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.

On Life After Blogging

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A Frank Angle was my little corner of the world for 11+ years – a place that was my pride and joy – a place where I met many kind people from all over the world – and some of those would develop into wonderful cyber-friendships. In early Fall 2019, I announced I would end the run – then in early February 2020, and after an orchestrated departure, I posted for the last time. Time has told me that I need to bend your ear a little about that time and the time that followed. Maybe this is my way of saying I still feel it.

To say the period around the closing was very emotional would be an understatement. The combination of tears and pride was more than I ever imagined. Words cannot describe my appreciation for the kindness showered upon me. So much so, I feel it still today.

The way I closed turned out to be important and confirmed what I believed at the time. When ending a blog, closure is important for both the readers and the host. My readers respected me and were sad to see me go, but they understood. In my eyes, I owed them closure. Although I can’t speak for the readers, my gut says my plan succeeded.

I also needed closure. In a way, I looked at it as a funeral – but not one of sadness, but one of a celebration of life. Besides being emotional, the ending series was also fun. Several days later, a sense of calm and relief came upon me. Yes, I had no worries of visiting or writing to my self-imposed deadlines and visits while being proud of my accomplishments.

My readers gave me a sense of worth, pride, and accomplishment – a feeling that I won’t forget – so I visited many of them shortly thereafter. Not for every post, but enough to show my respect and appreciation for them.

If you ever close a blog, readers will want to know if the blog will remain visible, I chose to, but also understand taking it down. However, I think back to another blog who suddenly announced her last post, then it was gone. She provided no closure for me or her most-loyal readers – let alone a vanishing cyber-footprint.

Since then, my life has been interesting. By being released from my self-imposed obligation of visiting others from my shoulders, I began to relax from blogging while still snooping around. I still visited others, but it was on my terms.

By mid-March, life with COVID-19 changed everyone’s life. For me, no more blog to maintain – no ballroom dance – no handbell choir – no dinner with friends – no working at the golf course – no volunteer ushering at plays – no evenings at a restaurant. Life focused on walking several times a day and watching streaming services – but the writing was still important to me.

In the final post, and to the surprise of many, I mentioned the possibility of a new blog – Beach Walk Reflections. COVID-19 allowed me to write – and that I did. With 71 beach walks in the archives at A Frank Angle, I decided to rewrite all 71 of them. After all, the walks had evolved, so the earliest walks needed a lot of work. Plus, I already had prepared notes for many other walks, so I started the draft process on about another 50 walks. So during the first few months of the pandemic, I wrote. I guess that means I still feel it.

By late April, my golf course duties returned. Surprisingly, the golf business has been booming! Ballroom, handbells, ushering, and more are still in limbo. Summer remains a time for the outdoors, so my wife and I walk, golf, and play pickleball. We still watch our share of streaming shows. Therefore, my writing time decreased – and so did my blog visits. However, I’m still on target for a possible fall return to WordPress.

Because our travel plans vanished, we treated ourselves with some new items for our home – so I spent a lot of time researching online.  Life remains simple while limiting our normal social circles. This new normal sucks, but I accept my responsibilities in this pandemic.

I’ve written several posts as a guest blogger for Marc here at Sorryless – which is a good thing. He is also the reason why I approached him with this post. Plus, it’s been an opportunity to stay in touch with some good people. Then again, I feel it still.

In this post, I wanted to share some aspects of closing a blog, as well as providing an update of my life. Closing a blog is a personal decision, but I want bloggers to know what I did and experienced. I’m sure I could have written more, but I did this from memory – not notes. Although that may not be for everyone, there is something in this post for all bloggers. Besides, I feel it still.