Originally entitled, “Converting the Heathen Among Us,” this post was going to overwhelm you with the advantages of WordPress.org over WordPress.com
I was quite certain you’d thank me.
But, as so often happens as I write, my thoughts evolved and I was myself converted. Here’s what happened.
I’ve long divided the world into camps, tribes if you will. I’ve done it somewhat tongue in cheek, but still, I’ve done it.
Another of my many “Two Different Types of People” — Which one are you?
In my teens there were the motor boat people vs. the sailboat people. As a young career woman I realized that PC/DOS folks were different from MAC/Apple people.
When I first married, I discovered there was another way to hang TP — those who hang it so it drops off from below. Whoever heard of such nonsense?
You get the idea.
There are the snow birds vs. the “I live to ski” folks; and dog people vs. cat people. And never the twain shall meet, except that they do.
I’ve floated among these various tribes over the years — except for the TP one; that one’s pretty solidly fixed.
The competing tribes get deadly as we go back in history.
Think CRUSADES at the beginning of the first millennia. Then, there was that epic struggle for Catholic or Protestant dominance, following the Reformation in the early 1500s. Some think it was merely THE THIRTY YEARS WAR, but it actually lasted a few centuries.
We’ve come a long way, but at least we’re not killing each other so much.
I could stay on this path and talk about the rise in hate crimes and the tragic deaths that have resulted in our too recent past — an important post, which I’ll save for another time.
For now, I’m looking at how easily we latch onto a side, hang on to it as though our life depended upon it, and bombard the opposition with “facts.” And when we do, we can’t hear each other.
Dichotomies surround us. I gave you a bunch of them ranging from the totally irrelevant through the tentatively entertaining to the terribly serious. I’m sure you could add a dozen more.
They all have a few things in common and today I thought we’d pull apart what they are.
We couch them in terms of right and wrong, good and evil, for better or worse.
During the Crusades (As we in the West were taught), the Christians were the good guys.
Who the good guys were during the Reformation, the Thirty Years War, the Civil War, or in any confrontation, depends on which side you are on. Isn’t that always the key?
Everyone clings to the notion that their camp is right, factually (if not morally) superior, whatever you want to call it. Even Hitler believed he was doing right. (Fortunately, enough people disagreed with him. But I digress.)
I’m going to use the modern-day WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org debate as our politically safe example. Fellow bloggers will understand.
It’s easy for WordPress.org to claim “bestness.” It is the blogging platform the blogging gurus recommend, the one that plays nice with many useful plugins, the one that allows me to stay in control of my content.
It’s simply the one (and only) way to blogging heaven, according to those in the .org camp. Me among them.
My first blogging guru recommended it and my initial web designer insisted upon WP.org when I threw up my hands and proclaimed I hadn’t a clue how to create a website!
It’s not unlike (I said to myself) saying you’re Catholic/Protestant/Muslim/Jew/Agnostic/Hindi/Jain/ or Universalist Unitarian because your parents insisted on it. There’s a reason religions run in families.
Seems to me we work backwards in these things. First, we discover we are standing in a particular camp. I’m standing in WP.org (thanks to my web designer girl friend). I’m standing in the Democratic Party (thanks to my mother). I’m standing in New England, USA (thanks to fate). None are perfect, but I’m pretty proud of each of these.
And then I collect the facts to help me explain to others why my blogging platform, my political party, or my region and country are the best.
We collect “facts” that support our position — something other than “my parents insisted.”
The toilet paper is easier to grab when it falls from the top of the roll. Besides, it looks nicer.
Motor boats are noisy. PCs get hacked too easily.
For those actually interested in comparing the two Word Press platforms, I recommend Abby Lawson’s creative post on just that. Her blog is called Just a girl and her blog.
We gather the facts that will make your conversion to MY WAY as smooth as sliding down a teflon coated playground slide.
Thanks to pixabay.com for the image.
Not every blogger needs saving (except maybe those on Blogspot?).
Perhaps they like the path they are on. Perhaps they are perfectly content in their WordPress.com world. Or Blogger, Weebly, or Tumblr, or Squarespace platform. Who am I to tell them otherwise?
Perhaps they have no books to sell, no services to celebrate. Perhaps they have no plans to monetize their blog (blogger jargon for making money from your blog).
Perhaps they don’t really need a website, they just need a place to blog from.
Perhaps they don’t care about widgets or plugins or analytics or polling or SEO optimization. Or learning the jargon. 🙂
And, (the hardest for me to embrace) …
Perhaps they are capable of figuring out how to create a blog site on their own. I do give those bloggers a lot of credit.
We’re not talking immortal souls here, thank goodness, but it seems to me the thrust is not dissimilar. I get this notion that MY WAY is the RIGHT WAY — my politics, my country, my blogging platform — and look down on the other, the ignorant, the foreigner, the misguided, the heathen, or the innocently misinformed.
It’s the belief that it’s my duty to either set them straight, make them see the light, or put them in their proper place.
How easy that has been these past two years.
What is it in me that feels so compelled? Why can’t we talk dispassionately when we disagree?
I have a theory. Care to hear it?
I hope so.
AND WE’LL DO THAT NEXT WEEK.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the fun dichotomies you’ve identified. Or anything else you care to comment on.
NOTE: I’m changing my hosting service this week. Please bear with us if things go a bit wonky. I shall return.