In the last 24 hours I have seen a proliferation of blog posts that are exactly the same as one another. Sometimes the blog post which is only a few sentences is repeated word for word with as many as 10-20 different blog names/authors. This has to be an automated operation and abuse of WordPress.
I let WordPress know that this is occurring but its a hard problem for them to fix. Everyone is free to scrape content, but I imagine its hard setting a hard limit of scraping that you can enforce. For example, one webpage called techmeme I think used to make it very easy to submit things to your blog/Twitter feed. It has some interesting stories, but because it is so easy lots of people were using it. I noticed that on Twitter and stopped using it. There is no use to repeat something that hundreds of people are already repeating.
So I have decided that creating original content really is a better way to build an audience than sharing educational resources I find. I have learned many things reading other websites, but not everyone seems to appreciate less common resources. To me, if something is worth learning about it is easy to motivate yourself to learn. However I see that other people sometimes prefer to be led through learning something. So that is a change I am going to do in editorial content here.
Unfortunately you can only upload these themes to your own self-hosted WP installation. Still the fact that you can easily create themes is fantastic. I wish that WP.com would buy this company and allow us to make our own themes.
Generally WordPress is very good. It has some odd things however, and I wanted to share one of the biggest ones for me. It seems that you have two options when you have comments.
- To have anyone comment, and all pingbacks to post automatically.
- To have to approve each comment, and have to approve all pingbacks.
Now clearly with the volume of Spam I get, over 11k in the past 2 years I can’t allow just anyone to comment. However every-time that I link to an older post I have written I have to approve it.
Now naturally I ask the spam people if they could change this behavior. They said that it was up to WordPress to offer this as a feature. I asked WP technical support and they confirmed that those were my two choices.
I think that there are 3 things that cause people to want to move to a self-hosted situation.
- More control over the plug-ins or ways that a blog functions. If I had a self-hosted blog then I would have a choice of discussion plug-ins. So then I could theoretically change or find a better way to handle pingbacks.
- More control of the themes/css/java. It is amazing the kind of beautiful blog themes that you see on the web. Unfortunately even the premium themes are boring/disappointing. It is frustrating that you have to pay for a CSS upgrade. Part of what makes a successful site is how it looks. I understand that WP needs to make a profit, I wish they would explore the advertising aspect more. Like if they help their customers gain an audience then that advertising money should be credited to them. For their immediate need, they could offer a partnership ad program where someone could pay $30 a month and then half of the money raised from ads goes to them. That would ensure the payment that WP needs, and also provide an incentive for the blogger to make good content. Things like java and stuff are expected by surfers, so the lack of things like flash and more advanced things don’t help people stick at a site. I paid for the No-ad upgrade, but I had no way to know if WP was making more or less money by me doing this. If the monitzation had been more transparent then we could make better decisions on our resources/times.
- More control over performance, analytics, heat tracking, or really the wide range of functionality that a normal site would allow you to have. You can’t use many tools like Google’s Website Optimizer or any way to do things like A/B testing/multivariate testing. Really if you are trying to ensure a SLA or quality of service there is no way to enable this. For that reason alone you can’t really use WP for a business purpose.