WordPress and ‘Happiness Engineers’

After spending countless hours trying to master my blog “LetsDiscussIt” and bring the website (justinswebsite.org) up to date, with all the bells and whistles now available, I’ve come to a painful discovery. I’m not technically up to the job. In the process, I learned the difference between WordPress.com (that I have been trying to master, and run on my own) and WordPress.org, which is the venue of choice for those who are really smart about web page development, for blogging, for self-promotion, and especially, for selling products. I also learned that the site I bought, with a special domain suffix I paid extra for, that made my account ‘premium’ to include premium support, doesn’t include any personalized help. When I managed a few times to contact a few “Happiness Engineers” at the help site here (who are all part-time, and work from their homes), all they could give me were various ready-made tutorial documents, which are full of jargon, incomprehensible to the uninitiated, and dealt with every problem but the one I was trying to solve. And these included endless solicitations to spend more money on various add-on’s, widgets, and groovy upgrade options for making my site more noticeable and effective.

In this era of user-friendly computers and smart phones that do everything for you except let you communicate with another human face-to-face, WordPress is amazingly opaque. Yet those tech savvy people who get into the WordPress.org camp represent a huge percentage of the websites around the globe – about 25% in fact – including the sites I go to for the most valuable and thoughtful information (definitely not to be found on corporate new sources, either print or TV). Now I know what ‘webmaster’ means!

In surfing the web, trying to get outside help, I came across the attached web page, which is one professional writer’s humorous and instructive blog post about his own painful experience, trying to become a happiness engineer, when his books weren’t selling. He helped me to see how my efforts to overachieve have been an expression of needless ego. By the way, the company that owns WocrdPress is named Automattic (2 t’s), and has only 200 employees! Not surprising they don’t have personalized help sessions face to face.

A couple days ago, I met my son’s friend, Joe, who is an IT contractor, and a kind fellow. In one hour-long session, by phone and ‘remote control,’ he worked wonders for my comprehension,  and spirits. Back on  track, with high hopes, I’ll carry on a bit longer, to see if it works (bells and whistles not included, if  possible).

If I end up abandoning this ship, fare you well. I still think it’s a nice idea.