WordPress Learning Curve

O.K. O.K. I haven’t posted for a while. I haven’t lost interest in health care reform, health care issues, or regulation of health care by experts who don’t seem to have spent much time in the trenches, but I gotta tell ya, I have great difficulty getting WordPress to do what I want it to do.

So I went about as far as I could on instinct with WordPress, but I realized if I was going to take advantage of all of the marvelous features of WordPress, I was going to have to take a bit of a sabbatical while I read the directions, aka, a  on WordPress.

I bought an Apple in 1982 when floppy disks were the norm and 256K of memory was considered honking good.  I have always been an Apple fan because I am not a nerd and don’t want to have to know much about what’s under the hood of what I drive.  I’ve been through my  Apple [ ], (I skipped the Lisa) Apple IIcx, my Apple IIsi, my Quadra 750, my blueberry apple, my two notebooks (one mysteriously disappeared somewhere never to be seen again) , and my two laptops, my iMac half melon, which I still use for my trusty OS 9.2 applications. And of course, my current iMac all-in-one.

I have happily written, designed, and done the layout for professionally published books on my aged Apples.  In the days when I could change the battery in my own machine.  That was really the only maintenance apples required.

And yes, I have an iPad and I hate it.  Doesn’t act like an Apple.  And yes, I have finally gotten an iPhone, and I still can’t get my email to work on it.  It’s as hateful as the iPad.

The problem is that Apples are becoming so complex I cannot even change my own computer battery any more, much less find the files in the system folder to delete annoying reminder messages. And the operating systems are becoming increasingly intolerant of older Apples.  It’s a shame. I’m still using my Apple Laserwriter Select 360, although I have to connect it to my network with Appletalk via a converter.

My first laptop would still recognize my Apple half-melon.  My second one will not.  The operating system is too new.  In fact, I actually updated the operating system on my first laptop, only to find that the update nixed out recognition of my Apple half-melon.  So I had to reinstall the original operating system.

I don’t like frequent updates.  I like things to work like they always have, and updates to software almost always do not.

Yes, I am getting to the point.  WordPress is certainly a much better program than it was three years ago when I gave it a spin and abandonned the effort.  But it is still not software that is easy to use if you don’t like looking at code. And hey, in the early days of this century, I did manually code my own web pages.  But like Apples, the common-person HTML beginnings have been upgraded beyond anything that a non-programmer would care to deal with.

So that leaves me having to deal with WordPress, which as user-friendly as it is, doesn’t have that early Apple cachet.  Yes, all these innovations to Apples, HTML, and WordPress have enabled users to do truly remarkable things with their blogs and web sites.  But what have we lost in this rush to add features? Accessibility.  Something that health care reformers have been touting as the new health care.  But the parallels with the rise of computer technology that the average person can master is writ large.

The WordPress book I’m plowing through? George Plumley’s , second edition. It’s actually a well-written book, organized in a reasonable way for the beginner, and in truth, I would recommend this to anyone who doesn’t find WordPress as user friendly as it’s cracked up to be.  My only complaint is that Plumley has a very tiresome habit of repeatedly telling me what a great program WordPress is. It may BE a great program, and there is a remarkable community of technical people growing and supporting it, but if you buy this book because you are frustrated with not being able to get WordPress to do what you want it to, you really don’t want to hear the mantra “great program.”

So, that said, I am trying to deal with WordPress and finding it about as use friendly as my miserable iPad. Actually, there are a few parallels here with health care reform.  In health care reform, everyone is talking about patient-centered care, communication between practitioners and patients, but the reality is this new paradigm is about as user friendly as the newer Apples.  Which is to say, not very.

dhaugen

Some young HR person once looked at my CV and asked me, quite seriously, if I had really done everything I had listed there. Well, yes. Because I am someone who can’t sit in a Morris Miller cubicle every day, much less for any great stretch of time. Once the problem is solved, I get bored and I’m ready to move on to the next challenge. This hasn’t afforded me any great stability in my work life. I simply arrive in places about ten years ahead of time. So far, at least, that penchant for early arrival hasn’t been accompanied with a pocketbook full of door knobs.

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