Don’t get me wrong. WordPress.com is awesome. It’s got features oozing out of its ears that the self-hosted version of WordPress can only dream of. That’s what you get when the entire system is centralized and you control the flow of feature updates.
I should like writing here. I really should. It’s a smooth operation. But I don’t. I don’t and I can’t get over it.
WordPress.com: It’s not you; it’s me.
I have been raised to believe in the philosophy of the self-made Internet. Chalk it up to following people like Dave Winer, Cory Doctorow and Craig Newmark, guys who just build stuff all the time. If it doesn’t exist, they build it; and if it does exist, especially in a commercial application, they question whether it is something we’d be better off doing for ourselves.
In general, the answer to that investigation is that it’s almost always something we’d be better off doing ourselves. And such is my entrenched position about WordPress, which I have self hosted since that time back in, like, 2003 when I realized that manually updating an HTML document was not an efficient way of publishing lots of material online.
I have other blogs. I have my own hosting, a couple of domains. I have Becker’s Online Journal and Hypercrit. I only really update BOJ and that’s mostly for work, so I need to be more professional in what I post there.
I also have a Tumblr account, which is cool and all but feels like a waste of time since finding stuff is really hard to do on Tumblr. Then I have a development blog and newsroom blog hosted on the Chronicle’s CMS.
Nowhere do I post purely personal views. Perhaps that’s what the WordPress.com version of BOJ could be for…
Now cue the archivist in me who says you should not split up the databases. You should designate a new category in your self-hosted blog and post personal stuff there. Keep it all together. Keep it secret. Keep it safe.
But I want the flashy features that are built in to WordPress.com. I want them despite the ads it puts on my pages. I want it and don’t want to have to install a bucketful of plugins on my self-hosted site, slowing the site down more than the flashiness is worth.
So what am I to do? Dilute my audience and split my database? Hold to my ideals about a self-made Web?
I don’t know. I just don’t know what to do about my pressing first-world problem.