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plain blogging

After searching high and low for a way to post stuff to my blog via email, I found Postie for WordPress. Yes, it's true that WP has a built-in post-by-email feature, but it doesn't understand formatted text, images, attachments or video embeds. Postie on the other hand does all that easily. Now I can blog via email or text-as-email from my phone, and that's just cool.

The way new bloggers do their thing now is interesting, because almost none of them use formatted text (bold, italic, underline, etc.), link to nothing, rarely if ever post a photo and basically never embed a video.

Why do they blog this way? Three reasons.

First, because they treat it like long-form texting. And as anyone who texts knows, there's no formatting or embedding in a text.

Second, because Facebook wall posts don't allow formatting or the embedding of anything. The only thing that comes close to an embed is if you post a link from a photo or video site and the system auto-magically converts that into a viewable/playable thing.

Third, people simply couldn't be bothered to learn how to format text or embed anything.

What do people do when they want to format text or embed something? They don't. And they never bother to learn, because why would they? It's not as if it would serve them any real purpose.

It's probably a good bet there's a huge amount of users who have absolutely no idea what the B, I and U buttons even mean at the top of their email composition window. Will they ever learn what they do? Probably not. Should they? No, because it's not necessary.

I don't consider plain-style text communications a bad thing. If people feel they can get their messages across with no formatting or embedded multimedia content, that's fine. I mean, plain text is the way we all used to communicate digitally. In the BBS days, all mail was plain text, and it worked very well. In modern times, text messages are plain text and it also works very well.

If it happens to be that future blogging is mostly-unformatted, that's fine because the message still gets across. We're not writing books or business proposals here. All we're doing is trying to do is communicate and express ideas in the fastest, quickest way possible. For that, plain text gets the job done in fine style.


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