new orifices

Some of the people on this thread are boggling my mind. If it’s so important to you to have a ‘professional’ looking site and you can’t cope with it looking crappy for a few hours, why are you blogging on a free host? let alone a free host that’s used as a testbed? I mean, when Dreamhost went down recently, everyone who whined on the status blog got slapped down by fanboys telling them you get what you pay for. Heaven knows what new orifices they’d rip for people who aren’t even paying.

Mark continues to oppose the idea of status.wordpress.net, for reasons which are not exactly clear to me but sound like he just doesn’t want another blog to maintain when he’s already making status posts to the forum and replying to feedback. Which is fair enough, but completely fails to address the problem of where do people get their information if they can’t access the forums or feedback because the site is down?

(And don’t say that will never ever happen again. That’s a surefire way of ensuring that it will.)

But then, I suppose I’m making the same category error as the people who need their free blogs to look professional 24/7, demanding a level of service that, as a freeloader, I’m actually not entitled to. If the site is down, it is down. It will be up again when it is up again. That’s pretty much all they can ever tell you on status pages anyway, because if they’re silly enough to estimate when things will be back to normal that automatically jinxes them and adds another day of downtime. It’s just that, even if the information is not actually useful and we don’t actually need it, we tend to want it anyway.

5 Comments »

  1. adam said

    completely fails to address the problem of where do people get their information if they can’t access the forums or feedback because the site is down?

    exactly the objection that i couldn’t make into a civilized comment on mark’s blog.

    but after watching mark go nutzo on disembedded for even hinting that people would like an offsite status meter… it seems civility wouldn’t have mattered.

  2. mark said

    Nutzo? Last night – as I said – the vast majority of people had no problems. If you had bought Custom CSS, got it looking really cool and then I – when this happens – slap a “Don’t worry, we know the theme is broken…” across it… you’d love that🙂

    The question was also not directly asked. Hints are movable targets for the hinter. A direct question would have got a direct answer.

    And I don’t oppose it. I just don’t see a use for it that will be beneficial. It’s in MY interests to find solutions that stop people emailing me. And I don’t see it as that.

    Sometimes I just give up. Maybe I should act on every wacko idea that 3 permanent forum inhabitants come up with because it suits them and just them.

  3. Dead_ said

    If it’s such a wacky idea, why is it implemented and so well received at livejournal? People like knowing what’s happening to the system when it goes down, and like to know something’s being done. A generic error page or a timeout doesn’t exactly fill them with confidence when something has gone wrong.

  4. adam said

    1) in no way does a status blog result in big banners across people’s sites. if you were going to do that, though, i would think you would do it in #wpcombar, and it wouldn’t be any more obtrusive than the blue bar already is.
    2) if i just primped my blog in CSS, posted about it in half a dozen CSS forums, and then you guys forget to close a <div> tag in #wpcombar, i’d be pretty pissed if there wasn’t at least something i could point to, to say it wasn’t my fault.
    3) yes, you went straight after disembedded, because he essentially said “+1” to the guy above him.
    4) +1 @Dead_. if it’s such a bad idea, why does it work so well for other hosts? you guys don’t need to reinvent the wheel here.

  5. you guys don’t need to reinvent the wheel here.

    They don’t need to, they just want to. Why do you think bbpress exists?

    I actually think this refusal to look outside, see what problems other sites have had and learn from them has its roots in WP’s own origin as a fork. If you start off piggybacking on someone else’s work, it becomes much more important to prove that you can go it alone and don’t need to rely on what people have done before. That’s one reason why I think Habari made the right decision in starting from scratch, even though it’s made their development process a lot slower.

    The other factor at play here is that most of the guys at Automattic only have experience of working with self-hosted WP, and maybe Movable Type. They’re just not familiar with how other bloghosts do things, and they’re certainly not geared up for the social, ethical and legal complexities of running a large community-based site because they’ve never been part of such a site and have no awareness of what can go wrong. I’ve always thought that a million users will be the point at which things start to get unwieldy, and we’re not so far off that now.

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