getting a sense of proportion

Overview of the market share of various blog tools :

I'm often amused by the petty bickering that goes on in the blogging community over which tool is better – Movable Type, WordPress, Expression Engine, etc. Who cares? In the consumer market, less than 1 percent of those wanting to blog have the skill level or desire to deal with HTML tags, let alone configuring scripts for a server. These tools will never win in the consumer space; they are just too difficult to use.

As you would expect, the wordpressers fail to get the point, complain about the methodology (she's been careless about the urls she actually searches for) and claim they're underrepresented. You could make the same claim about diaryland, which like Typepad has a passwording option (30% sounds like a reasonable figure there as well.) Or for livejournal, which quite possibly has more friends-locked journals than public ones (as well as an easy-to-implement option to block the Googlebot). Livejournal currently claims over 2.6 million active users.

Face it. Whichever way you slant it, the majority of bloggers will still be teenage girls. You could try and slant it by heading to Technorati for your stats, but those numbers wouldn't be any more truthful than these. The truth is that bloggers, especially the young female variety, are mercurial creatures; opening accounts all over the place, starting more than one blog on the same server, abandoning them when parents or stalkers or nicer usernames intervene. And yes, you could argue that such promiscuity makes it look like there's more of us than there really are; but even taking that into account, women and girls own this medium.

This is what freedom looks like. It's hard to measure.

I think most of my frustrations with wordpress have been borne of wanting things to be easier. Wishing you could find out how to do something without having to look in thirty different places. Wanting template tags to be more intuitive. Having to delve into the core files to get control over how the output's presented. But once you remind yourself that it is, and always will be, a minority tool by hackers for hackers, it's not so annoying anymore; and, to be honest, most of the annoyingness comes from the community rather than the actual software anyway.

(I have, by the way, decided to hold off on the upgrade for now, simply because my favourite plugins won't work on the test installation. Not prepared to junk lj-synching or dropdown comments for the debatable joys of theming. Put it this way: my site ain't broke, and if I attempt to fix it I'm fairly certain it will be.)

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