WordPress eulogy & upgrade culture

What I love about WordPress is the way they continually surprise and delight with their revisions. Web designing always meant quickly getting used to new interfaces and embracing newness. It was all about having the confidence to scout round software, experimenting, finding your own way, blaspheming about lack of usability, seeing the correlations with other packages and getting on with it. Web 2.0 meant you suddenly had access to a community of folk doing exactly the same thing, so you were alone no more.

WordPress come up with new info architectures and interfaces with regularity, ones that make you think – “Of course! why didn’t they do it like that before?” rather like Apple does… but no grandstanding and it’s ‘free’. I came across the expression “thinkering” the other day – a bit twee – but apt to describe the kind of disposition digital manipulation fosters.

Why I am extolling the benefits of WP? Because I think many young people – and I’m talking as young as the lower end of primary – already have this frame of mind. Much as I’m hesitant to use the ‘digital native’ label they’re not shackled with a sense of what it means to be a geek, so they do just get on with it. When I’m showing adults the ways of WP, iMovie etc, there’s a kind of performance, a caveat-patter, a litany of excuses, a shiny sheen of guilt & perceived ineptitude, a running commentary of why-they’re-so-crap… there’s none of this with a 7 year old…

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