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Just trying something out

May 26th, 2013 14 comments

I decided that one of the [many] reasons why I don’t post to my blog regularly is that the tool I’ve been using to do it (WordPress) is just not very welcoming.

Getting Things Done coverIt’s kind of like what David Allen says about items on your to-do list: If you experience a sense of dread just reading them, you’re not very likely to want to start doing them. (One of his primary rules automatically makes them friendlier: Every item on your Next Actions list should be just that—the very next, and usually very small, action that you need to take to further the goal, not the whole goal itself. So rather than “Get car fixed” you’d put “Look up mechanic’s phone number” which feels much less tiring, and hence much more doable.)

In the same sense, I realized that I’ve always approached opening up the native WordPress editor with a sense of dread. It just always feels like I’m wading through a swamp in a pair of hip boots that are way too large: everything about it feels kind of cumbersome. So I decided to look around for some way to write blog posts that felt friendlier.

Right now, I’m giving Windows Live Writer a spin. Please ignore any mild sense of vertigo you may experience. [Hopefully] it’ll only be temporary.

UPDATE  Well, that went pretty well, all things considered. The vote isn’t in yet on any unintended consequences, but it was certainly more fun than working in the WordPress editor. Curiously, it didn’t preview the post in the fonts used on my site (as advertised), but I have to imagine that may be because I tinkered with the WordPress theme that I use quite a bit. We’ll see.

imageUPDATE 2  While googling to find out if I could make edits outside of Live Writer (e.g. via the WordPress app on my iPhone) and still have Live Writer stay in sync, I discovered that the reason I wasn’t seeing WYSIWYG fonts from my theme was that I hadn’t noticed the Preview tab at the bottom of the screen. (The word “Preview” was also gray, BTW.) It’s not like I hadn’t looked for it, but the status bar at the bottom of a window isn’t one of the places where I usually look for important things.

UPDATE 3  Gosh, I really like this. It’s about a thousand times better than using WordPress itself. Essentially, it’s like writing in Word (which I’ve used forever), only it has a Publish button that knows how to speak to WordPress. Maybe I’ll actually start blogging after all.

Categories: Usability