The Automattic Price Of Change

The more things change, the more it means that someone is trying to convince you their way is better.

With the new changes now put into effect by the powers that be at WordPress, my days as a blogger appear numbered. I say appear because Imma try and be cool with the maladjusted back door profit I’ve been learned that gets me a Botox version of Classic Editor. So long as I have this reasonable enough facsimile, I’ll stay put.

But if this improper impostor to the real deal, old school rule gets junked in favor of that full metal Block page, I’m going to close up shop. I’m giving y’all the heads up in that event, but I will keep you in the loop either way.

In the meantime, I’m gonna be writing up something called The Last Post, which will serve as an homage to my (yikes!) fourteen years worth of blogging on the WP platform. I’ll keep said post in my draft folder in the event things go Defcon.

Hopefully the powers that be do not end up pulling on what for many bloggers will be that last straw, but it never hurts to have an exit strategy.

Alls I can say about Block Editor is that I’ve studied how it might be able to help me write my thoughts on virtual paper and I’ve come up empty. The format accords itself just fine to the intended audience, but for someone who wishes to scribble madness onto a cocktail napkin like yours truly? Nope, not so much. Block took that cocktail napkin and made origami. It replaces inspiration with perspiration, flow with four letter words and writing with something else entirely. Hell, I’d be okay with a pay for play method on this transaction, seeing as how I’m already locked in to an annual subscription. Gimme Classic for twenty bucks a year more? Fine. And you can call me a dinosaur while you take that change and buy yourself a a Venti victory cup of java, Matt Mullenweg.

Of course, I realize WordPress doesn’t give a wit about me, and that’s cool since I wasn’t asking them to. They’ll lose others just like me, and we’re nothing but the same, basic difference to them. As long as the changes don’t end up New Coking their brilliant asses, they’ll forge ahead into their five minute destinies before being replaced by someone younger and cheaper. It’s the circle of life.

I’ll be just fine come what may. I’ll keep on reading up the blog neighbors who invited me inside their picket fences and I am most grateful for having made your acquaintance. As far as blocks go, yours will always be worth the stroll.

WordPress wants me to know why I should be using Block Editor and it has everything to do with their best interests rather than mine. So it feels good to say no thank you to that kind of self serving change, seeing as how the world peddles this kind of aggrandizement on the regular.

Change is a part of life, but when it makes people feel marginalized, well . . that’s not the kind of progress I will sign up for. And if it comes down to their way or the highway, I’ve only got one thing to say.

I’ll take my coffee to go.

83 thoughts on “The Automattic Price Of Change

  1. I can’t tell how pissed I was to wake up and have this block hed thingy as my only recourse. Well, I pissed and moaned about it and then went and used it. There are a number of things I hate. None I love. It. is just a pain in the ass but better than most of the pains in the ass out there. So I’m now working a combination of blocks and a classic block. You know I do dialogue right? Try setting up a different block for each line. Shit. I figured out I can set up a classic block and do all the dialogue in it. Pain in the ass. Oh, sorry I already said that. My heart is with you, Pilgrim. These people can’t suck enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. B,

    Because… it’s a need for these giant corporations to fix what ain’t broke. I call it job security for their personnel.

    Appear. I hope it remains at appear – for completely selfish reasons, of course. And if this Botox version disappears, Imma find another for ya 🙂

    I know it’s the principle of the thing because even in the block crap there is a “block” called classic. Yeah, it’s not open and write; it’s open, choose and write. But still, I do completely get where you are coming from.

    I hope that post stays in the draft for a good line time. Again. Completely selfish reasons. What can I say? I’m a huge fan of your writing so no way I want to see it disappear.

    Dinosaurs have their place, I say. Keeps the upstarts from taking over.

    WordPress doesn’t give a whit about anyone, quite frankly. New Coking – I like it. And you’re right. It’s a question of time before another comes along and challenges them.

    You are the best to stick around and read, were the awful to happen. And yes, change is part of life but doesn’t have to be done in such a cavalier fashion.

    Excellent choice of tune… grab me one, wouldja?

    Q

    Liked by 1 person

    • Q

      Automattic has its eyes on a prize that doesn’t rhyme with consumer compatibility. They own, what? Like fifty percent of the market at this point? So now is the time for them to jump, and hey, we ain’t gonna matter in that transaction.

      I wouldn’t have written this post if I had any faith in WP doing the right thing. But I don’t. Sadly.

      The reality of our current world is that nothing relies on principle any longer. We’ve come to expect that we will be overlooked. And if we don’t play along with what we know to be BS, well then it’s our fault.

      Who knows. Maybe they’ll offer Classic the way Coke once brought back their Classic.

      The upstarts will always be coming and going. Leaving their wake for everyone else to ride out.

      As with any business. When the britches get too big . . .

      I’ll keep the blog, but I won’t write in the block format if they take classic away. It wouldn’t be right.

      Haha! I heard that song today and thought about what a classic it is. Gracias!

      B

      Liked by 1 person

      • I wouldn’t be surprised if they owned 50 percent. And no, we matter not a smidge.

        I shall keep that little light shining that they will. Coz, a little counter-balance can’t hurt.

        That sounds eerily like my email situation, doesn’t it? Somebody could have said something but in the end, it’s my fault for not having thought of it. Definitely overlooked.

        Coke had to give in so… here’s hoping.

        This be true for the upstarts and for the britches.

        Sigh.

        Serendipity!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sadly. And it becomes as much a matter of that principle as the disruption of flow, which is what Block does, that has me on the outside looking in.

          As long as I have my escape hatch, I’m here. But it wouldn’t be the worst thing if they take it away.

          I am dealing with this at work. I have a program that I KNOW will be replaced but in the interim I have to trudge forward and deal with all the bugs. How’s about you keep those bugs away from me until the better mousetrap is ready.

          What WP did was provide a one way street when the five lane highway was, and still is, available.

          The developers did a lot of great good work on this concept, I don’t blame them. I simply won’t accept the disregard the bosses have for choice. Real choice, not the perception of choice.

          If you say so? Haha . . I forget what I said!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I guess I’m going to be the contrary voice here.

    When they started pushing the Block Editor out, I was very much not looking forward to it. I’m tired of improvements that don’t improve a thing and I definitely did not want to have to learn a new way of posting. But …

    Now that I’ve been using it for a few weeks, I don’t see that much difference in how it affects how I post, and the few features I use are better than they were.

    You read my blog — it’s almost entirely text-based, with a few embedded links here and there, and pictures also here and there. Oh, and the occasional video.

    None of those things have been adversely affected by the Block Editor. And with the photos, the Block Editor is much better. Quicker and with more options for displaying the photos.

    My biggest complaint with Block Editors is that there is just too much. It’s like the M&M of blogging platforms now. There used to be two kinds of M&Ms – plain and peanut. Now, there are coconut, peanut butter, mint, pretzel, dark chocolate, cacao dark, crispy chocolate, English Toffee peanut, caramel, mini M&Ms, almond, triple chocolate, white chocolate, birthday cake, mocha, hazelnut spread …

    Yes, I had to google that and I could go on. The variations are endless and it drives me crazy.

    Which is how I feel about the new Block Editor. There are so many different things you can now do with a post via Block Editor that I could get swallowed up by them. So, I take the same approach as I do with M&Ms. I’m still a plain or peanut kind of guy. And with WordPress, I’m still just a text, links, and photos kind of guy. All that other stuff is just noise I ignore.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark,

      Here’s the thing. For one, I don’t care about photos since it’s not my bag. No interest whatsoever, and along comes a format that weds with something I am not the least bit interested in. It’s a big so what and it doesn’t end there.

      The blocks. They just do not stop. They’re intrusive as all get out. I’m very much a pick up the bat and swing writer. Flow is my method of operation and there is zero flow with blocks popping up when I don’t need them popping up.

      So now I have a page that’s not pleasing to my brain because it’s bleached like the latter day Michael Jackson and blocks that I don’t need to be leap frogging. So I have to be mindful, now, of scrolling for fear I lose something I wrote. Hell, this was already a clear and present danger with WP, now it’s in my head. All. The. Time.

      Peace of mind is my proverb, and I ain’t got it with this crap. And being a plain and peanuts guy myself, I am not amused by the endless array of choices at my disposal, especially considering I can’t dispose of them.

      Sorry for the rant but this is kind of a good thing in a way. I said if they go full metal, I’ll find my own way and there ain’t nothing wrong with that. I’ll simply agree to disagree with them and move on.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I guess I don’t understand how Block Editor changes things if you are primarily a textual blogger. In some respects, Block Editor hasn’t changed my blogging experience at all. I basically ignore that box that is always below where I am typing and that opens up all the Block options and type. The only Block element I use is images. Other than that, I ignore the rest. Just like with all of the M&M variations.

        But … if it’s not working for you, it’s not working for you. All I know is that if you left my corner of the blogging world, it would make me sad. You are one of the few truly creative people who contribute to that world on a regular basis.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I did a test post with Block and in it, I tried to hit on all the crap I do for whatever kind of post I come up with.

          Dude, I was a mess! LOL. I removed block before I realized it was going to remove my paragraph. And then I kept cursing at the toolbox, which seemed incredibly counterintuitive to my senses since, I love the fucking things most of the time. But now they were following me around like a lost puppy.

          And the bullet points, I got those working since I use them with lists all the time. But I had to park the car and put it in reverse to get it.

          You’re sweet as pie sometimes. But if I left I wouldn’t quit the WP neighbors thing.

          As for Trump? I got into it today with someone who asked me “How has he compromised anyone’s health?” when I said his latest stunt was more of the same shit. To which I replied “The real question is how many TIMES has he compromised someone’s health?”. And as with most things Trump, the conversation devolved from there.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Interestingly, bullet points are one thing I have yet to figure out. I use them occasionally, but haven’t since Block Editor came to be.

            But … if what you do mostly is text, with an occasional link here or there and some italics and bullet points … just type. Ignore the Block crap.

            As for Trump? I simply cannot have conversations with anybody who is remotely close to being a Trump supporter. That question … “how has he compromised anyone’s health” is just so indicative of the la-la land they live in. Just asking it means they don’t have a clue. If I heard somebody ask it, I would immediately go off. Because I just can’t … I just can’t anymore.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I’ll keep going back to the Block well and see what happens.

            As for Ill Presidente, I find everything with him to be suspicious so while I’m not saying this whole thing was one elaborate lie, I also can’t or won’t believe anything he says or does.

            And I get this then . . “You sound like the media”. So I had to ask them to put the media aside and just answer the questions about him. But it’s their version of the run/pass option so they can’t do that.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I’ve struggled with whether him getting the virus is reality or a lie. But, for it to be a lie, so many would have to be in on the lie and we know there are plenty of people in the WH who are willing to leak to the press. So, it’s real.

            My biggest issue with the pro-Trumpers is that as soon as I challenge them, the response I get is “Well, I get to believe what I want to believe.” And when I hear that now, I just want to say F U.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I mean, if it was a lie, you’re right, his caddyshack empire has more leaks than an above ground pool behind a shooting range. But for me, the timeline . . something that was touched on by Sanjay Gupta, doesn’t make too much sense. So it’s not the COVID I’m wondering about. It’s everything associated with it.

            Yeah, when you take away their “media” crutch, they become like five year olds who just got found out.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Oh yeah, there is a lot of dishonesty and misdirection going on. I’ve blogged several times about this in recent months. The Problem with a President Trump is that he has no credibility. None. On anything.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. crazy! I actually don’t use block editor, i’m using classic (old, same as I used in 2017) all the time, because when I tried Gutenberg (only on 1 post, it was hell), I bought (at once) business account and installed Classic (as a plugin). So far it works. I don’t know how ppl deal with all those WP editor-changes lately…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I still recall having a fit years ago when WP made some changes, so the thought of going to the block editor gives me the willies. I compose outside of WP, then paste into the editor. Even then, given the few times I’ve dealt with the block editor, I continue to be uncomfortable. If I was still blogging at aFa and WP removed the block editor, odds are I would be right with you. With a new blog on the horizon, I’ve adjusted my style in such a way that I think will work. I understand the blocks give more flexibility, plus Mark made great points, but I agree that the transition is high on the aggravation scale.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cincy

      It’s a matter of the writing for me, sans the ‘gift’ of flexibility. Block Editor reminds me of Bud Selig’s “gift to the fans” in the form of interleague play. All it did was make the World Series less special since now every team knew each other. All it did was give us too many Mets vs Yankees games, and in effect water down the division rivalries. All it did was cost fans more money since owners decided to price fix those games to their advantage. So more options? Weren’t in the best interests of the people who are supposed to matter most.

      Block Editor is fine, for those who wish to use it. But if I don’t, Imma find a way to keep on keeping on with what I know works for me. Not with something that works for someone else. Writing is personal, as is the method by which we come to it.

      Like

  6. Dear Marco,

    From one dinosaur to another. I raise my cuppa to you. L’chaim! I cling tenaciously to Classic Editor. Many thanks to Q for showing me an easy way to do so. I agree with her. Losing your presence in the blogosphere would be a tragedy. Thank you for saying what so many of us are thinking and feeling. Too bad the “experts” at WP can’t seem to catch a clue.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rochelle,

      I will not be deterred by this disruptive annoyance. As long as I can figure out a way to keep dealing it up in Classic, Imma do that. Dale showed me a way in and I’ve been given suggestions as to other ways with which to keep to it, and I’ll take them kindly.

      Block Editor? Sweet, if that’s your thing. But if it’s not, there should remain other avenues is all I’m saying.

      I’ll find a way to keep myself on your radar, ain’t no doubt about that. But I really don’t think WP will get rid of me that easily. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to let peeps know I’m annoyed as much as so many of you are.

      And who you kidding? You’re much too good looking to be a dinosaur. As for me, I think I would be a velociraptor. They’re pretty cool. Good teeth.

      Keep on keeping on.

      Shalom,

      Marco

      Like

  7. I’m in your bandwagon, Marc. Why WP insists on foisting the Block on me at every turn, I’ll never understand. Still can access the Classic through the admin page, though they’ve made it more difficult as of Friday. I was ready to write my farewell – actually started a draft and deleted. I do hope you don’t go away. Or maybe we’ll find a more user-friendly platform to relocate to. Or (shudder) we might find a way to make peace with the abomination. After all, we’ve been practicing for almost four years now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You and me get each other. I wrote my ‘farewell’ piece in an email because I don’t trust WP on so many levels, LOL. I’ve lost stuff on here in the past and so that’s why I am so dubious when they tell me they’ve come up with a new tonic.

      Block Editor is like speed bumps on the Autobahn, to me. And I count, or I should count. And you count, or should count. And we count, or . . well, you get the point.

      Don’t give us ‘choices’ and then take away our choices, Simple as that.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I haven’t had issues with block editor, but it appears everyone else has. Try not thinking about there being a block editor. Just blog. Don’t overthink it and keep it simple

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Awkkk!!! Not one of the blogs I follow is keen on this stupid Block editor (neither am I frankly and have expressed as much to the “Happiness Couterie” clearly to no avail). It should be renamed “Block-Headed Editor.” Life is tough enough during the panDAMNic, I don’t need additional mind-numbing BS, chaos and aggravation. At some point in the past I bookmarked the classic editor and will continue to use it as long as I can, at least until my paid subscription is up if my favs depart this platform. I will be particularly heartbroken to lose you and many of your clever followers. 😢

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve tossed with doing a year’s worth of short posts ahead of time in the event, so that I would just post without needing to deal with this latest genius effort that geniuses me out of the loop, LOL.

      All I ask for is my ‘typewriter’, yanno? It reminds me of a Mel Gibson movie I saw years ago in which he gets screwed out of his take in a heist. So he comes looking for the culprits and he puts a gun to the mastermind who offers him a great sum of money. To which Gibson replies that he just wants his take.

      I’m not asking for the world. Just my take is all. It’s not rocket science.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve heard you post about this change before and it definitely feels like it riled you up even more this time. I wonder if you’ve written one of your famous letters, the kind you send to the prince and princess, who inherited millions of dollars but need your help to collect it. I’d love to hear their response. I don’t like it when people complicate matters by trying to improve things that don’t need improvement, going from independent writers and bloggers to businesses and focusing on their need. And for some reason they need this. I have no idea why. But you know the other day my connection wasn’t working and I downloaded the app and did it that way and there was no block editor there. Don’t know if I pushed some buttons accidentally but it wasn’t there. I will tell you the iPad is not the same click, click, clack feel of a keyboard but it made that post a lot easier in terms of format. I mention this because I still want to hear about your adventures finding the perfect taco, which reminds me have to watch the Taco Chronicles 🙂 don’t know if I’ve posted that before. Id like to hear of any upcoming story slams you secretly partake in :)But for my own selfish reasons it would be cool if The Last Post wasn’t posted, it would be like finding out there’s only one dark chocolate Kit Kat left. Maybe I’ll sign up for your newsletter that you send out to all your fans via email. Maybe your buds will have you guest post … but you’re an awesome host. I enjoy your show it rocks, so I hope it doesn’t happen. But thanks for the heads up though 🙂 I always appreciate it when a good blogging buddy says good bye and they don’t just stop and I’m left wondering … what happened? Sending you sunshine and waves 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cali

      Imma keep at it until I would absolutely, positively be shut out at every point of entry. And how dumb is that? To be told “Here’s more options!” and then find out you have only THEIR options. I mean, it’s bad enough our politics are playing us for that kind of foolishness, now our platform is doing the same? Why?

      All I ask for is what I’ve had. Not the form that will Bo Diddley my butt into incoherence by displaying road signs where I ain’t asking for them.

      But it’s not over for me, hermana. One way or the other, Imma keep showing up to see you and I’ll make certain there is a place where you can read me as well.

      Sunshine and waves and options. Real ones.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dude you’re right! Ironic right? I think they need to look up options in the dictionary. This trend with this I’m giving you better options coming from all kinds of people is so ridiculous when, as you and a lot of others have stated, new is not necessarily better. With the exception of Ben And Jerry’s … Great options there

        Liked by 1 person

        • You ain’t wrong, hermana.

          It reminds me of when you go to buy a new car and the salesman hits you with all these options, after which you think to yourself . . if they don’t come with the deal, no gracias. They ain’t my options!

          Such is life, and we’re gonna keep on keeping it real, right?

          Yes, ice cream has full immunity from this conversation, seeing as how the people who create those funkalicious flavors know exactly what options are supposed to look, and taste like. . . .

          Liked by 1 person

    • Pam

      This was more a “If y’all are experiencing the same feeling of ugh as me, I hear you” post. Because I’m going to keep figuring out how to use my ‘typewriter’ until WP repossesses the thing. After which I’ll figure out how to stick around. After which some rogue developer will ditch WordPress to start his own joint and they’ll provide the Classic feature.

      We hope. And we work towards hope.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I knew I was in trouble with the block editor when it was first proposed, because it was going to “level up” my layout. Anyone who talks about writing like that has no idea what writing is all about. The block editor is geared towards blogs that want to make money, not as a creative writing outlet. It improved nothing and made a mess of what used to work. I’ve figured out how to deal with it, but really, who wants to do that? In the middle of a pandemic, and personal challenges? Why in the world didn’t they make it optional? All we can hope for is someone sees a good opportunity to start a new blogging host that is writer-friendly!

    Like

    • AC,
      You are preaching to my choir.
      Your thoughts on the level up language is spot on. Its like when you see a toy and think “No one with kids developed that idea!”.
      And yet here we are . .

      Like

  12. Hi – I am right there with you – I know my blogging days would end if I only had the block editor
    – and it is because of what you said – it sucks – it is not that change is that hard – to me – it is like a dumbed down version for the Gen Z crowd who likes large icons and no menus. Or it just seems they were trying so hard to make a minimal and easy post template that they might have forgotten that not everyone will like that format – and it could be change related -because as we both know – change is hard and change sucks –
    but Marc – I do think they care about you – I think they value their active bloggers (especially those that are here bringing good content like you are doing) anyhow, it would be super sad if they take away the back up class editor and I have already thought about my plan B and plan C if that does happen –
    in the meantime, I am super grateful they allows us the option –

    Liked by 1 person

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