Things That Tick Me Off: WordPress

Since the start of this blog, we have used WordPress as a publishing platform. Recently, however, WordPress appears to be working to drive off bloggers by imposing insular charges for every little thing. Indeed, they routinely charge you more if you are one of their more successful blogs beyond the annual fee for the blog (which is quite reasonable). Thus, they will now put advertising on your blog without your consent unless you pay them not to. Once again, if you are a successful blog, they zero in on your blog for such placement. Now, with no warning, WordPress has changed the basic tool for embedding videos by requiring bloggers to pay $60 a year for a video feature.

They could not make it more difficult for bloggers to avoid paying them the added money. They offer ambiguous instructions on getting a tool that I am still trying to find. The result is that we have been cut off from posting video content for the moment until we figure out either the new way of posting or buy the premium service.

In the meantime, WordPress has yet to fix basic problems on the system like the sudden failure of the “incoming links.” WordPress has simply said for months that “the API that powered the incoming links through Google Blog Search is no longer working.”

It is unbelievably frustrating to feel that WordPress is constantly trying to find ways to clip its users. It may be time to look for an alternative. It is not the added marginal costs each year but the feeling of a bait-and-switch with WordPress acting like a car dealer revealing undisclosed hidden costs for rust-proofing and undercoating. This is not a lot of money but it is a growing complaint among bloggers about the creeping added costs, even on blogs like this one that pay an annual fee and other collateral fees.

I went ahead and paid WordPress not to put advertising on the blog. Now, it is demanding more money to post videos when using the “add video” option.

Perhaps other blogs can share their own experiences.

58 thoughts on “Things That Tick Me Off: WordPress”

  1. Gyges, and Gene H. you are both failing in similar ways. Rafflaw you fail too, but of course, that goes without saying.

    ““If he chose to advocate some simple reforms to make competent attorneys more available to the lesser classes, he would be listened to. ”

    I love it: the man is a tenured professor, working lawyer, testifies in front of congress, and is outspoken in all of those fields for civil rights and you complain because he occasionally uses his blog to vent frustration?”

    Yes, I am saying that Turley is complaining about nerds asking for a reasonable amount of money for their services, when Turley could be addressing an even bigger problem, the extortion on society of lawyers.

    How much do the nerds want? For a year’s service for hosting videos and serving them up, they want about 1/6th to 1/10th of what Turley and so many other lawyers want PER HOUR.

    The nerds at wordpress.com ARE in a free market. They are so free, they even compete against themselves. Professor Turley anytime he wants can export his blog to FREE self hosted or 3rd party hosted WORDPRESS site or to a different kind of blog altogether.

    In contrast Professor Turley operates is in a market where clients are not free to find competent lawyers due to cost, and due to extortion have to pay non free market wages. And with tenure, Professor Turley even denies his employer (and the tax payer I am assuming) the ability to fire Turley for any but the most extreme reasons.

    Now you guys go through a list of engineers that were fuck ups. And indeed they were.

    But my point was not that engineers didn’t have fuckups, it was that the legal system is setup on a basis in which engineers ethics on that point was much stronger. That I personally do what I can to police the profession, and on that basis, Professor Turley and other lawyers should be doing the same, but as we see quite frequently, they do not.

    And as I said, to Gyges’ original bullshit, Gyges complains originally that I should be the person complaining about lawyer rates. But I said, not that engineers were perfect, but that I as an engineer care about my profession, and I as an engineer have spoken to cities about fraud in their engineering projects, and I as an engineer have participated in public debates about the roles of engineers in the Challenger disaster and other disasters.

    And similarly, Turley and other lawyers should be policing their own profession as well, from rate setting to the John Yoo’s. Professor Turley wrote a lot about John Yoo. Did Professor Turley take any concrete steps apart from writing to get Yoo disbarred or in front of a trial? (I don’t know.)

    Gene H. I am surprised with you for coming out with a statement so dumb, I would have thought it was rafflaw making it:

    “Lawyers have cost anon money personally which in the grand scheme of things is far more important than defending civil rights, teaching, advocacy or using your own blog to occasionally vent.”

    Let’s recast that.

    “Lawyers have cost Clarence Gideon money personally which in the grand scheme of things is far more important than defending civil rights, teaching, advocacy or using your own blog to occasionally vent.”

    The Gene H’s and Jonathan Turley’s of Gideon’s age could not be bothered to fight for Clarence Gideon and here you are today with the exact same argument as they had then. They were too busy fighting the important fights than to worry about the impact of lawyer fees on us little miscreants.

    You should well know what the costs of lawyers do to justice, even to civil justice.

    Professor Turley and other lawyers could find little higher calling in a career than to bring the costs of lawyers down so that everyone stood a chance in court, not just people you approve of and hobnob with.

  2. Oh yeah. Ethical like the engineers employed by Jack D. Gillum and Associates. Does that name not ring a bell?

    They failed to review the initial design thoroughly and accepted by a sub-contractor without performing basic calculations that would have revealed its serious intrinsic flaws — in particular, the doubling of the load on the fourth-floor beams for a skywalk in the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City.

    The resulting collapse of the skywalk during a dance competition resulted in 114 deaths and 216 injuries.

    The engineers employed by Jack D. Gillum and Associates who had approved the final drawings were convicted by the Missouri Board of Architects, Professional Engineers, and Land Surveyors of gross negligence, misconduct and unprofessional conduct in the practice of engineering. They all lost their engineering licenses in the states of Missouri and Texas and their membership with ASCE. The firm of Jack D. Gillum and Associates itself was discharged of criminal negligence, however, it lost its license to be an engineering firm.

    There are bad actors in every profession you can think of and in the rest that you can’t.

    If there weren’t, there would be little need of civil attorneys.

  3. ANON:

    maybe engineers should take a page from the lawyers. Only thing is their page is pretty big. When the building official says something needs an engineers stamp on it, they could pretty much charge whatever they wanted and developers and anyone else would have to pay it.

    But engineers are too what, ethical, stupid, lacking business savy to do it.

    That little PE stamp is a state sanctioned money maker and they let the market determine their fees. Maybe they are just more ethical than lawyers? Or are they chumps?

  4. Gyges,

    I think maybe you missed the point.

    Lawyers have cost anon money personally which in the grand scheme of things is far more important than defending civil rights, teaching, advocacy or using your own blog to occasionally vent.

  5. anon1, August 26, 2011 at 8:50 pm
    ———————————————–
    brava!
    well said!

  6. “If he chose to advocate some simple reforms to make competent attorneys more available to the lesser classes, he would be listened to. ”

    I love it: the man is a tenured professor, working lawyer, testifies in front of congress, and is outspoken in all of those fields for civil rights and you complain because he occasionally uses his blog to vent frustration?

    Which by the way seems to be exactly what YOU’RE doing.

    Stupid Mozart, complaining in his private letters and instead of writing another symphony, why does he whine so much, he should be contributing to the music world.

    I can’t believe that Dickens had the gall to complain about his gout in private letters. You’d think he’d be doing something useful, like advocating social reform.

    What was wrong with Alexander the Great? I mean, here he was leading his army, and all he could think to do was write Aristotle about loosing his men to Monsters at a water hole. (O.k. so that one is likely apocryphal).

  7. @All: “your blog sucks” is just one of the old internet memes to tell someone off.

    But Gyges logic is terrible:

    “Anon,

    “you should stop your fucking bitching about this, and solve a real world problem.”

    There’s a great quote about a plank and a splinter in various ocular cavities.”

    As an engineer, I have no real way to affect reform in lawyers rates or their attitudes about this. But when it comes to engineering ethics, I do have standing and reputation and I do what I can do to make sure the profession as a whole moves forward.

    Professor Turley on the other hand is a widely respected academic with real world as well as academic victories, standing and reputation.

    If he chose to advocate some simple reforms to make competent attorneys more available to the lesser classes, he would be listened to. A conversation would be created, and the law profession would move forward.

    So Gyges logic about motes and logs is bullshit.

    @MS: “With all due respect I think you woke up with a bug up your ass this morning.”

    Perhaps. Perhaps too that just to get decent representation I’ve had to spend upwards of a thousand dollars just to interview lawyers, who all tell me the interview is incredibly important, and then tell me that just to see me they will charge an hour of time at $300 or more. I think that’s bullshit.

    Lawyers conveniently mistake “some poor slob is over a barrel and requires a lawyer and is forced to pay” with “I set my rates by the free market and that douchebag over there can walk away”. And that is made more invidious when the lawyers create and sustain artificial barriers to competition in the legal profession.

  8. Gyges – I see your point. Maybe I shouldn’t post before my coffee.

    That said – I really don’t think anyone should complain when they get crap service from a free provider. WordPress.com is better than a lot of other services out there, but you’re still playing in someone else’s sandbox and that someone-else makes the rules. If you don’t like it, don’t complain – simply move. It ain’t that much. I help people like Turly create their own WP blogs almost every day

    Turly can pay a designer $200 to set him up a new WordPress-enabled blog on his own server and pay $10 to $20 a month in hosting, depending on the package. Easy-breezy.

    On a side note, I think your suggestion of Drupal is *crazy.* I use drupal on my own blog and I loooooove it’s functionality, but I would *never* recommend it for someone who is having technical issues with WordPress, which is orders-of-magnitude simpler – unless he has a dev up his sleeve.

  9. Prof. Bernabe,
    It is nice to see a fellow JMLS poster here. I was in the class of 1982. I echo Gene’s statement about your blog!

  10. Blogger has some problems too, but it is free, ad-free and user friendly. I thought about moving to WordPress when I started having some formatting problems at Blogger but the idea of WP placing ads on my blogs was a deal breaker for me.

  11. I rather like Gyges blog, especially the recipes. The only thing as good as drinking beer is cooking with it.

  12. there is another rather well-known blog using WordPress that has a special tag for just such occasions: FYWP.

    Which translates quite simply to “F*** You Word Press.”

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