Introducing “backwards progress”

Following a bit of recent excitement, this is the first time I’ve written anything for my reborn, rehosted, redesigned blog.

Well, actually, since you ask, here’s the story.  Even though I came off the payroll of my former agency Tangible over a year ago, the blog was still hosted on the Tangible website.  Which was absolutely fine, until I recently wrote something not massively complimentary about a Tangible new business prospect, who got in touch in something of a huff and who I think we can safely say is no longer a new business project.

At this point my friends in Tangible very quickly realised that maybe hosting my blog wasn’t such a good idea.  There was a hiatus for 24 hours or so, and how I’m hosting myself, so to speak, on Which I’m sure is the best thing all round.  And sorry about that prospect.

Anyway, in setting up the New Blog, my colleagues in IT have taken the opportunity to update me to WordPress 3.2.1, and that’s where the concept of backward progress comes in.  It’s always possible, of course, that I’d simply got used to my old version and now I need to get used to the new version.  But it doesn’t seem like that to me currently.  It seems to me that the old version was simple, clear and intuitive, while the new one is complicated and bewildering.  (For example, the button that used to say “write” now says “add new post.”  That’s three words instead of one, and also much more ambiguous – is it where you post stuff you’ve already written, or is it where you write stuff before you post it?  Or, to the right of my screen as I type this, there are now three clickable links, within two inches of each other, saying “Publish” – two of them just “Publish,” and the third saying “Publish immediately.”  Are the first two not immediate?  Why do I need three links?  What’s the difference between them?  I’ll find out when I’ve finished this.)

Of course backwards progress is an extremely familiar phenomenon.  It’s often to do with saving money – one-man-operated buses, useless hand-dryers instead of towels in public loos.  (Obviously I make an exception for Dyson Airblades.)   But sometimes it’s nothing to do with saving money, and indeed can cost a great deal of money:  for the last two years I’ve used the surprisingly comfortable and welcoming lounge at the Grafton Hotel, a few yards from here, as my second office, but now it’s been refurbed as a kind of bizarre cross between an Angus Steak House and my grandmother’s front room and is completely unusable.

I suppose that if you’re a middle-aged bloke like me and you draw attention to examples of backwards progress one becomes, by definition, a Boring Old Fart who has become incapable of dealing with change.  There is still a possibility, though, that I might actually be right.

Now, let’s see what happens when I click “publish immediately.”  Oh, that’s funny, you can’t actually click on it.



1 thought on “Introducing “backwards progress”

  1. I can’t deal with change either. Especially change wrought by software developers for whom “intuitive” has a whole different meaning from the rest of us. But actually the changes to the WordPress “publish” area have brought in additional options. You’ve probably figured them out by now – along with figuring out how to reinstate the “Comment” boxes that you took away when you left Tangible – but, if not (and if you actually care), give me a call and I’ll talk you through what I figured out.

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