WordPress.com as Gateway Drug

I’ve recently been wondering about the limitations of WordPress.com compared with one’s own installation of WordPress. I was thinking about these limitations as bad things, and in a sense they are.

But then I read Lorelle quoting Ken, and supporting his argument that WordPress.com will give users a taste of what they can do, thus encouraging them to move onwards and upward to “WordPress classic” blogs they manage themselves. It’s an interesting argument, and one I will ponder and post further on.

Both blogs I’ve linked to above are on WordPress.com, by the way. Ken links to Steve Rubel‘s thoughts of switching to WordPress (.com, from TypePad). Interesting though Steve’s post is, I don’t see what a move to WordPress has to do with the long tail. WordPress is a major blogging tool, and nowhere near the tail. It powers a lot of long tail blogs, but then so does TypePad.

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4 comments

  1. Lorelle VanFossen

    A little part of me is excited about the idea of people growing out of wordpress.com stuff to independent WordPress sites.

    Those inexperienced with PHP and CSS stuff would be attracted to WordPressMU driven sites, and those who really want to lift up the hood and tweak with things who move into WordPress traditional could really challenge the development and support to make it even better.

    I still see more corporates using WordPressMU, since the focus is on the content not the presentation (to a point). But for the independent user….WordPress is the power tool.

    It’s nice to have both.

  2. Andrew

    Lorelle,
    Thanks very much for being the first to post a comment on this blog. I think that you were also the first to link to it (except for me).
    I have some concerns around these WP/MU/.com issues, but I should get them a little clearer in my mind before I post about them.

  3. Jefte

    Content is the focus, but presentation of that content is extremely important if you want your content to be read. So many blogs out there, so many paragraphs of text, so many authors… how do we decide which to give our precious time to?

    When confronted with two long articles on a similar topic, one with images, one without – I tend to read the one with photos. The article without photos could be Pulitzer Prize winning stuff, but it never gets a chance because the flashy article with photos gets the attention.

    Do we not also distinguish “good” blogs from the chaff by their overall presentation?

    I know if I come across a blogger site I write it off immediately thinking, “bah, any fool can sign up for a blogger account and spout drivel!” While I hold in higher regard sites with unique designs that deliver good content.

    Corporate use of MU is to be expected. A consistant styling under their corporate colors/logo makes MU the obvious choice. The bloggers on those blogs don’t have a choice when it comes to presentation, nor should they.

    However, to remove this individuality from personal blogs is a mistake.

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