ten, Twenty Eleven, Coraline, MistyLook and Bueno. Other users add their thoughts. A staff member pretends it’s a bug report, then a second staff member pretends it’s a bug report on Bueno only and closes the thread. Nice, guys, very nice… (My response remains unanswered, of course.)

Update 6:
Infinite scrolling keeps being added to more themes. To see which themes have been molested, check this link:
http://theme.wordpress.com/themes/features/infinite-scroll/
At the moment, the gimmick has been added to:
a) Bueno, Coraline, Titan, Twenty Eleven, Twenty Ten;
b) Ari, Misty Look, San Kloud, Sunspot.
Themes “a” support footer widgets. If you’re using one of these themes and you don’t like infinite scrolling, go to Appearance > Widgets and add widgets to the footer areas (if you don’t really want any widgets in your footer, just add an empty text widget). Once you do that, then an option that allows you to disable infinite scrolling will appear in Settings > Reading.
Themes “b” don’t support footer widgets. So if you’re using one of these themes (and don’t want to switch to a different one), the only thing you can do is create a static intro page in Pages > Add New, set your front to display that page in Settings > Reading, and rely on the Recent Posts widget and the Categories widget for navigation.

Update 7 (March 25):
1. When infinite scrolling is active, the number-of-posts-per-page option disappears from Settings > Reading. Because it’s pointless in that case, claims WP. In their infinite wisdom, they forgot that the option is still needed for category and other archive pages.
Advice to Matt: think first, apply second.
redface smilie2. A couple of days ago, the number of available themes in Appearance > Themes decreased by four (now it’s back to normal). I didn’t bother to check which themes had disappeared. Now I know. WP apparently realized they goofed once again, and changed things again in themes “b” (see Update 6 above). So, if you’re using one of these themes and you don’t like infinite scrolling, go to Appearance > Themes and temporarily activate one of the “a” themes; go to Appearance > Widgets and add a widget to one of the footer areas; go to Settings > Reading, uncheck the option “Scroll Infinitely”, scroll down and click Save Changes; go back to Appearance > Themes and re-activate the theme you were using. The bottom of your main page will now display the good old “Older Posts” navigation link.
Advice to Matt: think first, son, apply second.

Update 8 (March 29):
WP change their commenting system (and do it badly).
When the complaints become too many for WP’s taste, staff close the thread

Update 9:
A bad change is accidentally introduced to the post editor screen.
The same staff member who had said that the new HTML editor font is “here to stay” etc does it again. At first he cannot tell what’s going on (although the user who originally posted about it had already discovered exactly what the issue was and had pointed it out). Then he tries to dismiss it as “intentional” (instead of realizing that it made things awkward for thousands of users). And then he says you can’t do anything about it except “raise some concerns” at the core developers’ site (while the one who should have been alarmed and raise the concerns was him, not us). Core developer’s reply (emphases mine):
“Sorry about that. Trunk is the development branch or .org core, and that change should not have merged to .com. That said, this is not the place to report wordpress.com issues. Reporting it to [staff member] in the .com forums was the right thing to do and he should have gotten in touch with the .com people who handle merging code.”

Update 10 (May 30):
The fun continues: WP adds infinite scrolling to Vigilance; just as with Coraline, they mess the layout and the background of the theme. Guess they’re trying hard to convince us they’re amateurs…
In the meantime, users continue to complain that their drafts disappear (partly or not) when they try to publish them. This has been going on for months, and so far WP has found nothing to say (or do). Guess turning your blog into a Facebook-like page is more important than making sure you don’t lose your content…

Update 11 (May 31):
WP adds infinite scrolling to Koi; once again, they mess the background of the theme. This is a joke. I mean, really.

Update 12 (June 12):
WP finally feels ready to post an announcement and a support doc.
http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2012/06/12/to-infinity-and-beyond/
http://en.support.wordpress.com/infinite-scroll/
And it seems somebody finally talked some sense to somebody: the option to disable the feature is no longer hidden. It took Matt four months before he could start accepting our suggestion…
But actually they’re incorrigible: they’re so bent on imposing this thing that when you disable it you now get a “Load more posts” tab at the bottom of your main page (which is infinite scrolling again, just with clicks instead of automatically – which is almost pointless).

Update 13 (June 26):
The joke continues: a) WP adds infinite scrolling to Choco, and for a while the main page of blogs wearing Choco goes blank. b) In Tarski, the extra posts that load don’t have a comment link, and the title of each post doesn’t link to the single-post view. c) In Inuit Types, if you have selected the two-column post layout, the extra posts load in one column. WP’s professionalism and thoroughness remains admirable….

Update 14 (July 6):
“We’ve introduced two new options: background color and the ability to disable the carousel in favor of standard WordPress image galleries. We’re working to make Carousel something we hope you’ll all enjoy — but we understand it’s not right for every site, so we’re giving you the option to turn it off”, says WP. When we suggested that in November 2011, we were offered bullshit excuses why it shouldn’t be done and we were dismissed as “the loudest people complaining”; eight months later WP understands…
Same thing goes for reblogging: when I first pointed out that a reblogger could easily turn a reblogged post into a stolen post by changing the title and removing the link to the original, WP wouldn’t listen; some two years later, WP understands…

http://wpbtips.wordpress.com/

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Discussion

186 thoughts on “There we go again…

  1. Can you assist and clarify what this partnership between Gnip and Automattic actually means for us users in terms of our public data being accessed and analysed?

    http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=26746424

    Posted by David Bennett | February 26, 2012, 00:21
  2. First I heard about this infinite scrolling B.S. Damn. I’d actually thought Matt was starting to grow up.

    Posted by Dave Bonta | February 26, 2012, 02:36
  3. >> dare I mention the “Starting soon, your stats page will be on the WordPress.com homepage only” issue!

    Damn right! I liked it as it was before! Even the graphic is poorer… and I don’t like how the blog bar in the upper part of the screen was redisegned… while on the other hand I still don’t have the possibility to access the “All posts” page.
    I did like the notifications (for the comments, the other ones are useless) and the stats for last 48h in the bar, but that’s all.

    But still, my worst problem is a change in the editor I don’t think a lot of people has noticed… I can’t copypaste a table anymore. I used to copypaste tables from openoffice and the result was (almost) perfect… the html code was perfect! There was no useless string of code, it was just the normal code for a table.
    Now it becomes a useless image (with pages and pages of …sdeefrnenreninexxxpmnioedoiedsdxxcskio… in the html editor).

    I was doing fine making tables with hundreds and hundreds of kanjis …now I have to do the same with googledocs or windows live but they have both A LOT of issues…

    Now I have to fix this infinite bullsh*t, so I’m off to find how.

    Well, at least now I know who’s responsible and why he does this changes without thinking it through.
    It’s not much, but still…

    Posted by 風当たり | February 26, 2012, 03:53
  4. @Tandava:

    By all means. But I’m not sure about that one yet. As you see, my dishes are served cold, or rather defrosted: the business with the stats page is in transition at the moment, so I’m not saying anything about it yet. What my post shows doesn’t mean that Matt is wrong each and every time he decides to change something and some users complain. And I certainly don’t agree with those whose main argument is the “ain’t broke, don’t fix it” cliché: you don’t change things only when they’re broken. However, what’s probably relevant to the post anyway is the possible reason behind the change.

    Posted by Panos | February 26, 2012, 05:35
  5. @David:

    That was news to me, and your bringing it up here is very interesting, as it illustrates the other aspect of what we wordpress.com users are: Matt’s bargaining chip. The more the blogs, the posts etc., the better the deals he can cut. That’s why reblogging was introduced, and why Matt doggedly refused to provide an opt-out. It doesn’t matter if you can’t think or write, and you only repost other people’s posts by clicking a button, all that matters is this:

    http://en.wordpress.com/stats/

    So… Gnip is a super-aggregator that provides streams from the most popular social media sources (Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Photobucket etc), now including wordpress.com: streams of posts, comments and likes. Gnip’s clients are social media monitoring firms (companies like Klout) which in turn provide reports and projections to big corporations. This isn’t something new, it’s just that Gnip makes it easier (you get all your data from them, and you get them all normalized and served in the same format). Since it’s not new, and since Gnip’s clients aren’t supposed to publicly display the data they collect, I don’t think it makes any direct difference “for us users”. But I might be wrong: I’m probably out of depth here. I’ll ask the other knowledgeable forum volunteers and let you know if I have more news.

    And I really appreciate your coming back after our previous incident. Sorry I was so nasty that time.

    Posted by Panos | February 26, 2012, 05:36
  6. @Dave:

    In the sense you and I mean it, not likely in the foreseeable future. But as David’s contribution shows, he’s quite grown up when it comes to this:

    Posted by Panos | February 26, 2012, 05:37
  7. @風当たり:

    As I said to Tandava above, the stats page is in a transitional state, so my opinion is let’s wait and see.

    Could you please paste the URL of an older post of yours that has a table copypasted from openoffice? I’m curious to see the result and the code, because Twenty Eleven is quirky as far as tables are concerned.

    Apparently you found out how to disable the scrolling. For the sake of others, the option is in Settings > Reading.

    Interesting detail: it was easy for WP to add an optional option – an option that doesn’t even show up on your dashboard if you haven’t added a footer widget. So much for Matt’s omens about paths that end in ruin and hidden features that break or slow down development etc etc…

    Posted by Panos | February 26, 2012, 05:38
  8. To have avoided the whole mess they could have introduced new themes with the infinite scroll and no footer widgets – they could have even made it the new default theme – easy to do – take the old 2010 & 2011 and take the footer widgets out – then there would have been two themes with the same dimensions etc. and the themes could have been switched easily – and if someone decided they needed footer widgets they could then just change themes – simple simple simple – no mess no fuss -

    Posted by captnmike | February 26, 2012, 06:20
  9. Yes of course they could, or should. But the whole point is that they don’t want to do that: they want to add the gimmick to as many themes as possible, because it artificially increases page views.

    Posted by Panos | February 26, 2012, 07:18
  10. Matt’s young and the corporate donors seem to him very persuasive. He’ll learn. When he sees that first grey hair.

    Posted by scrollpost | February 26, 2012, 08:08
  11. WordPress.com is a product, one of whose purposes is to beta test features being integrated into core WordPress. Matt made a remark on his site (so long ago that I can’t find it now) about WordPress.com being… “millions of beta testers pounding on it before we shrink-wrap”. It’s not something they talk about often or openly, at least not in the presence of WordPress.com users. There may be a reference to changes in the software in the ToS, but we already know how intimately acquainted users are with that document even if they agreed to it at sign up and even if they are responsible for reviewing it from time to time, as the ToS says.

    Our posts, comments etc., have been published as a fire hose for longer than I can remember. It, too, is a purchasable product.

    Infinite scrolling: Single posts or pages in Twenty Ten and Twenty Eleven were never the issue since footer widgets showed up there even after the introduction of IS on the front page of those themes.

    Just as long as we users are aware that every change made on WordPress.com is for the benefit of the people who own the site (and that is not the user), then everything is good.

    For better or worse, WordPress.com presently encourages a sense of community, a la WordPress org. Going back to my own post on the reblog issue, I feel this gives users a mistaken sense of entitlement. The conversations happening in the WordPress.com forums between the owner of the site and users do not happen on sites like blogger or typepad or posterous or tumblr, etc. I certainly could see the day when there is either no forum at all on WordPress.com or strictly peer-to-peer support.

    Sorry for sounding grumpy. I am and getting more so by the day.

    Posted by Jennifer | February 26, 2012, 08:49
  12. Very spiritual for a Sunday morning! Word to the “wise” – corporations die.

    As someone working with Apple stuff during the dark days of the mid-90s, I’ve seen just about every corporate advising Apple to give up die. Netscape, Sun, AOL –>> corporate menage å trois of death.

    Posted by scrollpost | February 26, 2012, 09:01
  13. @ Panos: here is a link http://studiaregiapponese.wordpress.com/kanji-anno-4/
    …if I copypaste a table from windows Live (which is recommended on wp support) the result is the same.
    Here is the code for a raw of the table I linked:

    <tr>
    <td align="CENTER" valign="MIDDLE" height="59">451</td>
    <td align="CENTER" valign="MIDDLE"><span style="font-family:Meiryo UI;font-size:xx-large;"><a href="http://www.yamasa.cc/ocjs/kanjidic.nsf/SortedByKanji2THEnglish/%E5%85%86?OpenDocument">兆</a></span><a name="451"></a></td>
    <td align="LEFT" valign="BOTTOM"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">CHOU</span></td>
    <td align="LEFT" valign="TOP"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">kiza.su</span></td>
    <td align="LEFT" valign="MIDDLE"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">dar segno (della propria presenza, es. primavera, dubbi...); segno, sintomo, presagio; migliaia di miliardi
    (vd. man, oku, chou)
    </span></td>
    <td align="CENTER" valign="MIDDLE">#</td>
    </tr>

    Here is the same row without what I specifically added to customize the table:

    <tr>
    <td align="LEFT" valign="TOP" height="59">451</td>
    <td align="LEFT" valign="TOP">兆</td>
    <td align="LEFT" valign="TOP">CHOU</td>
    <td align="LEFT" valign="TOP">kiza.su</td>
    <td align="LEFT" valign="TOP">dar segno (della propria presenza, es. primavera, dubbi...); segno, sintomo, presagio; migliaia di miliardi
    (vd. man, oku, chou)</td>
    <td align="CENTER" valign="MIDDLE">#</td>
    </tr>

    …yeah, I’m bragging ^__^

    This is a raw from a windows live’s table:

    <tr>
    <td valign="top" width="10"><span style="font-family: Meiryo UI;">オ</span></td>
    <td valign="top" width="129">ishikei***</td>
    <td valign="top" width="113">volitiva</td>
    <td valign="top" width="113">mato-</td>
    <td valign="top" width="206"><span style="font-family: Meiryo UI;">待とう </span>matou (aspettiamo)</td>
    </tr>

    The main difference is in the width command. In the openoffice table is stripped from the “td-rows” and put after the tag table and before tbody:

    <col width="25" /> <col width="45" /> <col width="110" /> <col width="135" /> <col width="235" /> <col width="33" />

    Sorry for the long comment, feel free to cut it to reasonable lenght after you’ve read it ^^;;

    Posted by 風当たり | February 26, 2012, 12:19
  14. Oh, thank you as always, Panos… I’ve just learned how to put a scrollbar in a comment! I didn’t know it was possible…. It’s awesome *__*
    But I can’t get rid of the horizontal bar… it seems overflow-x or overflow-y aren’t allowed by wp my theme(?).

    Posted by 風当たり | February 26, 2012, 14:01
  15. @SP: Problem is, it’ll be long before that hair grows…

    @Jen: Grumpy? No, realistic.

    Posted by Panos | February 27, 2012, 00:12
  16. @風当たり:

    Sorry to disappoint you, but all these versions are bad: they use deprecated coding, some of which is useless. The following don’t work:

    border=”whatever”
    rules=”whatever”
    align=”whatever”
    valign=”whatever”

    In addition:
    a) Font sizes are best expressed in percentages.
    b) The span tag is used for characters, words, or phrases contained in a block. When you wish to change the whole block, you don’t use span tags, you add style commands to the opening tag of the block.

    So, this:

    <td align="CENTER" valign="MIDDLE"><span style="font-family:Meiryo UI;font-size:xx-large;">CELL CONTENT</span></td>

    Should be like this:

    <td style="text-align:center;vertical-align:middle;font-family:Meiryo UI;font-size:200%;">CELL CONTENT</td>

    Also note that you don’t add an alignment command when you want left alignment, because that’s the default. And in your case center alignment is also superfluous, since the cells don’t display vertical borders: you control the horizontal spacing via the column widths.

    Posted by Panos | February 27, 2012, 01:44
  17. I’ve sent Matt only one email since I started my blog here in ’09. The fact that it contained a loaded question most likely explains why I never got an answer.
    I asked Matt why there were so few people of color employed at the company.
    This was after I saw a group picture of the staff — one where everyone is outside. In a group of about sixty there was a couple folks representing minorities.
    A few months later I read that someone would be interviewing Matt at an upcoming event. I emailed this fellow my question. He vehemently defended Matt. He argued that the company employed people from all over the world. I countered that if that was the case, wouldn’t the staff photo look more like the rest of the world?
    Silence. I’m sure the question was never asked.
    I’m not assuming the guy practices discrimination when hiring or that no he’s not an all around nice fellow but I just thought mine was a question worth asking. An answering.

    I guess I could go blog somewhere else.

    Posted by Jesus Maria Alvarez | February 27, 2012, 01:53
  18. “He argued that the company employed people from all over the world.”
    That’s true (although the majority are from the States):

    http://automattic.com/about/

    http://automattic.com/map/

    For the rest, I don’t know and I cannot know. Might be a coincidence, might be not: 100 persons is too small a sample to allow inferences or even suspicions.

    Posted by Panos | February 27, 2012, 03:21
  19. Thanks for the explanation ^__^ Still I can’t do all by hand and windows live, which is recommended on wp support, does pretty much the same (it does use valign even if it doesn’t work). Then why I don’t use windows live? It has its own flaws… but that’s another story^^ I’ll be forced to use google docs (that doesn’ allow to change the font to Meiryo… and that’s sad^^)
    Btw, thanks… I’ll strip out te unuseful code and remember to use percentage for font-size (while span is my “standard procedure” so I can copypaste the same line of code for the whole cell or just for part of it^^).
    See Read you soon ^___^

    Posted by 風当たり | February 27, 2012, 03:35
  20. Actually, I have no problem with the reblog feature. In fact, I use it quite a bit, along with my own content. I also have no problem with WordPress needing to make money – how else are they going to offer “free” blogs?

    Posted by Margy Rydzynski | February 27, 2012, 04:25
  21. How do I change the email address where I now receive notification of your posts? Thanks.

    Posted by Jesus Maria Alvarez | February 27, 2012, 04:43
  22. @Margy: Some users (including me) don’t like reblogging. But others (including you) like it, and they have every right to. What my post says is simply that making it optional wouldn’t be unreasonable: if you want to reblog a post of mine but I don’t want that, shouldn’t I have the right not to allow it?

    @Jesus Maria: That address is the one associated with your account. You can’t change it for the notifications alone. If you have another wordpress.com account, you need to go to Blogs I Follow in your dashboard sidebar, remove my blog, log out, log into your other account, visit my blog, click Follow.
    Or do you mean notifications for the comments on this post? If so, the emails include a “Modify your Subscription Options” link.

    Posted by Panos | February 27, 2012, 08:17
  23. @Panos,

    I watched the video interview with Matt. Answering the question about comparing and advantages of Drupal and WP, Dries Buytaert, brings up backwards compatibility and building a solid core architecture while Matt says “Speed of release.” So, yes, of course we bagillion million users are used to test the software. Matt seems to be really proud of that in terms of developing the ease of use and speed of WP. And he should be. I wonder, though why he cannot take constructive feedback from these users?

    As for the private forum, there were not many left standing after the infinite-scrolling incident. It was disappointing to loose that interaction between volunteers and staff—which worked pretty well until Matt stepped in and clearly was unwilling to listen to our concerns.

    Matt was very pleased with the increased stats numbers, and when I pointed out that the numbers didn’t necessarily mean anyone was reading our posts, he was incredulous, ” Why would people scroll if they ‘re not reading?” Another member answered, “Easy, two reasons 1)WTF is going on??? 2)Looking for something interesting. Pagedown, pagedown, pagedown.

    I asked him specifically about how the Imbalance theme (which I had just activated) with its footer widgets, would be affected. His answer, just as in the forum thread, “People are obviously very into their footer widgets.” (smiley face) “We’ll find a way to make them work together, or automatically disable if they’re used.”

    So though the infinite scrolling issue has been settled, the forum was a casualty of the discussion. Apparently some folks want only positive feedback, and don’t understand that a discussion involves an exchange of ideas.

    I can remember when I first started, there was a survey about which icons were to be used in the new dashboard. People voted on them and the ones we currently have are still in use now. But there was a lot of dissection in the forums about the changes in the dashboard—things became less user-interactive after that.

    As for the forums, I’ve cut back mostly due to personal obligations, but will continue to help when I can.

    Posted by Tess | February 27, 2012, 16:10
  24. When you say you wonder why he cannot take constructive feedback, I take it as a figure of speech…

    He’s very pleased with the increased stats numbers because that’s all he cares about. Reason explained in my reply to David. That’s also the reason why there can be a survey about dashboard icons but there can be no survey when the users’ preferences might mean a decrease in stats and revenue.

    Yes, some folks want only positive feedback: remember the comment moderation in the official wordpress.com blog.

    Posted by Panos | February 28, 2012, 05:13
  25. The Infinite Scroll fiasco reminds me of the time about five years ago when MOST of the senior volunteers left WP.com, never to return except occasionally like now when Matt gets his knickers in a twist, whereupon they return and point that out.

    User experience isn’t something Matt cares about, although not all the staff are similarly-minded. A toggle would have solved the problem AND made users happy; in fact, it would have made them feel pampered, which they certainly don’t feel now.

    Posted by raincoaster | February 28, 2012, 06:18
  26. @ Panos

    Thanks. The email question was not about the comments notifications on this post, but my subscription to your blog. Will try. Also, on the 100 person sampling comment, I thought it was the entire staff depicted on the photo I saw, not just a portion. You’re right, maybe a coincidence, maybe not. Either way, I don’t loose any sleep over it.

    Posted by Jesus Maria Alvarez | February 28, 2012, 06:32
  27. yes, “wonder”
    is usually a word full of possibilities
    but in this context, it was not.

    No, what was/is comment moderation in the official wp blog? You mean all the comments aren’t posted? ^_^

    Even so, and my thoughts might be a gender-attitude engendered by so many years of experience working with males, that “we” cannot just give up…

    Posted by Tess | February 28, 2012, 07:10
  28. The bottom line is if you are running a business and actually employ (i.e. pay) testers, you damn well listem to them.

    When you get them for free, there is an even greater responsibility to listem to them.

    Posted by Team Oyeniyi | February 28, 2012, 22:15
  29. @rain:

    Seems Rich and Sergio have now joined the ranks of those volunteers; and I’m halfway there myself… But no need to worry, we’ve got a worthy successor: the Hilarious Hnsaifi.

    Toggle would have been very easy, but it would mean fewer artificial page views, so Matt won’t do it.

    And yes of course not all staff are similarly-minded.

    @JM:

    Yes, the entire staff of Automattic is around 100 people. I meant sample in the statistical sense: the smaller a sample, the less likely it will be representative. If you see a bus full of employees and there are no black people in it, it means nothing; if you see a thousand buses with no black people, then it means something.

    @Tess:

    “You mean all the comments aren’t posted?”
    Methinks you like figures of speech very much.

    @TO:

    Truth is You only want them for spotting bugs, not for expressing their opinion on what You have decided.

    Posted by Panos | February 29, 2012, 05:28
  30. Interestingly, Panos, my WP stats are way above both Quantcast and Sitemeter. Yet I have no infinite scrolling. We already know a comment is coutned as a second page view, but Sitemeter does that too, so that doesn’t account for the difference.

    I do wonder what is going on in that respect. I know all the stats sites are only estimates, but let us look at just one day:

    February 27 (Monday)

    SiteMeter: 148 visits, 259 page views
    Quantcast: 58 visits, 158 page views
    WP: 309 page views

    I meant to say before, actually, age probably has a lot to do with it. Nothng like the invincibility of youth!

    Posted by Team Oyeniyi | February 29, 2012, 13:26
  31. Sorry, I know nothing about the stats system. And I never inserted any other counter so I don’t have any data to offer for comparison.

    Age yes. But also character.

    Posted by Panos | March 1, 2012, 04:44
  32. Panos, what I was getting at was your reference to Matt wanting to increase stats/pageviews. I think that is happening anyway, infinite scrolling or not, but I am not sure how. I always had a variance, but not nearly that much. Quantcast actually used to record higher hits than WP when I was still teamoyeniyi.wordpress.com, then I wasn’t quantified for ages after I got my own domain. Now the Quantcast pageviews are half the WP ones. A variance I expect, but not those sort of numbers.

    I’m wondering what other changes have happened that we can’t see/don’t know about.

    Posted by Team Oyeniyi | March 1, 2012, 10:19
  33. @team – I have Site Meter installed on my site – sometimes it tracks the WP stats other times it does not track – never quite figured out any rhyme or reason – my Quantcast numbers are usually close to WP – I don’t remember any 50% difference between the two.

    Posted by captnmike | March 1, 2012, 11:29
  34. @TO: Yes, it’s happening anyway, infinite scrolling or not – mostly not. See my comment in the second thread on infinite scrolling:

    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/infinite-scroll-do-we-get-an-opt-out-and-will-this-apply-to-other-themes/page/3?replies=165#post-816326

    (By the way, notice that they’ve moved the thread to Off Topic! Some people need to see a shrink…)

    Posted by Panos | March 1, 2012, 16:01
  35. Please don’t mention infinite scrolling! :lol: I’ve just written to support this morning as it seems to have become standard for the mobile theme running on Android phones and I can’t get back to the “full site” on my phone like I used to be able to. The iPad and Galaxy tablet seem to be OK, but clearly not all mobile devices!

    @captnmike – no, I never noticed a 50% before either. It is a pitty I was un-quantified for so long, as I consequently can’t pinpoint a change, if in fact there was one.

    Posted by Team Oyeniyi | March 1, 2012, 22:30
  36. (By the way, notice that they’ve moved the thread to Off Topic! Some people need to see a shrink…)

    hmm. as a mod I kept moving those threads back to support or questions. I was, (am,) not sure who kept making it for off topic. I even tagged threads with that question… hmm.
    Fish Heads Upchucks!

    The issue with mobile themes has not been discussed in the forums. The loss of the Forum Pack Forum as a source of info is sad.

    Posted by Tess | March 2, 2012, 04:02
  37. “Who kept making it for off topic”? Yet another thing to ‘wonder’ about…

    The whole story is sad.
    I can think of other adjectives as well.

    Posted by Panos | March 2, 2012, 06:57
  38. Tess, I had the STUPIDEST email conversation with support on the mobile theme topic today, plus the fact the NEW stats page has a major problem on IE. Got the latter sorted, but it was clear the support people can’t READ.

    The former, sadly, I gave up on in the end – due to the same reading problem.

    Panos, I spat the dummy on the Stats thread in Off Topic and that is the last I think (I could change my mind) I am going to bother saying!

    Posted by Team Oyeniyi | March 2, 2012, 09:17
  39. Well, they can read, but sometimes they seem too busy or too uninterested to pay attention. I have repeatedly helped users after support had failed to do so. (And yet Matt claims that people get better help in support tickets.)

    Posted by Panos | March 2, 2012, 11:47
  40. Panos,

    Yes, the [sad] story is not wonder – ful——
    (and other adjectives … )
    So I wander
    (question” what is there to be done …

    i hope, just go on:
    speak sense to fools

    me, ever the optimist, right?

    Posted by Tess | March 2, 2012, 13:13
  41. Let’s give some love to Matt.
    Long ago I went to high school with someone who turned out to be a high level negotiator for the US at these international environmental conferences. This fellow was very green even way back when, but as the US rep he has to defend interests of ALL Americans – like oil and automotive companies. I rally DOUBT he enjoys that.

    Matt big Mr Corporate now. Words come out of his mouth disconnected to his real thoughts. He can’t help it. Better him running the show than a real disengaged ruthless corporate wanker.

    Posted by scrollpost | March 2, 2012, 13:31
  42. Tm Oy:
    Reading / listening, understanding / responding are dependent on viewpoint.
    As the saying, “Beauty is the eye of the beholder.”
    Oh, wait, that’s not quite the right quote

    This is a free service we are talking about, but what to do, as lab animals…
    perhaps that is too harsh
    but I think they should study our reactions more closely: not just the stats for profit.

    Posted by Tess | March 2, 2012, 13:40
  43. Thank you for posting this, you covered this well and you showed me some things that I did not know about before, but that I expected.

    Mr. Matt’s behavior in most or all of these cases really annoys me/makes me mad and makes me want to leave WordPress.com honestly, sadly, and I think that he should be replaced and/or given less of a say on these matters in my opinion; since he does not seem to be willing to change his ways and/or maybe I should leave WordPress.com (which I like except for several issues).

    Also WordPress.com Support does not seem to respond to my Support Tickets/my cries for help and I have an issue where I can not post at the WordPress.com Forums due to some serious Glitch or something with my account, and so I have problems that I have not been able to get help with for months/years. :(

    Posted by John Jr | March 2, 2012, 22:56
  44. @Panos,
    Congrats on your stats!!
    Nice to know a famous person…
    <3 Tessie

    Posted by Tess | March 3, 2012, 06:38
  45. @John:

    Matt is Irreplaceable: he owns WP.

    @Tess:

    Undoubtedly due to infinite scrolling…

    Posted by Panos | March 3, 2012, 07:59
  46. No, it’s your charm and hospitable personality…
    all the details, insights, tutorials, excellent work
    and me promoting your blog in the wp.com forums as your no.! fan from the start

    Posted by Tess | March 3, 2012, 08:13
  47. You mean Matt might be wrong? I shudder at the thought…

    Posted by Panos | March 3, 2012, 08:20
  48. Thank you for responding Panos. :)

    Posted by John Jr | March 3, 2012, 09:20
  49. *Off-Topic*

    Panos, I was wondering if you could give me some advice or help me with an issue that I wrote about on my blog:

    http://goodjohnjr.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/john-jrs-wordpress-com-forums-problem/

    Thank you. :)

    Posted by John Jr | March 3, 2012, 09:26
  50. Sorry, there’s nothing I can do to help. I’m aware of the issue, and there are other long-standing glitches in the forum as well, yet staff don’t seem interested in correcting them. As far as I can tell, you can only report and hope. Perhaps Tess, who is a moderator in the forum, can tell us more about this.

    Posted by Panos | March 3, 2012, 12:31
  51. Thank you Panos :) , hopefully they will fix this one of these years, because I have not been able to use the Forums and/or get responses from Support for a very long time. :(

    Posted by John Jr | March 3, 2012, 19:46
  52. I don’t have any idea why that is happening, but I asked about it in the moderators’ forum. Some of the regular volunteers get marked as spam sometimes, but no one has explained why it happens.

    Posted by Tess | March 3, 2012, 20:35
  53. Thank you Tess :) , I also sent a message about it to Akismet, hopefully someone responds; because I have been having this problem for a long time. :(

    Posted by John Jr | March 3, 2012, 20:40
  54. James answered, and apparently there are 80+ “I can’t post” threads to clean up first. Give it a little time before posting again, but I think he’ll fix the problem.

    Posted by Tess | March 3, 2012, 20:46
  55. Thank you very much Tess. :)

    Posted by John Jr | March 3, 2012, 20:48
  56. You are welcome.

    Posted by Tess | March 3, 2012, 21:08
  57. :)

    Posted by John Jr | March 3, 2012, 22:14
  58. Changes are inevitable and this free hosting business model is not a democracy. I accept that. What I don’t accept is the “surprise” approach as being a good way to conduct any business. I believe announcing changes well in advance, so we bloggers can prepare to meet the challenges those changes present would produce a better outcome.

    Being asked to provide “feedback” on the such surprise feature changes, when it’s evident no opt-out was not contemplated and provided for from the outset, apparently means “help us improve this feature or function you don’t want”. What a lack of respect that insulting approach communicates!

    Being a free hosted WordPress.com blogger has become synonymous with being stressed out — by both the surprise introduction of new features and functions and changes to old ones, without any prior notice. Well, none of the emotions I feel in response to being treated this way are contributing positively to my health.

    In the final analyis, we WordPress bloggers have to make the personal choice to either remain on free hosting as a guinea pig or move elsewhere. As for me, I’m far too angry to make that decision now. I’m focused on recovering from surgery and from Shingles. When I am fully recovered I will make my decision and act on it.

    Posted by timethief | March 4, 2012, 22:22
  59. *Jibber Jaber Alert*

    I agree with you there TimeThief, very much so, and I am starting to look into WordPress(.org)/Hosting My Blog somewhere else options a bit; and I am also starting to try to lower my expectations of WordPress.com & the WordPress.com Team, to help prevent being so disappointed/annoyed/angered in the future, because I expected them to be more Open/Democratic/Flexible/Better Than This/Et Cetera.

    I thought that Open Sourced based communities would be better than this / Those Running It / Those In Charge / Those Who Founded It (Matt *cough*), and so I had higher expectations for them than I did for Google / Microsoft / Bill Gates / Et Cetera.

    To me new features in testing should be officially announced, beta tested by the community with their feedback being heard & used & responded to, to improve the new features, and voted on by the community; and new features should be made optional when possible, and new features should be announced officially before or on release.

    To me the WordPress.com Team and/or Matt *cough*, should actually listen more and respond more to feedback/cries for help(freedom)(flexibility)(openness)(common sense)(balance)(et cetera) and start using the Official WordPress.com Blog to better inform & communicate with the community (because they do not use it enough to announce a lot of important things that would reach more people in the community), and that would better help them, their business, WordPress, and the community in my opinion.

    I am not sure what I am going to do either TimeThief, since my knowledge of hosting my blog somewhere else is still very limited, but I do really hope for the WordPress.com Team and/or Matt to improve/listen/respond/let someone else do what they won’t do/et cetera.

    WordPress.com is probably one of the last places or the last place for my hopes of a home online, if my comfort/faith/whatever continues to fall in WordPress.com & fails completely one day, I might actually give up blogging/connecting with the world online mostly, go back into my own personal limbo again never opening up part of my life to the world online again; and give up the last bit of hope that I had for online community. *yeah, I am being a bit dramatic there, I know :D *

    I am sorry to hear about your current health situation(s) TimeThief :( , do get well soon :) , and I hope for positive outcomes for you in reference to that and to your WordPress.com situation(s). :)

    Posted by John Jr | March 4, 2012, 23:13
  60. @TT: Agree. Changes are inevitable, and often welcome, because often they are improvements (the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” cliché is a fallacious argument). And of course it’s not a democracy: we’re not Matt’s partners, we’re simply users of a free product. But changes are one thing, changes that take you by surprise are another: ok, the free house you provide for me is yours, so you can change it as you like; fine, but when you decide to remove the stairs and install an elevator elsewhere, then at least let me know before I wake up in the morning and fall off the second floor!
    When Matt closed that thread, he made it clear that reporting bugs was the only kind of feedback he was interested in. You know what I’m thinking? Maybe the invitation for feedback was an initiative of the theme team (I like these guys, and I don’t think they share Matt’s attitude), and Matt stomped in to set things ‘straight’.
    Wish you a quick recovery, and I believe it’s not worth feeling anger: I would prescribe contempt.

    @JJ: Yes, you’d better lower your expectations! And yes, since Matt himself actually considers us beta testers then new features should be “beta tested by the community”. But “voted on by the community” and “optional when possible”? Well, things are clear: yes unless this means a difference in revenue. This would be fine with me if it was clearly stated and if the hype about how much WP cares for us was missing.

    Posted by Panos | March 5, 2012, 05:42
  61. Well said Panos, you obviously are a veteran blogger on WordPress.com with way more knowledge and experience than me, so your responses are helpful & informative. :)

    I am now lowering my expectations and even expecting the worst at times, like I do for my birth-town / parish / state / country / planet / et cetera :D , that should help me a bit. Hehehe

    Reality can be disappointing, but thank you for sharing information that helped snap me back into the real world :) ; though I rather live in dreams. ;) :D

    As for Matt *cough*, well, I better stop there. :D

    Posted by John Jr | March 5, 2012, 06:11
  62. “Cough” says it all…

    Posted by Panos | March 5, 2012, 06:21
  63. Yep. ;) :D

    Posted by John Jr | March 5, 2012, 06:23
  64. Since the basic WordPress code is GPL, if he carries on someone is going to set up an alternative. I know that there is a lot of non-GPL code involved in the management of the site, combined tag feeds, etc. but it would still be a lot less work than starting from scratch.

    Posted by Tāṇḍava | March 5, 2012, 14:00
  65. Well, things are clear: yes unless this means a difference in revenue. This would be fine with me if it was clearly stated and if the hype about how much WP cares for us was missing.

    That’s true, and by not taking into account the feedback data from us lab rats it is wasting a valuable source of information. It is disrespectful of us, but it blinds him to possibilities that could be useful. Insisting on implementing bad ideas in spite of (or is it because of just being contrary?) the responses is as foolish as not seeing the helpful and useful insights many users and volunteers have noted.

    Posted by Tess | March 5, 2012, 17:04
  66. I forgot about that possibility, thank you for sharing that, Tāṇḍava; that would be interesting if someone made a better alternative to WordPress using the open source code(s) for it as a base/foundation. ;)

    Posted by John Jr | March 5, 2012, 18:41
  67. I agree Tess, that is something that also bothers me as well, and that I did not directly mention but indirectly mentioned in my jibber jabber comments so far. ;)

    What is the point of experimenting/using us as test subjects/using us to help him make money if he is only going to ignore most of the research/data, and do whatever he wants regardless of whether his own research proves his ideas wrong/less likely to make him more money/happiness from his users/et cetera? :D

    In some ways when thinking about it, it almost seems insane, or very illogical at least.

    To me he does not have to care about us to see the logic in following the feedback of the majority of his test subjects, to better improve his services and to make more money, but I guess that he has other goals along with those that often conflict with those goals; and I guess that conflict of goals is part of what we constantly see in many of his actions.

    I do not know the man, but I wonder if the money, power, control, et cetera has negatively effected/affected him over the years?

    Anyway enough of my jibber jabber, I forgot that it was March, historical(?) quote time:

    “Beware the ides of March.” -Soothsayer | Julius Caesar Act 1, scene 2, 15–19

    Posted by John Jr | March 5, 2012, 19:01
  68. @TĀṆḌAVA: Oh, I ‘d love to see that! Like John above, I’d like a Mattless Wordress…

    @TESS: Yes, sometimes it’s just being contrary. Remember reblogging? When I pointed out that one could easily remove the link to the original post and modify the excerpt, he wouldn’t listen (and only said “use and comprehend the feature first”, although Rich and I had already done that, more than his own staff). Well, a year and a half later, the new version of a reblogged post doesn’t give you access to the link and the excerpt. I was right, but he couldn’t accept that at the time.

    @JOHN JR: See? The man has issues: he can’t stand being told that something he’s thought is less than perfect.
    What’s the point of using us as test subjects if he is only going to ignore us? He’s made that clear: he’s only interested in bug reports, not in suggestions re what to do, what not to do, and how to do it.
    As for the “feedback of the majority”, his (correct) answer is that those who complain in the forum aren’t the majority. But as Tess said, some of those people don’t just complain, they make suggestions as well. But suggestions bump onto Matt’s ego.

    Posted by Panos | March 5, 2012, 20:44
  69. Matt’s Ego, exactly, Panos; I was going to say that in my last comment; but I decided not to. ;)

    I forgot that he was only interested in Bug Reports, thank you for reminding me Panos. ;)

    Wow, I had no idea about the Reblogging Situation, thank you for sharing that bit of history Panos. :)

    Today I noticed that the Infinite Scrolling Feature seems to have been updated a bit to allow the Footer to still be viewable maybe (while looking at someone’s blog who was using the Twenty Eleven theme), why is it that the WordPress.com Official Blog is not used to report some/many of the new changes/important things/et cetera to WordPress.com?

    It seems to rarely be used to report the important things, just new themes and a few new features here & there.

    I thought that the Official WordPress.com Blog was to be used to inform users and help get them participating in The WordPress.com Community through Comments/Likes/Ratings on Posts on the Official WordPress.com Blog?

    Posted by John Jr | March 5, 2012, 20:53
  70. Here is the Official WordPress.com Blog that I was talking about, the one that appears in the Dashboard as well:

    http://en.blog.wordpress.com/

    Or is there another Official WordPress.com Blog or website where they announce important information/features/et cetera?

    Posted by John Jr | March 5, 2012, 20:56
  71. Yes, that’s the Official One. Why wasn’t infinite scrolling announced? My opinion is there in the post:
    “As for the feature itself, it was badly and prematurely implemented (and Matt knows this: in contrast to most other great or purportedly great features, this one wasn’t announced in the official wordpress.com blog).”

    Posted by Panos | March 5, 2012, 21:06
  72. I tried the Reblog once and it was JUNK – the Post I Reblogged had a bunch of junk at the top that made the Rebloged Post useless – I was not able to clean up the mess – I had to delete the Reblog and do things the old fashioned way – copy the image and a couple of paragraphs with the link back to the original Post for visitors to read the whole thing.

    I am mixed on the Reblog – sure makes it easy to copy stuff and I have seen sites that are no more than 95% Reblogged stuff. I am not sure that is a great leap forward or not.

    Posted by captnmike | March 5, 2012, 21:10
  73. I can understand that Panos, but they are still making changes to it, some of which might get more people to try it; yet they still are not even announcing the improvements to Infinite Scrolling, maybe they will wait until they finish working on it or something or never. ;)

    Also, I have noticed other small things that are not Officially announced such as: new Sharing Options/Services That Can Be Used To Share A Post, and a few other small things that I forgot.

    Anyway, it would be nice if they used the Official Blog to better inform and engage(?) us. ;)

    Posted by John Jr | March 5, 2012, 21:12
  74. Yeah, I am mixed about Reblogging in its current form as well Captinmike. ;)

    Posted by John Jr | March 5, 2012, 21:15
  75. @Mike: I’m not mixed at all! To me the whole reblogging business is junk. It was invented to increase traffic, and it was invented because of the popularity of Facebook, the users of which practically don’t do anything other than re-posting. You don’t have do be able to think or write: just press a button and you’ve got yourself a post. In my opinion reblogging has no place in a serious blog.

    Posted by Panos | March 5, 2012, 21:23
  76. Panos, I also hate when some people mostly just Reblog instead creating content, and I agree that it was probably invented to increase traffic (which it often does); my mixed feelings about it are only in reference to that it could be done better, but I personally will rarely (if ever) use it, since most of my blog is creative content created by my brain during Dreams & I am not the type of person who would use Reblogging much even if I did not have dreams. ;) Hehehe

    Posted by John Jr | March 5, 2012, 21:32
  77. I have reblogged only 3 times in 15 months. Each time I thought the blog I reblogged was relevant and great.

    I came across a blog the other day theat is just rebloggs – nothing else. WTF????

    Posted by Team Oyeniyi | March 8, 2012, 13:10
  78. Oh there are many blogs like that. No problem for WP: more blogs and posts > more traffic and more ads > more money…

    Posted by Panos | March 8, 2012, 14:16
  79. No problem even when reblogs violate copyright by reproducing your images. Notice staff attitude here:

    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/not-sure-if-this-is-a-legit-blog?replies=16

    Posted by Panos | March 8, 2012, 14:33
  80. I have seen sites that were just links to other sites suspended for TOS violations (no original content thing)

    I have seen several sites that were all reblog’s (no original content) and they were just fine and never suspended.

    I guess there is a difference between a bunch of links and reblogs – how slow of me not to notice the true difference.

    On a side note about Blogger – had a site there grab one of my articles (all but 15 words or so) – left a comment on the site and no response – filed what ever they call a complaint over there and they jumped me through a ton of screens with a fill out a DMCA complaint and a few days later the offending article was removed with a note emailed to me that the article had been removed – thought that was nice – but the blogger (who just seemed to have all articles from other sites) will probably now leave the link to original articles off -

    Posted by captnmike | March 8, 2012, 16:23
  81. justΠ,

    Happy birthday—

    ≥^!^≤

    bye bye miss american pie pi day…

    Posted by Tess | March 14, 2012, 03:14
  82. Didn’t know there’s a pi day!

    But my username doesn’t refer to the famous ratio, it refers to my initial.
    And I’ve always thought of Π as a gate. Preferably this type of gate:

    (Hate it that you pronounce it like pie! actually it’s like pea or pee but with the vowel short.)

    Posted by Panos | March 14, 2012, 12:29
  83. No apologies for the English language. _/\/\_

    As for pi day, it illustrates I’m not the only person who constructs meanings from coincidence.
    3-14 (my plan was to post at 3:14 a.m. but was distracted for a few minutes…I’m not so autistic as to let that distress me for long)

    Perhaps it’s just an excuse for math teachers to play less-than-stellar-music with bad puns in their classes?
    Wake up kids!!

    I wonder why the Greek letter Π was chosen for the ratio? Perhaps it is because the shape does look like a torii-gate opening into an infinite mystery.

    I’m picturing you as a little kid, reading
    The old pond has no walls;
    a frog just jumps in;
    do you say there is an echo?
    and you picturing the initial letter of your name as a gate.

    Posted by Tess | March 14, 2012, 16:35
  84. “I wonder why the Greek letter Π was chosen for the ratio?”
    Didn’t know that either! Wikipedia says it must have been chosen because it’s the initial of “periphery”, greek for circumference.

    Damn Japanese is very elliptic: very difficult to translate – or trust a translation. Various translations and commentary here:

    http://www.bopsecrets.org/gateway/passages/basho-frog.htm

    A greek haiku anthology I’ve got translates it as:
    old pond
    a frog jumps
    water ripple

    PS Comment timestamp rectified!

    Posted by Panos | March 15, 2012, 00:24
  85. The WordPress.com Team and/or Akismet fixed my WordPress.com Forum(s) Problem(s), now I was able to create a New Topic at the WordPress.com Forum(s) for the second time ever!

    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/john-jrs-wordpresscom-blog?replies=1

    I would like to thank Panos, Tess, Captnmike, and anyone else who helped me; thank you very much. :)

    Posted by John Jr | March 15, 2012, 00:53
  86. @John, I’m glad the staff finally straightened it out for you!

    @Panos,

    I chose that translation with “echo” because it reflected (so to speak) me imagining a memory of yours. A time without walls yet a gate beckons…

    elliptical, indeed.

    Posted by Tess | March 15, 2012, 01:35
  87. @john – congratulations on your new “voice” – I got stuck in the spam thing yesterday trying to help a person that was having problems with their domain mapping -

    Posted by captnmike | March 15, 2012, 01:41
  88. @Tess Thank you. :)

    @Captnmike Thanks :) , but I am sorry to hear that you are now Stuck In SpamLimbo :( , I hope that they get you out of SpamLimbo soon. ;)

    @Panos Do you plan enabling the Option to Reply to Individual Comments on your blog one day Panos? :D

    Posted by John Jr | March 15, 2012, 02:15
  89. @Mike,
    Yes, well, and then they let someone impersonate a regular volunteer!

    Posted by Tess | March 15, 2012, 02:53
  90. @Tess: yes yes yes, I don’t know if that’s the most true translation but it’s certainly the most interesting one and the most Zen-ish. Brings to mind the koan about the sound of one hand clapping. Or the musico-philosophical question whether sound/music exists if there’s no one to hear it.

    @John JR: you’re welcome, although I didn’t really do anything to help you. As for the Reply option (i.e. threaded comments), never. When it comes to comments, I’m strictly old-fashioned: comments strictly chronological – to me the other thing is a complete jumble.

    Posted by Panos | March 15, 2012, 02:54
  91. @Tess: and the only thing they can say is that “impersonating [...] are [sic] not appreciated”…
    ( http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/who-changed-my-username/page/2?replies=49#post-840008 )

    Posted by Panos | March 15, 2012, 03:03
  92. @Panos Okay Panos :D , thank you for responding. ;)

    Posted by John Jr | March 15, 2012, 03:10
  93. @Panos,

    re: impersonator—yes, I’ve tried to discuss the issue in the moderators’ forum. Slik as well. You have access via the Greek-mod to that forum? designsimply’s response in that thread is completely inadequate. IMO. agree with you!

    re: the koan—only my fantasy. You know, it’s really difficult to present you with a gift, as humble as it is. LOL. <3

    Posted by Tess | March 15, 2012, 04:29
  94. Being spammed was an annoyance to me but I was trying to help a guy that was posting in two threads on domain mapping – he had the name servers all fouled up (pointing to two different hosts) – I did the extra work on whois to find that out and all my help was stuck in spam and he was coming back in panic mode – I modlook the two threads with a note that I was stuck in spam and nobody stopped by – one of the staff finally dropped in but did not kick my stuff out –

    Before infinite scrolling I could have left a note in a blog for the staff and a bunch of them subscribed to it – asking for help – so I was not hurt but the poor guy with the domain mapping problem was sort of hung out to dry for a while –

    I missed the Off Topic soap opera with the troll – maybe I need to stop in more often and promote my cannery hack blog -

    Posted by captnmike | March 15, 2012, 04:48
  95. And so along with bad puns or whatever, for pi day:
    husband was playing a CD of Roy Orbison and I had to ask if it was in honor of the pi celebration…

    Sorry, I’ll stop messing up your serious blog now…

    Posted by Tess | March 15, 2012, 04:51
  96. @Mike
    It was not in Off Topic. The courtney troll is there in Off Topic, but the timechief impersonator is still alive and well, though no longer actually impersonating timethief.

    Probably this all should be on our mutual blog rather than here…

    Posted by Tess | March 15, 2012, 04:56
  97. @Captnmike Wow, that is messed up Captnmike. :(

    Now about the Soap Opera, I glanced at one of the pages of that on the WordPress.com Forum(s), interesting stuff :D ; I guess we have Face Dancers on the WordPress.com Forum(s) now, TimeChief, Hahaha. :D

    Poor TimeThief, I hope that she does not let this bother her too much :( ; get well soon TimeThief. :)

    Posted by John Jr | March 15, 2012, 05:00
  98. I did see the timeChief in the support forum – @TT was frosted – I think I made one modest post with the part that it was a new account – then just stayed out – I also saw a reference to a troll in the Off Topic and a large clean up –

    I thought about getting a new account maybe “TimeBeef” just to make one or two posts – but thought better of it.

    Posted by captnmike | March 15, 2012, 05:10
  99. @Captnmike TimeBeef, hahaha :D , good one Captnmike :D ; I think that you did the right thing to avoid making things worse ;) , but now I am thinking of names too, like TimeReef, hmmm. :D

    Posted by John Jr | March 15, 2012, 05:19
  100. Ok, you two must stop! It is not funny and wp.com is not doing anything to stop it. I do NOT find the whole bunch of posts, nor the sock-puppets and fake volunteers in the forums funny. Laugh away if you like, but you have no sympathy from me. Sorry Panos: I know this is not my blog, but what can I say?

    Sure, go ahead and impersonate ispak et al with fake names like timidcreep or timebomb…

    Cheez…

    Posted by Tess | March 15, 2012, 06:29
  101. @Tess I would think that the WordPress.com Team could deal with them, odd, I did not mean to insult you are anything; but feel free speak your mind and let it out, I apologize for seeming to not care at all, my attempts to boost the mood failed.

    I never was very good at things like that, oh well, good luck Tess. :)

    Posted by John Jr | March 15, 2012, 06:39
  102. @Tess I do feel bad for accidentally insulting you Tess :( , especially as someone who helped me and so I take this seriously, besides being quiet & apologizing, what else can I do, seriously?

    Posted by John Jr | March 15, 2012, 07:00
  103. @Tess The end of my sentence: “, what else can I do, seriously?” , meant that I would like to know what I can do to make this right? :)

    I did not want you to mis-understand my meaning there. ;)

    Posted by John Jr | March 15, 2012, 07:05
  104. Oy! Just don’t make jokes about this incident, or about timethief.

    Posted by Tess | March 15, 2012, 07:24
  105. @Tess Good, okay I will try to follow your advice, have a good night Tess. :)

    @Panos Could you delete any offensive jokes that I made recently on your blog, thank you. :)

    Posted by John Jr | March 15, 2012, 07:29
  106. @Mike:
    In general, staff seem to be inadequate or to not care enough lately. Maybe they’re all infinitely scrawling (sorry Tess…), trying to implement the greedy kid’s latest idea. As I guessed in this post, and as Jen predicted, their prime targets are the most popular themes: did you see that yesterday they attacked MistyLook?

    @Tess:
    Ever since the 30-minute block and the case of the staff member who spied on us I had promised myself I’d never take part in the mods forum. Same reasons why I didn’t become a member in the staff/vols blog.
    In my opinion the impersonator should have been immediately and permanently banned from the forums.
    Not funny at all there, but making a joke about it here doesn’t hurt.

    @John:
    I’m not seeing anything offensive. (And I can hardly resist the temptation to think of other impersonators, for example justpee, rainboaster, fauxclass – or an avenger called thesacredwrath…)

    Posted by Panos | March 15, 2012, 14:17
  107. @Panos – yes – pitch the imposter out – the staff also seem to be on vacation from their presence or lack of in the Forum -

    Posted by captnmike | March 15, 2012, 14:23
  108. @Panos Okay Panos, thank you for responding. :)

    Posted by John Jr | March 15, 2012, 16:06
  109. @Panos, I don’t appreciate anyone making fun of my friends, so I may have been oversensitive in hearing the puns on timethief’s name. Just call me 1Testy1

    At any rate, I know your reasons for not participating, though I disagree: I’d rather keep my eye on them. They don’t seem to be doing much, but at least carryingcortney has been bozoed—this after I spammed and spammed her and deleted at least one of her threads. When I posted that in the mod-forum Jenia finally responded to Slik and me.

    As for the others, we have been told to leave them alone: “Give them a chance to improve” Ha.

    Posted by Tess | March 15, 2012, 16:13
  110. @Tess For the record my jokes were not directed at TimeThief or you Tess, but at the Face Dancers. ;)

    Just a mis-understanding, no problem, I am not your enemy; honestly I got too relaxed/comfortable with y’all after having a good time communicating with y’all here, y’all have been some of the most helpful people that I have found on WordPress.com. :)

    When I get relaxed with people I tend to make the mistake of talking about deep topics/controversial topics and/or accidentally offending someone, since I do not yet know their likes and/or dis-likes, that is why I am usually the cautious type who avoids close social interaction with people I do not know; but in the rare times that I get comfortable, I make mistakes, I am Human (as far as I know). ;)

    Posted by John Jr | March 15, 2012, 16:24
  111. If Mike did what he thought of in the forum, what I would tell him would be a lot worse than what Tess said above. But a couple of puns here is just some innocent fun, obviously with no intention to insult anyone.

    Posted by Panos | March 15, 2012, 16:35
  112. No worries all! I was over-sensitive to be defensive of my friends: to be clear I was over-sensitive about the humor (hard to write and to be clear in this medium) and I mis-interpreted the humor. Me calling me testy on this issue is what I have been: irritable or touchy (Collins Thesaurus of the English Language ). I did not take any offense… Again, sorry for the misunderstanding on my part.

    Testy Tessie

    Posted by Tess | March 16, 2012, 01:21
  113. @Tess Good, I am glad that this is now resolved, thank you Tess; and have a nice day. :)

    Posted by John Jr | March 16, 2012, 01:24
  114. Hi.

    I have been reading your blog as it is very useful but I don’t read it all times.. I just keep it bookmarked in case I need some tip, when I forget that, of course.

    I was reading this topic and I didn’t know the WP staff is, I would say evil with the people the presumably would have to support.

    I noticed in the last year the changes in the “monospace font for the HTML editor” and “gallery carousel slideshow”, about the first one I didnt really care as rarely I use the HTML editor but I liked the monospaced font as it’s great when dealing with HTML code.

    And about the new slideshow I found it really great like you told here… I really hated the old way to display images.

    Well… I have 8 blogs at Wordprees.COM and this was the first time I got worried because in one of them, I use the Mystique theme using a static page as front page, and as I can see the affected themes Twenty Ten, Twenty Eleven, Coraline and MystyLook don’t include that option anymore at Settings -> Reading.

    In another one I use the theme “Piano Black” with almost the same setting, a static page as front. I really need this option.

    By the way, I know Timethief, sometimes I read her blog and sometimes I read the Forum’s topics and everytime I see she replying the threads there but I never replied and I really don’t want to contribute there, I don’t have time for that.

    All I know is: The staff there and mainly Matt, they really need to revert that or make this thing optional.

    And I didn’t know Matt is too young, 28 years old, probably that is the problem, usually young people don’t listen opinions.

    Note: This “Slacker N’ Reckless” is kept private because it is just my personal stuff and the very fist one I created at WP.COM, the other 7 ones are open for the public but I will never tell the names because I really don’t want.

    Anyway… It’s was nice to comment here. Your blog is great! ;-)

    See ya!

    Posted by Slacker N' Reckless | March 17, 2012, 06:41
  115. It’s me again… just forget the thing I told about “static pages”… I did read this post recently and I tested the affected themes above in a blog without pages. Sorry! ;-)

    Posted by Slacker N' Reckless | March 17, 2012, 07:58
  116. Hi,

    WP staff is certainly not “evil”, but sometimes they have to ignore users if that’s what Matt has ordered.

    “They really need to revert that or make this thing optional”. Make it optional, of course. But I think my post makes it clear that this isn’t going to happen. In fact, they’re going to add the thing to as many themes as possible.

    Yes, your remark about the static front option wasn’t correct.

    Posted by Panos | March 17, 2012, 16:24
  117. wow, I hope the WordPress founder Matt could make a good update on this in 2012.

    Posted by abedsaragih | March 19, 2012, 05:42
  118. He sure will…

    Posted by Panos | March 19, 2012, 19:38
  119. @Panos
    Will you please check my response to your comment on my blog. I want to be sure of what is going on when I do edit my post and I would really appreciate your help. http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2012/03/16/disabling-infinite-scroll-on-your-wordpress-com-blog/#comment-35809

    Posted by timethief | March 21, 2012, 21:28
  120. @John Jr and Tess
    With regard to being impersonated, of course, I was frosted, as Mike has said. I’m slow to anger but when I do become angry it’s not red hot anger that I experience. What I experience is more like “dry ice”.

    timechief impersonated me in form threads using the same avatar I have used for a long time and her username was linked to my blog! She posted into this thread that I created thanking others for their feedback. http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/who-changed-my-username?replies=33#post-839425

    I changed to this copyrighted avatar and timechief claimed she had a degree in psychology. http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/who-changed-my-username/page/2?replies=49#post-839516 It’s my opinion that a trolling wannbe psychologist who impersonates other people online is a forum environment spoiler.

    To be clear I don’t care what timechief wants or thinks. Impersonation offline or online is illegal.

    http://en.wordpress.com/complaints/

    http://en.wordpress.com/abuse/

    If you wonder why I am posting this here then please consider this. There is no apology from timechief for impersonating me, and there is no commitment made by her that she will not do this to me or to anyone else online in the future. I find that worrisome and I feel very uncomfortable about what the future may hold. :(

    Posted by timethief | March 21, 2012, 21:32
  121. @TimeThief Thank you for sharing that TimeThief. :)

    Posted by John Jr | March 21, 2012, 22:26
  122. @TT/1: Replied in your blog.

    @TT/2: As I said in a previous comment above, in my opinion that fucking troll should have been banned from the forums, immediately and permanently. And I find it outraging that Sheri prefers to pamper the troll:

    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/html-help-1?replies=9

    You’re only wrong re the degree thing; the troll didn’t say it’s got a Master in Psychology, the troll was just being sarcastic towards you for your seeing a “little girl”:

    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/who-changed-my-username/page/2?replies=49#post-839491

    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/who-changed-my-username/page/2?replies=49#post-839516

    Posted by Panos | March 21, 2012, 23:13
  123. I know we’ve disagreed about something to do with me being a moderator on wp. and I’ve had various conflicting thoughts, but this latest about closing support to all but paying customers, while we are all test objects, is the last straw. As long as they allow, I will be spamming the whole group of sock puppets, or even better if there are no responses in the threads, I’ll just delete them. They should have been gone long before. I am such a dumb dumb.

    Posted by Tess | March 22, 2012, 07:32
  124. We don’t have to agree on everything!
    Last straw for me too; made it clear here:

    http://wpbtips.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/wordpress-going-to-the-dogs/

    Posted by Panos | March 22, 2012, 07:42
  125. Yes, I know.

    I’m distressed. I heard only this evening about a friend’s death. My feelings are tender and I need to do something.

    Posted by Tess | March 22, 2012, 07:55
  126. You mean ellaella or someone else?

    Posted by Panos | March 22, 2012, 07:59
  127. Yes Ella. She was my friend, what for a year? 1 1/2? Is that too short a time to have friend and grieve?
    But yes tender feelings, I’m touchy. Testy. Other things happening. Sorry.

    And so I’m also angry.

    I will get a grip on things. Sorry.

    Posted by Tess | March 22, 2012, 08:10
  128. Why say sorry?
    When she disappeared from blogging, I was afraid we’d see such news one day, just didn’t expect the other sad part of those news (I’d rather not mention that part here).
    Did you know her personally (I mean outside blogging)?

    Posted by Panos | March 22, 2012, 08:15
  129. I did not have any more contact with Ella than online. But we had exchanged comments and emails (well, now I look, perhaps not!) and things she said influenced me. There has been a picture in my mind of her being somewhere happy and exciting for her (among her last blog posts about her happy move to Washington). Our relationship and my imagination about her life since then are what I mourn.

    And other things at this time make me feel vulnerable.

    So YES I am sorry: I know this is of no concern to your blog.

    none the less, I am angry about WordPress dot com developments.

    Posted by Tess | March 22, 2012, 08:36
  130. I see.
    (In case you misunderstood, my “Why say sorry?” meant you shouldn’t be apologizing.)

    Posted by Panos | March 22, 2012, 08:48
  131. —ever correcting grammar: “that news,” not “those news.”
    …those details of that news…
    and yes, of course, “sorry” is sad

    btw, I did find the emails with her.

    (and of course, you can correct my punctuation)

    USA Today conducted a poll about People’s favorite greetings:
    33 % Hello
    34% Sorry
    33% Good-by

    Posted by Tess | March 22, 2012, 15:09
  132. @panos

    Oh, I ‘d love to see that! Like John above, I’d like a Mattless Wordress…

    Someone just posted in the forums about blog.com, which looks like it could be just that. Free WordPress blogs without Matt! I have only just set up a test blog though, and I am not clear about its ownership and whether it does have any connection to Matt.

    Posted by Tāṇḍava | March 24, 2012, 11:37
  133. wordpress dot org.
    this thread is moronic. get a life. move on.

    Posted by scrollpost | March 24, 2012, 11:43
  134. @TĀṆḌAVA:

    Never heard of that before. Looks quite similar to wordpress.com. Pasting the link you gave in the forum:

    http://www.bloggingpro.com/archives/2010/11/30/should-you-blog-on-blog-com-wordpress/

    I might try it out too; in the meantime your impressions welcome.

    Posted by Panos | March 24, 2012, 15:38
  135. I saw the forum post and was curious about it so hopped right into reviews and trials late last night: never heard of it before either.

    Looks hauntingly like wp.com. Not so slick with built in stats and spam comment protection. Also it looks as if they don’t have a TOS and it is more difficult to file to have a post taken down? Sort of like a different dimension in space and time on Dr. Who.

    And the help system is very crude: a knowledge base which is impossible to search. Possibly a live help? but it’s been closed whenever I’ve visited over the past 24 hours. No forum ,nor open community, for offering help.

    There are some themes that are like (same names) the ones available on wp.com. And there are a couple not available on wp.com that I really like.

    A different media system for images and other media, but I need to explore it further: it is still very familiar but different.

    Somehow though, I cannot see me moving there. I have over 600 posts and thousands of pictures. I should try an experimental export.…

    Posted by Tess | March 25, 2012, 01:49
  136. Yeah, I was curious too, so I gave it a try (including importing this blog).

    They’ve got several interesting themes, plus some features that WP lacks, for instance a gallery slideshow widget, and the dashboard seems to be significantly faster. The biggest turn-off for me is the sidebar ads.

    In my opinion moving an established blog like yours should be out of the question. But it seems to be a platform we could keep in mind in case we want to create a new blog.

    Posted by Panos | March 25, 2012, 04:04
  137. Yes, the adverts are a $30 per year turn off.
    The gallery feature seems better thought out, and the slideshow widgets are nice.

    I just cannot go there with my real blog: even a guided transfer to wp.org would be a lot of work. But of course, yes, a new blog—something we can keep in mind.

    Posted by Tess | March 25, 2012, 06:19
  138. My view is that its good to know its there. Though I don’t intend to move my blog, if something did happen to WordPress.com or the changes and experiments became unbearable it gives an option other than self-hosting. It uses the same URL structure as WP.com, so in theory you could move a domain-mapped blog without impact on search engine ranking.

    The high cost to disable advertising at blog.com is probably not a deterrent for large blogs, as it includes the right to run your own adverts..

    Also it is probably good for Matt to know that there are alternatives too, it might moderate his enthusiasm in bringing in a universally disliked change.

    Posted by Tāṇḍava | March 25, 2012, 11:39
  139. “Its good to know its there”, “also it is probably good for Matt to know that there are alternatives too”.
    Exactly.

    Another important difference I just found out: javascript isn’t allowed, but flash and iframes are.

    Posted by Panos | March 25, 2012, 17:30
  140. Oh, yes, forgot. I tried those out right away. I guess I don’t really get what iframes are for, but the flash w/o gigya is interesting.

    I haven’t had time to see if they allow the curved, shadowed, etc borders. I mean that their visual editor will or not delete the codes for them.

    As I said before, the help system is almost useless, and it follows that without such user-input that there is no “community” or “global tags” which is a minus.

    $30/year is not a very high level to jump (for removing adverts) and I’m considering that even for my blog on wp.com. But folks are so used to them that many don’t even notice. ???

    Posted by Tess | March 25, 2012, 19:33
  141. Code for rounded borders is stripped out. Didn’t try any other unusual ones.

    Problem with the ads on Blog.com is that they’re too prominent: top of sidebar.

    Posted by Panos | March 26, 2012, 00:48
  142. @Tess -> Wow… a moderator from WP.COM forums unsatisfied with WP.COM… This is very interesting…

    In fact the problem with all we here is because we got a heavy addiction with WordPress. Well.. I’m one of them… I don’t have just those 8 blogs above… I have a lot of WP.ORG blogs located in my computer.

    Yeah… I have a personal Apache HTTP server running PHP and MySQL and most of times I play… yeah… I play with the local blogs switching themes, creating headers… seeing the options of each theme including testing and installng new plugins from WP.ORG

    We know the blogging software called “WordPress” is really great… when I see people still comparing WordPress with Blogger I really defend WordPress and I have no idea why the people still think Blogger is great.

    They don’t have those nice shortcodes like “archives”, “gallery”, “slideshow” and they think Blogger is great… Blogger is crap if compared with WordPress.

    Anyway… nice to comment here again… see ya! ;-)

    Posted by Slacker N' Reckless | March 26, 2012, 02:44
  143. @SNR: I don’t think Blogspot is great, but Blogspot has at least one advantage compared to WP: it doesn’t depend on the whims of the greedy spoiled brat called Matt Mullenweg.

    Posted by Panos | March 26, 2012, 02:54
  144. @Slacker n reckless!
    I might be a moderator for Wp.cow but don’t confuse me with staff. As a mod, I am a volunteer and hope to help people in the forums. That does not mean that I won’t become discouraged about the role I’ve been devoted to for quite some time.

    take note as well that blog.com is not blogger.com…

    Posted by Tess | March 26, 2012, 03:16
  145. By the way, limaouz, did you stop being a moderator for personal reasons or for wordpress reasons?

    Posted by Panos | April 3, 2012, 04:37
  146. wp attitude I won’t detail neither onto your blog nor on mine but this part

    http://lilmaouz.wordpress.com/moi/#comment-184

    which is enough to users, aware that officials ignore our forums and the community,
    and despises its mods and volunteers (even if we try to conceal, to avoid the worst)

    Posted by lilmaouz | April 4, 2012, 06:50
  147. Bien éloquent…

    Posted by Panos | April 4, 2012, 07:36
  148. Apropos anyone wanting to use Blog.com.. I’ve a test blog there and have noticed several things that I find offputting. One is that there is no option to use secure the dashboard via https:// Another is that it seems in the comments form there is no website field. The help info is dire, there’s barely anything there. There are limitations on how long one can let ones blog go without updating – and apparently they can delete a blog without any notice. To delete a blog one has to contact staff (there is a delete button there, but I presume it goes to a contact staff form or something. I have a feeling I might be clicking it fairly soon.) And the username… despite my choosing a particular one, it reverted to – of all things – my email address. Not good.

    I get the feeling that whoever runs it (and there’s no transparency at that, that I can see) is just in it for the bucks…

    Like another blog host owner we know…

    Posted by Val | April 4, 2012, 20:35
  149. Thanks Val.

    I never posted often (either here or in my other blog or in an older blog I used to contribute to), so the limitation on how long a blog can go without updating is a definite deal-breaker for me.

    Re website field and username: a) There’s no website field in the comment form but if you’ve filled in your website URL in Users > Your Profile then the username or nickname will correctly link to that website. b) Again in Users > Your Profile, if you enter a name in the Nickname field and select that nickname from the “Display name publicly as” pulldown, then the comment will correctly display your nickname.

    Just in it for the bucks? You don’t say!

    Posted by Panos | April 5, 2012, 04:56
  150. I was mostly thinking for visitors to the blog who aren’t members of blog.com getting a link to their blogs via the comment form, would that happen without a website field?

    Posted by Val | April 6, 2012, 00:42
  151. Yeah, that was my question too; didn’t have an answer, as the test blog I have created was private of course. I temporarily switched it to semi-public (by the way, they’ve got five privacy options instead of WP’s three) and I think you’re right, you can’t link to your blog unless you are a blog.com member; brilliant…

    Posted by Panos | April 6, 2012, 20:32
  152. congratulations on passing a million views…
    means something I think…

    Posted by Tess | April 16, 2012, 03:01
  153. Thanks!
    You noticed it before I did, as I don’t visit my blog when I’m on vacation.
    And I find it somewhat ironic that it almost coincided with my decision to close comments…

    Posted by Panos | April 17, 2012, 11:55
  154. Wonder-ful to have a vacation from the status quo, to welcome foxes and fresh feelings and ideas.

    I’ve only been @ home, but yesterday was something I’ve never seen before. At least 4 dozen black-white spotted small orange butterflies visited my own little back yard. only watched and admired them…

    and more than a million reasons your work has been appreciated/

    Posted by Tess | April 19, 2012, 01:25
  155. “only watched and admired them”: no pictures then?

    This time we didn’t go to the fox place, we went to my grandfather’s and father’s birthplace (hence the comment on your pi post).

    Posted by Panos | April 19, 2012, 03:27
  156. No, no pictures.
    a camera can absorb direct experience:
    just me, barefooted and outside in April (!), in Michigan, sitting on the grass, in the sun

    I hope your visit to the past was pleasant. My siblings, spouces, and our children did that, the interrment and visit to the family homes, last summer: business and pleasure and bonding as well as some tears and some anger…

    Posted by Tess | April 19, 2012, 07:30
  157. “No, no pictures”
    Reminded me of a line in Lynch’s Lost Highway:
    Ed: Do you own a video camera?
    Renee: No. Fred hates them.
    Fred: I like to remember things my own way.
    Ed: What do you mean by that?
    Fred: How I remembered them. Not necessarily the way they happened.

    “visit to the past”
    We don’t consider it a visit to the past: we just like the house and the place – not to mention the spit lamb on Easter day!
    And in fact I feel quite the opposite of visiting the past (because the past of that house isn’t really my own past). It’s the house where my father spent his last years (minus the final hospital tours, that is), and it had been abandoned; so by spending some days there, and combining vacations with minor repairs, I feel I set the time running again…

    Posted by Panos | April 20, 2012, 06:45
  158. Not especially familiar with David Lynch, and the little I’ve seen, I have not been able to make head or tail of him… but I go back farther to maybe Marshall Mcluhan and the media is the message. Experience and mediated experience are not equal. Of course even writing to you is a mediated message.

    And most obvious, use a camera then one pays attention to what the camera can do rather than to the experience of the “immediate event” or “mundane postcard stereotype.”

    “visit to the past”

    I don’t know your family history, if you have siblings, where you grew up, and so on. I apologize that I made assumptions based on my own experience. My father’s house was abandoned, but still owned by the estate and we siblings who have been estranged for decades were re-united for this event. I don’t know that we will continue to be “best buddies” in future but the experience was good. Siblings are treasures. My daughter is an only child so I wonder about that. Cousins are family, but she doesn’t know her much younger cousins. Family has pluses and minuses.

    Posted by Tess | April 20, 2012, 19:37
  159. Lynch is one of my favorite directors, and he probably wouldn’t mind if you can’t “make head or tail of him”, as his best films are dark surreal dreams that defy explanation. He himself refuses to explain things; if I remember correctly, he’s said that if he was interested in that he would be writing books instead of making movies. But he’s made a very nice straight one too: “Straight Story”.

    Apologize? Why apologize?
    My situation in short: I was born and raised in Athens, I don’t have siblings, and I don’t have any relatives in that village; the house was my grandfather’s, and now it belongs to me.

    Posted by Panos | April 20, 2012, 19:52
  160. Addendum: I think the best adjective for the Lynch experience is: disconcerting.

    Posted by Panos | April 20, 2012, 19:56
  161. Why apologize for my assumptions? Better to have asked you, yes, than to assume everyone is like me. To be honest, I think you have already said the same. I spent two years in my father’s house though we lived in other houses all the time I grew up. He was a hoarder so the place is a mess and with siblings the estate can’t settle until all is sold. But my assumption of siblings, family ties, well: presumptuous. In truth I hear many email, real-life stories of things going wrong with bitter sibling/family relationships. This time of life, there are far fewer wedding and baby showers than notes about deaths of parents, siblings, cousins, and friends. Fifties…

    Disconcerting, yes. Perhaps? re lynch: I’ll take a look at “straight story” via google.

    Posted by Tess | April 20, 2012, 22:21
  162. Disconcerting, yes, that is a good description for David Lynch’s filmography. Frankly, I fell asleep during “Mulholland Drive”. Give me Pedro Almodovar any day.

    Posted by Jennifer | April 21, 2012, 15:12
  163. What did Arlo Guthrie shout in the army recruiting center? KILL KILL KILL.
    Please kill this meaningless thread of nonsense. I tried to unsubscribe and failed.
    I no longer care about Panos or Matt. Frankly I wish they would run away together over the rainbow on the stairway to heaven in their own private bohemian rhapsody eating David Lynch’s synthetic chickens.

    Posted by scrollpost | April 21, 2012, 15:17
  164. @Tess:
    Better to have asked me, but even better if I had explained things in advance.

    @Jen:
    Oh our tastes seem to be very different – I hate Almodovar! My favorite director as a thinker on cinema is Hitchcock, my all-time favorite film is Citizen Kane, other top favorites include Paris Texas, The Sweet Hereafter, Looking For Richard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (actually they’re too many to list), to me the best film of the last few years is There Will Be Blood, and the film I enjoyed most last year is The King’s Speech.

    @ST:
    You’re not obliged to care for Matt and Panos or read our nonsense, it’s not my fault if you don’t know how to unsubscribe, and if you think I shouldn’t talk with my friends in my own blog because you don’t like it you’re out of your mind.

    Posted by Panos | April 21, 2012, 21:57
  165. Oy!

    Love, love, Hitchcock! We have watched lots of dvds from our public libraries of his old films. Strangers on a Train, Lady from Shanghai, oh and the one with the oblivious landlady and the crooks living upstairs? loved that one…Orsen Wells: rosebud. Paris Texas. And everyone I know tells me to watch The King’s Speech. Oh. yes.

    We have been watching Hitchcock’s TV programs. How fun they are!

    I still love Red by Krzysztof Kieslowski

    especially the end because all of the coincidences and foreshadowing come together into a memorable fated love story with a happy ending. Such passion I would love to experience!

    Posted by Tess | April 21, 2012, 23:35
  166. “the one with the oblivious landlady and the crooks living upstairs”
    I think you’re referring to The Lodger; that’s one of Hitchcock’s first films (1926), but already clever and inventive. My favorite Hitchcock film is Vertigo – but almost all his films have brilliant ideas. (Have you read Hitchcock’s dialogues with François Truffaut?) But Lady from Shanghai isn’t Hitchcock, it’s Orson Welles.

    Posted by Panos | April 22, 2012, 04:38
  167. Thanks, yes it is “The Lodger:” a very early film of his. Whenever I see it, the whole thing is so clever and fresh and funny. I believe lots of radio and movie plots followed that pattern in the following decades. Or is it just that there are only “so many” plots under the sun?

    I don’t know that I could chose just one Hitchcock film for my desert island viewing… Growing up, “The Birds” marked my psyche, and in college it was Pscho, but I love Rear Window.

    Oh I’m so bad with names, yes Lady from Shanghai is Orson Wells. Great movie. I was thinking of The Lady Vanishes…

    David Lynch: not for me, but I’ll still look at your recommendation…
    And I’ve never heard of the Hitchcock Truffaut dialogs…I’ll have to look for them.

    Posted by Tess | April 22, 2012, 06:30
  168. Or is it just that there are only “so many” plots under the sun?

    I had a Lit teacher in college that explained the same look of TV shows by he claimed there were only about 24 or so basic plots for plays and such.

    Posted by captnmike | April 22, 2012, 06:42
  169. Panos, I dislike Lynch. You don’t like Almoldovar. We’ll agree to disagree. All the others you mention are right on top of my list. There Will Be Blood was fantastic, most anything with Daniel Day Lewis is, and The King’s Speech was brilliant, but then it had Geoffrey Rush in it. :)

    Posted by Jennifer | April 22, 2012, 22:00
  170. @Tess:
    Anyway Rear Window and Vertigo are considered his best ones.

    If you love Hitchcock, the Truffaut book is a must.

    Straight Story is completely unlike what you’d expect from Lynch. It’s the (real) story of an adorable stubborn old man who learns that his estranged brother has suffered a stroke, decides to go reunite with him before it’s too late, and travels some 300 miles the only way he could: driving a lawn mower; also giving a few simple lessons on life along the way.

    @Mike:
    Something like that. And this is one of the factors that allow you to appreciate the quality of a work: how well it handles or twists things, or how it can be original within the conventional.

    @Jen: Of course (actually there’s nothing to agree or disagree on when it comes to tastes, likes and dislikes). But I’m sure glad you like the batch I mentioned!

    Agree about Lewis; to me the only bad case is the Unbearable Lightness of Being (he says so himself).
    And about Rush of course – but Firth was also very good.

    What’s your opinion on the last Oscar nominees for best film?

    Posted by Panos | April 23, 2012, 10:38
  171. Panos,

    Again, I must thank you for a gift: The Straight Story. And David Lynch no less!

    Alvin is so much like my father it made me cry and laugh at the same time. My dad even built a plywood trailer like the one in the movie. Not to tow behind a lawn mover but behind a car: we never traveled except to visit relatives but he kept that trailer for decades.

    He and my mother visited his brother in the USSR, in Karelia. Family. Like the bound kindling in the movie. I don’t know what I think of that: he wanted to stay, for his brother, but my mother gave him a choice to come home or she would by herself.

    The landscape in Iowa is apparently so much like southern Michigan where I live now. And Wisconsin! So like the U.P. where I grew up, and the scenes crossing the Mississippi River, the bridge. It feels like that (like in the movie), bridges in general and crossing the Mississippi… And so many times I’ve traveled across my country where the land looks so flat, boring, and straight, in a car. I wanted to see the landscape just as it was portrayed in the movie: from above and so the whole. The violin was singing. and crying.

    My dad waited too long, or he was taking care of his wife (mom) too long. I remember nights when he wanted to walk home but he was too far to put on his shoes in February… I was so engaged with the personal coincidental connections while watching that movie I need some time to see the more objectively.

    Tess

    Posted by Tess | April 24, 2012, 02:45
  172. Ah ha! That’s the problem with movie titles being translated. I know “The Straight Story” as “A Simple Story”. Wreaks havoc when trying to have a discussion. :) Wonderful film and would not have connected it to David Lynch in a million years. Sort of like many of Stephen King’s shorter stories like “Stand by Me” and “Marilyn Monroe and the Shawshank Redemption”, which hardly seem from the same author as “It” and “Pet Sematary”. (ugh!)

    The Ocsars: I didn’t see all of them, only 2, and was surprised that “The Artist” walked away with the Oscar. It was a pleasant enough film, but Oscar winner? I was also surprised that Gary Oldman didn’t come home with an Oscar for best actor. He was nothing short of fantastic in “Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy”.

    Must dash. Waving at Tess and Mike…

    Posted by Jennifer | April 24, 2012, 08:13
  173. Re: The Straight Story translated to A Simple Story!!
    Straight in the title refers to Alvin’s family name, as well as to the story being “true. Perhaps it also compares how straight the roads in that part of the country are, with the direct way Alvin talks about family, brothers, reconciliation.

    The plot vaguely reminds me of the book The Memory of Running: A Novel by Ron McLarty .

    Posted by Tess | April 24, 2012, 16:13
  174. @Tess(1):
    Thanks for the comment! If I knew that, I would have hesitated telling you about the film…

    @Jen:
    Seems we’re not so different after all!
    So far I’ve seen six of the best-picture nominees, and I find them all mediocre or flawed in one way or another; worst one in my opinion: the Descendants (Clooney ok, script very bad); most ambitious one, but failing, The Tree of Life. To me The Artist is a perfectly made nothing. But all the predictions had it as a sure winner; I guess that’s because it was well made, it refers to the cinema, and it’s a totally ‘harmless’ lollipop – no politics or other inconvenient subject.
    And I’ve seen all five of the leading-actor nominees. I think Dujardin was excellent, but it’s a relatively easy role, and (judging from what I saw in the awards ceremony) he’s probably like that in real life, while Oldman is a genius that’s different in each movie; but perhaps his performance in TTSS was too subtle for the academy’s tastes.

    @Tess(2) & Jen:
    Yes, the official title is The Straight Story, that’s the real surname of the old man it depicts, and translating the title is wrong. My conjectures are that Lynch used this title because the movie was shot straight (in sequence, along the actual route of the real-life Alvin), it’s told straight (no flashbacks or other fancy stuff), and it’s, well, not ‘Lynchian’.

    And here’s a gift from Tess – the complete movie:

    http://tessexpressed.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/straight/

    Posted by Panos | April 25, 2012, 22:23
  175. @panos,

    I’m so so so glad you didn’t “not post” the link to that movie.

    I’ve watched it twice now, so I may have a bit of distance from my initial emotional reaction. It is a beautiful film with lovely music. And of course Alvin is not completely like my father. Just some, a bit, enough that I can see much of how my dad used to be.

    That is the part that made me smile. even laugh: i was remembering the good things about him. Crying was for how little I appreciated him in the past few years, or more accurately, how little I rememberd about how he used to be. And guilt about not being or more use: husband and sister were there.

    For me, talking about the dead, it’s both comfort and pain. Memories are happy, sad, guilt-ridden, these people, events, are part of my life…

    I see nothing wrong with talking about that.

    Well, except perhaps I’m being self-centered?

    Posted by Tess | April 26, 2012, 05:41
  176. self-absorbed. See: I don’t speak any languages!

    Posted by Tess | April 27, 2012, 18:02
  177. This was just activated on my Vigilance themed blog today in one of the sloppiest executions I’ve ever seen. Effed up the background, made an ugly floating credits box at the bottom of the browser window, infinite scrolling with no option to turn it off… ridiculous.

    Thanks SO much for the method described in Update 7, this worked perfectly and restored my blog to its former glory. Much love.

    Posted by Jesse | May 30, 2012, 03:29
  178. You’re welcome! Check the whole post for a complete record of their sloppiness (plus other marvelous qualities).
    The sloppiest case was Bueno: when they added the infinite-scrolling shit to Bueno, the content of all blogs wearing Bueno turned to huge bold text, and this went unnoticed and uncorrected for two days – they only corrected it when I pointed it out to them… If you were a professional designer, how many seconds would it take before you notice that you’ve turned everything to huge bold text?

    Posted by Panos | May 30, 2012, 04:43
  179. haha! remarkable xD

    I’ll be sure to come to you for a fix when they inevitably discover the current workaround and/or screw up something else. Sure it won’t be too long ;)

    Posted by Jesse | May 30, 2012, 04:55
  180. Thanks so much for helping me fix my horrible floating footer Vigilance problem!

    Posted by Jillian (Birds and Baking) | May 30, 2012, 06:17
  181. Infinite Scrolling is insane!! Thank you so much for providing the fix – I could not find it anywhere else. Is there any benefit to infinite scrolling? It makes no sense to me that it would be the default – without an obvious way to turn it off.

    Thanks again.

    Posted by iheart88 | May 30, 2012, 18:44
  182. @Jesse:
    Yes, unfortunately it won’t be long, because they change things all the time. (And when I say all the time that’s literal: they actually brag that they roll out new code 50-60 times a day.)

    @Jillian:
    You’re welcome.

    @IH88:
    You’re welcome. “Is there any benefit”? To you, no; to WP, yes.

    Posted by Panos | May 31, 2012, 08:10

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