Dig. Comm Systems - May 2016

Dig. Comm Systems Response

So when my second semester started, I had plans to continue blogging every week or so, since I liked doing it so much for Intro to Dig. Comm. Obviously, that didn’t work out the way I planned, but I’m back again for a special guest post for Dig. Comm Systems.

The questions that I’m answering here are:

  1. Based on your experience with WordPress, what are your impressions with working with WordPress – the pros and cons? It started as a blogging platform but has evolved – should it still be relegated for small blogs, or do you see enterprise use?
  2. Are there any blogs you regularly follow? Pick one and critique it. Why do you like this blog? What is it about the content that makes you go back? How about the design/layout?

I’m going to start with the second question, because I can think of only one blog that I regularly check up on, and that’s Sharleen Joynt’s blog at AllThePrettyPandas.com. For those of you who aren’t criminally obsessed with reality television, Sharleen Joynt is an ex-contestant on The Bachelor who now posts recaps of the current seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.

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I like reading her recaps because she provides a behind-the-scenes look on how the show really works. Sharleen exposes just how “real” the show is, and has taught me a few things about how reality television works, including a term she calls “frankenbiting,” where sound bites of a contestant’s interview are spliced together to create quotes that were never actually said.

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Sharleen’s position as an ex-contestant provides a unique point of view to the generic recap that so many bloggers post every week. While I do read a few other Bachelor/ette recaps, Sharleen’s is the one I like the best, and so I continuously check her site for updates. The content is written well, but what keeps me coming back the most are the behind-the-scenes anecdotes she shares. I recommend it for anyone who likes The Bachelor/ette.

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In terms of layout and aesthetics, Sharleen’s site is easy to navigate and the recaps are clearly labelled and easily found. Though her site design is simple, it’s very clean and prompts engagement from the user. It helps that her writing is excellent, but I really just see her intelligent use of language as an added bonus to everything else she does so well.

Regarding the first question, I would say that the biggest pro of using WordPress is how user-friendly it is. I can pretty much figure out how the site works on my own, even when using it for the first time, but if there was ever anything I didn’t knowhow to do, it was easily fixed with a simple Google search. For me, user-friendliness is so, so important, especially with a blogging platform.

I like WordPress so much, that I’m not certain I even have a con for using it. Hopefully one of my classmates can come up with something – I’ve been using WordPress since undergrad, and I’ve yet to have any huge issues. The site really is user-friendly, clean, easy to navigate, and awesome.

However, I’m not sure that WordPress has the capabilities to evolve beyond small blog use. I think WordPress does small blog use so well that it doesn’t make much sense for the site to try to expand. WordPress is the leading blogging platform for anyone who wants to set up a site, and I think it should stick to what it knows best. WordPress doesn’t need to change – the site is great enough at what it already does, and I don’t think that its users are looking to have anything major changed. The design and functionality are so great, though they are catered towards the small blogging platform.

If WordPress was to expand, it would have to change some elements of its site, and I think this would upset users who enjoy the way things are. WordPress should stick to what it knows and does well, because what it does well it does very well.

Hopefully I can jump back on here to do a semester wrap-up or recap, and get back into the swing of things (i.e – blogging regularly) soon! For now, let me know what your thoughts are on WordPress – are you as big a fan of the platform as I am?

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