Getting going

So as you can see I’ve managed to configure everything and get it all tweaked and ready for me to play with.

At first I played with the idea of using Google Pages to run this site… and it kinda worked, the problem with Google Pages is that’s it’s aimed at creating a “website” rather then a place to put stuff you write. If I was creating a page for my cat or writing up a guide to making macaroni and cheese I would use Google Pages. It is really cool being able to actually design the site the problem is that you tend to get side tracked by the creative process of trying to make the site pretty rather than actually writing something. I must say that I am extremely impressed by Google Pages and the fact it runs entirely in a web browser, it’s also a “Web 2.0 application” and uses AJAX so it’s buzzword compliant for those of you who feel that that is a necessary requirement.
In the past I’ve coded my own sites and associated backends in everything from perl to php, briefly experimented with python and even started one in C#. I’ve had one that was just plain html (pain to keep up to date.) and a php one that just required the uploading of a file in the “right” format… which worked for a while, but it didn’t work if I couldn’t ftp a file to the site or if I got the layout slightly wrong.
So I finally decided to give Word Press a try and so far it’s been rather cool. It wasn’t hard to setup and I managed to find a theme for it that didn’t make me cringe.. admittedly there is still alot of work to be done… I don’t like the fact that it says “Blog” in the menu thingie at the top and I don’t think I like blue for the header.. although I’m not sure. But I will try not fiddle with it too much for the moment and concentrate my time rather on actually writing some content for the site rather then hacking CSS or messing with Word Press’s plumbing.

What amazes me is how simple WordPress is and how well it works. I think I could get my less computer literate friends and family members to actually use this. I am always impressed when someone writes software that not only is good and filled with features but that is actually easy to use. It’s why I think Gmail is so cool, why I prefer Google to yahoo or msnsearch and why I use OneNote more than Word.
I haven’t been using it long enough yet to find anything that I hate, although I don’t like the blog like layout but I think I will be able to live with it, although I’ve already investigated what would be required to retrofit my idea’s on top of wordpress and I think it will be do-able. I also now have all the “bloggy” power of wordpress too which means I’ve got stuff like RSS feeds, comments (if I want them), trackbacks, pingbacks and all kinds of other weird things that I haven’t worked out yet. I could even write posts for the site (I will refrain from calling it blogging) from my cell phone, although that would mean I will be spend most of my time fighting with non-predictive predictive text. (A rant for another day.)

I didn’t evaluate the hundreds of different software packages out there.. neither did I do this based on someone else’s suggestions. I just noticed that alot of the blogs/journals/sites that I enjoy reading and like the look ‘n feel of are powered by wordpress so I thought I would give it a try. It’s also OpenSource which is always nice.

So if you’re thinking about doing a blog or whateva perhaps you should give wordpress a try?