Would someone please explain to me…

…why anyone would send someone who’s having trouble using a particular blogging package an email telling them that perhaps they’re too stupid to use said package?!? Thats what someone said to Tek on her blog after she expressed frustration with getting WordPress to work the way she wanted:

**addendum**:Oh and yes, perhaps I am too stupid to use WordPress. Maybe I should “just use LiveJournal”. I have no problem with admitting if I am beyond my depth here.

With emails like that, I’m not so sure that maybe I should migrate. =/

What the hell is up with that? I not only expressed similar frustration with WordPress, but I gave up on it after only a minimal of effort simply because it was more work than I wanted to invest in it when I had a simpler (to me at least) solution ready to take its place. Instead of making snarky comments perhaps you might offer up your supposedly superior knowledge of the product in assistance to folks struggling to make it work. Or does the idea of a larger user base spurring a more active community and singing the praises of your favorite blogging package not seem like a good thing to you? WordPress is a good blogging package and I’m keeping my eye on it, but let’s be honest here and admit that it is not the easiest thing in the world to use unless you stick with the defaults it’s setup with after running the install script.

Yeah Tek was cranky, but she made some valid points about the dearth of clear instructions for many of the plugins for WordPress. A failing which surely isn’t WordPress’s alone. There are several MT plugins out there that could use better explanation and, in all honesty, ExpressionEngine’s documentation is a fine example of minimalism in many respects. If you’ve managed to puzzle it out then share your knowledge and help someone else discover the joys of your blogging package instead of insulting them for getting frustrated at something many people would reasonably get frustrated with.

Personally, I’m immersing myself in EE as best I can so I might contribute back to the community in some way. I’m already beta-testing a module revision for Rick Ellis (which is working great so far) and I’m going to be working on testing the trackback issue with Paul. If I can figure out how all this stuff fits together I may even take a hand at trying to revise the documentation a bit. Why? Because I like the package and I think it’s worth it to help out.

Hmmm. Two rants this early in the morning can’t bode well for having a good day…

17 thoughts on “Would someone please explain to me…

  1. I guess that’s one way to avoid choosing software: look for a hostile community, then run the other way.

    I’ve run into slightly similar attitudes over on the WP support forums from time to time. They seem to take any questions to how things operate as a personal attack on them, their parents, and everything else that they do. I use Opera as my main browser, and noted that the Search function on some WP sites didn’t consistently work for me – and did the developers have any plans to fix this? I was told that I was perhaps a bit quaint (that was the more charitable reply) for not trying Firefox, since obviously at one point I had the intestinal fortitude to not use MSIE.

  2. It feels good to be an early adapter to a new CMS and actually feel like you are helping. It felt good helping you with all the tricks I learned wink

  3. Well as an update to this, I have had a few emails and comments now where someone took the time to help me with the major problem I was having.  I also still got another email telling me what they thought of me wink and a few comments that I don’t know what I am doing but all and all, things are working they way I wanted them too.

    Part of me wanted to get it to work just so I can BASH BUSH ON WORDPRESS after that jag off… (I didn’t post the entirety of that convo… but lets just say I was told to go to France, among other things).

    Now I have one last thing that I need to get done and maybe Les you can help me with this… (I’ll send ya an email).  This has to do with a three column layout and I can do CSS but none of this is my specialty.  I was able to do it on the current tekwh0re with MT but I just can’t sort my head around it in WP.  Once I get that the way I want it, I’ll be ready to go live and switch.

    Thanks for you support.  Glad I wasn’t the only one who thought that was a bit off/rude/unwelcoming.

  4. No, telling someone they’re too stupid to be using a certain package is not only incredibly useless and rude, but it also says a lot more about the intelligence and maturity of the writer than it does about that of the user.  In my experience, it’s the young, very naive (you heard me:  NAIVE) technogeeks who think that the more obscure something is, the cooler it is, and that if they manage to use something with a poor user interface design, it makes them L33T. 

    Believe me, it takes a LOT more brains, skill and overall coolness to be able to design something that my mother can use.  Not only that, but anyone who is serious about writing software that is actually worth using should have the business sense to know that the easier and more straightforward it is to use, the more successful it will be.

    (However, I suggest you wait until September/October to go to France, as it is less crowded and absolutely lovely there in Provence at that time of year … wink )

  5. Believe me, it takes a LOT more brains, skill and overall coolness to be able to design something that my mother can use.

    Yeah!  What she said!

    An interface compares to a dashboard.  Could you drive a car with 1,500 controls on the dashboard, of which some are mislabeled, some hidden, and some (if used in the wrong order or combination) instantly crash the car?  Then you could say the driver was too dumb to drive the car.

    Back in his door-design days Don Norman used to say blame the designer, not the user.  If the designer does his job you won’t have to blame the user because correct usage will be obvious

    I do a lot of tech support for senior citizens and this comes up all the time.  Of course younger users make the same mistakes but they are less likely to admit them.

  6. I had word press from like last July until February of this year. When I had trouble, I got no help at all unless I begged and pleaded with my host for help and that was like pulling teeth.
    Then, my host did an upgrade to the new version and f’ckd it up big time. Shit wouldn’t work and some stuff broke. She charged me $50 in amazon purchases to do the upgrade and then she wouldn’t fix it when it broke right after her upgrade install. She told me to go to the forums and ask for help. I did. They didn’t help. They would tell me to look for lines of code that looked like I paid someone else $20 to install MT for me and have been happy ever since.
    The person who f’cked it all up, did not offer me a refund or even a partial refund even though she is the one who broke it.
    I admitted to her and everyone else that I did not understand php and if they could just explain in simple terms how to fix it, I would but no help came from any of them.
    I have to admit, it takes a lot of restraint on a daily basis to not badmouth her or her hosting company when people ask for a hosting company or a design person.
    I would love to do a shout it from the roof top post about her but I won’t because that would just be being the bitch she says I am when she’s the one who stole $50 from me in my opinion.
    Sorry for the rant Les but WP sucks and so do a good majority of it’s so called helpful users.

  7. After using Blogger.com for a few months, i decided it was time to move on. After figuring out whom i wanted to host my site, i was then off to find blogging software. I decided to go with WordPress for no other reason that to give it a whirl. I am a fairly newbie to html and css and the sort so it was a big step for me. For me to say the support forums have been less than helpful most of the time is an understatement. If you are not one of “them” then you will more than likely not get a reply. If you are lucky enough to get one then you may have to expect some attitude like you are below them for not understanding anything and everything that is WordPress. I am really begining to be sorry i got in on something i thought would be a really good thing. They spend more time over there bragging about how more and more MT users are moving to them because of MT’s new price structure. Looks like us noobs will get pushed further down the pile.

  8. See, that really sucks because there are some really cool features in WordPress that MT doesn’t have.  WordPress is good software but the forums ARE suck.

    I’m almost tempted to start my own WP help site where people aren’t totally dicks on it.  The problem is that I could host it, etc… but I don’t know any php so I couldn’t help anyone.  I would only hope to attract people who were nice and really did want to help and teach. 

    I’m willing to learn, if you are willing to show me.  Attitude is not what is needed.  I am very tempted to blog this over at blogcritcs so that more people would see and maybe the WordPress folks would figure out -hey we better be nice or people might just not use this. 

    But I also know I might open myself up for a ton of attacks.  I already get enough hate mail as it is.  I don’t mind the hate mail if it makes a change for the better.  Seriously, I have gotten a lot comments telling me about the problems over at the WP boards.  (Their boards suck in the first place).

    I don’t know if the reason why it supported badly is because this is more of a labor of love as opposed to being made for eventual profit.  I just know that if they don’t shape up, people are going to say to hell with them.

    Oh, and the problems I was having was due to bad code and not because of something I did.  Chew on that if you will. wink

  9. You could try checking with the folks at ScriptyGoddess as well. They’re switching over to WP themselves and they’re usually a pretty good source for ideas and asking questions.

  10. Tek, it is very nice of you to want to help people and there are some very helpful people on the net but that one expirience with WP and the forums was enough to turn me off of it forever. I wanted to learn, I was willing to learn but got nothing but holier than tho, you must be a dumbass if you can’t understand WP attitude.
    I hope all you new WP users find better, more helpful people to guide you through it and maybe someone will make a more newbie friendly support forum.

  11. I’m very sorry if there’s an asshole on the public forums, or if someone you paid to install WordPress for you (someone who I assume is not affiliated with WP in any way) was a crook, but isn’t it a little bit of a stretch to go from that to “WP sucks and so do a good majority of it’s so called helpful users”? The forum is approaching 3000 members, and I can really only think of one guy who is actively rude. He annoys everyone, not just new users, and I’ve said things to him in numerous threads. On the other hand I can easily name dozens and dozens of members who actively help out people on the forums and the IRC channel. If no one is there when you drop in, stick around for a while for a developer to come around. If a forum thread isn’t responded to, bump the thread by adding more information that might assist someone trying to help you. I looked through the topics Tek has posted and personally I’m not sure what issue is giving her so much trouble, if it’s something in the WP core or a third-party plugin. Every topic seems to be resolved, there was one thread with an obvious flame which has since been deleted.

  12. Sorry that sounded rantier than I meant it to. It’s just frustrating when you work hard on making something friendly and easy-to-use and people get turned off because of real or perceived problems with rude people on your very own support forums.

    BTW Les, you may want to check out the tab order on this form, it’s funky.

  13. Matt has a good point. There’s going to be a few idiots in any crowd so try not to let them ruin it for you. I know Matt must be keeping himself very busy with all the running around he does trying to help folks. grin

    Matt, you mean the submit and preview buttons? They are reversed from what most blogs have setup. I can switch them around if folks prefer.

  14. After URL field it takes you to the smileys link and then through all the quicktag buttons. I expected it to jump me to the message field. You may also want to check out the cursor-aware quicktag code in WP because it’d be useful here as well.

  15. Ah, I see what you’re saying. I’ll see what I can do to fix that. With a registered account you don’t have to fill in all those fields so it never occurs to me. grin

  16. Matt, I apologize if you think I was just specifically slamming WP but yes, the users in the forums from january through february, were not helpful at all and maybe it was because the person I paid, was held in high regards in the forums and she had told people that I was just playing around with it and there was nothing wrong with it after her upgrade install that broke my blog. I am not going around telling people that WP sucks. I am just nodding in agreement when people complain about how they get treated in the forums and how its’ not new user friendly. But that 1 experience was enough for me. I will never try WP again.

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