Blaming one's tools

My blogging rate has dropped way off in the last few weeks, and I was wondering why. First, I’ve been pretty busy: not just with work (about which I rarely blog – Amazon is very different from Sun in this respect), but also on family stuff that has taken me back to the East Coast a couple of times this year. Second, I don’t feel that I have much to contribute to the Three Big Topics of the hour: the US election, the war, and the recession. The election seems to be just bringing out the worst in people. (See the Robert Reich piece I cited recently.) The war is in a ghastly kind of “holding pattern”, with Bush’s puppet Petraeus spinning things out until the next President can actually make some decisions. And what can one say about the the economy, except that it took rather longer than I expected for Gordon Gekko‘s chickens to come home to roost. (Thomas Frank’s comment about “plutocracy” is also right on the, er, money.)
But the biggest reason my blogging has dropped off is this wretched WordPress upgrade. I’ve already blogged about the way it screwed up the post composition window, making it much more inefficient to actually prepare a piece. I’ve fixed a few of the issues – I now have my category list to the right of the editing pane – but it’s still pretty painful. More seriously, WP2.5 broke the “scriptlet”. In the past, I often began a blog piece by noticing something interesting on the web, highlighting the text of interest, and then clicking my “Blog It!” bookmark. This ran a bit of JavaScript which opened the composition page for my blog and dropped the title, URL, and selected text into the right places. This made the workflow from seeing something of interest to posting a comment on it very efficient. Various alternative scriptlets have been posted by WP users, but none works exactly the way I want. As a result, I’ve tended to tag pieces of interest in Google Reader, which makes them show up in the “Items From Other Blogs…” sidebar. However I doubt anyone reads that. Maybe I should start doing a “links of the day” piece.
And finally, WP2.5 broke the elegant mobile admin interface that I had been using from my iPhone. This makes it more or less impossible to blog on the move. I suppose I could try to roll back from WP2.5 to 2.4, but that feels like more work (and risk) than I have time for right now.
UPDATE: I’ve improved things a bit (quite a lot, actually) by installing the Fluency admin plugin by Dean Robinson. It fixes the awful menus, which gives us back some screen real estate to actually do some composition, but it can’t do much about the inefficient layout of the controls on the writing page. (And – sob! – it can’t give us back our drag and drop widgets.) But it’s a start.