On May 17th 2011 I delivered the following presentation to the Rabbinical Council of America’s annual convention titled “Masorah 2.0: Risks, Rewards, and Recommendations for Using the Web to Teach Torah and Build Community.” Below is the audio and Powerpoint slides in PDF.
In the 6.5 years we’ve been together I’ve shared with you my innermost thoughts. You know more than anyone else how hard it is for me to let go and move on, so you also know just bad things have gotten to get to this point.
Simply put, I’m leaving you for WordPress.
Sure things were great in the beginning, you were the best blogging software around, dynamically generating php pages before blogger could even support comments (remember HaloScan?). And I know you might be thinking I cheated first when I spent all that time with WordPress in creating the new site for The Stanton Street Shul, but you know as well as I our problems started long before that. The world changed and became progressively more dynamic, but you always stayed the same. While other platforms kept innovating and providing nifty new plugins and themes, you couldn’t even be updated without throwing a hissyfit.
Basically I got tired of your tantrums, and how we needed to rehash (or recompile) all our old discussions in order to move on. Yes, I’ll miss the convenience of having the occasional static PHP page, but if I could find a way to get past your quirks, I’ll find a way to handle it or I’ll ask the huge community of followers for help (though I must credit Sarah Hughes for her help in moving my stuff out of your possessive clingy clutches – seriously, you wouldn’t even let me export my own posts!).
I’m reasonable enough to know that life with WordPress won’t be without its hiccups – I already know I’ve got permalinks to cleanup and Hebrew text to fix in earlier posts – but despite those issues I am very much looking forward to taking advantage of its massive theme and plugin repositories to make YUTOPIA easier to maintain and to add more features. Heck, I’m even experimenting with Podcasting.
To paraphrase Beit Hillel, you’ve burnt my soup one time to many and in the words of R. Akiva, I’ve found someone better than you (See B. Gittin 90a). I trust you’ll do well in your future endeavors, but I simply can’t be constrained by your restrictions anymore.
It’s simply time to part ways.
P.S. I’m taking full custody of my domains.