There are two flavors of the WordPress Content Management System. There’s the wordpress.org self hosted solution – as used for this very blog, and there’s the wordpress.com hosted solution.
I’m normally a glass half full kind of guy, but today, I’m going to talk about one of the big disadvantages that a self hosted wordpress set up presents.
Self hosties are missing out on the community side of wordpress. Sure, we’ve got our own thing going on, and we tap into communities like facebook, twitter and DISQUS, but we don’t seem to have any way of readily tapping into the rich and fascinating community over on the hosted side of the fence.
We have the tools and content to build our own community, and yes, technically we can syndicate and share out content through RSS and offer a ‘follow’ feature, but we can’t at this time, make use of the following features;
- WordPress like, reblog and native wordpress follow
- WordPress toolbar
- Feature in ‘Freshly Pressed‘
- Have our self hosted account persona recognised as being that of a “blogger” in the wordpress community
- Using self hosted account credential to interact with other wordpress content and users
- Have self hosted blog feature on the ‘my blogs’ global dashboard
I’ll admit it. I’m jealous. The hosted community seems to be reading, interacting, sharing and discussing each others content in a very active way using the wordpress.com network. Even blogs who’s content is, to put it politely ‘pedestrian’, gets scores of followers and reblogs, etc on a single “This is what I had for lunch today” type post. Some of the good to brilliant bloggers (of which there are many, for the record) get hundreds of followers, reblogs, likes, etc. It is a buzzing community. One which I lurk on, but can’t properly engage with, as my self hosted content and persona, isn’t integrated.
Of course, I didn’t get to this point of confidently saying ‘no can do’, without a bit of research. The thread I kept coming back to is this one – http://wordpress.org/support/topic/getting-reblog-to-work-with-self-hosted where a moderator essentially slams the door in our face. There are a few others – most of which seem to have been gathering dust for months.
I’ve got an account on wordpress.com – I use it for some of the features on my self hosted set up – like jetpack but, given it’s placeholder status, I don’t want to use that account to interact, or specifically ‘wordpress like’ other blogs.
One of the solutions, would be for me to jump ship. Move DragonDrop.org over to the wordpress.com side of the fence, but I’d be missing out on the flexibility I have with themes (the way it looks and feels) and widgets, etc. Plus, I wouldn’t have the man hours it would realistically take to do that at the moment. I’m too busy blogging.
If you’ve landed here because you’re suffering the same quandary, or better still – if you have the Holy Grail solution of how to integrate wordpress.com community and account features into a wordpress.org self hosted solution, then please, leave a comment.
Closing thoughts – I recently stumbled across some info that was discussing the way wordpress staff up their organisation. The have an actual job function called Happiness Engineers. Polite request: Could us self hosties book in some TLC with one of these people to address the above please?