Brandon Writes

Re: Let's Make the IndieWeb Easier (and Blogging)

This morning, I read Kev's response to Giles about increasing the options for independent online publishing simpler. Outside of Wordpress, there really isn't much else out there. Ghost is expensive and even though I love BearBlog it requires markdown and some basic coding at times.

I guess this article hit home for me, because this weekend my wife decided she wanted to create a blog. She's never had a blog before but has created a few static pages using Canva over the past year for work. While I was sleeping in on Saturday, she went to Wix and created a site for her blog, but realized rather quickly that it was a terrible option. She then went to the only blog platform she knew, Wordpress.com and created an account. It was much easier to use, made more sense, and was more in line with what she was looking for.

Once I woke up, she told me about her blogging platform search, and I thought about her options. I could set her up a BearBlog and teach her markdown, but she just wants to write and post the occasional picture or two. That led me to think about Write.as, but that also requires markdown and falls into the same category as Bear as possibly being too basic with a learning curve that isn't worthwhile for her. Also... the cost is just too much for what they offer.

Listed.to, Blogger, Pika, Micro.blog.. I ran through all of the options and none of them are truly beginner friendly and offer just a one-stop shop to blog.

(Update: I received an email from Stephen who mentioned Medium as an alternative. He’s completely right. Medium and Substack both would have been decent options for my wife. They are both beginner friendly. I believe the pop ups related to both services just throw me off and I don’t even think about them.)

Wordpress was the only option that made sense. So, I set her up a domain on my hosting, installed Wordpress along with Classic Editor and just unleashed her. She didn't need any further instruction from me and within minutes she was already creating content, having fun, and enjoying her first blog.

Sadly, I still felt like I was settling. There should be a better option with a better mobile app, but there isn't. So, I hope one day some developers (as Giles challenged) will put together the next generation of Wordpress that allows beginners to just write, edit, and enjoy themselves without needing to learn markdown, open up a terminal, upload documents to a folder, etc.

And as a side note... I cannot agree more with Kev on the fact that the IndieWeb is also too difficult to use. I created my first website around 1996-1997, and even I find IndieWeb so confusing I don't even bother with it.

I guess, what it all boils down to is this, if we want a community of bloggers that aren't all in the tech field or tech interested, we're going to have find a better, more simple way to allow folks to blog. We've created our own walled gardens in some of our small web projects and that's okay, we just need to find a way to make it a bit more palatable for the masses.

#technology