Censored: An Open Letter to Everyone

Earlier today, a blog post profiling me went up on the WP Site Care blog. When the post was originally drafted, it included an additional answer to a question asked by Heather as part of my interview. Unfortunately, it was deemed too hot for the WP Site Care presses, so I’m publishing it here on my own little dusty corner of the Internet instead. Enjoy!

Any parting words?

Actually, yeah. I’d like to take a minute and address everyone who has systematically ruined the web over the past decade through a series of bad decisions and general ridiculousness. You people know who you are.

You’re the ones who want everything for free and never want to learn how to do anything. You submit ridiculous requests to people who publish open source software. You take on client work even though you don’t know how to write a line of CSS or even how to manage a project properly. You expect unpaid volunteers to answer every insane question and edge case you can come up with in forums across every deep dark corner of the web.

You’re ruining everything.

All of the lousy websites and products to build lousy websites can be traced directly back to you. I’m probably being a little hypocritical here because WordPress itself is one of those products, but I think there needs to be some kind of a line drawn in the sand somewhere.

The idea of making it easier for everyone to publish on the web is cool in theory, but it also opens up the door for everyone to publish on the web… which is… from where I’m sitting, not so great in practice. The low bar that we’ve set for ourselves is eating us alive. We’ve created an economy of ignorance and we’re serving up a hot plate of garbage to anyone with a few bucks.

Can we please stop doing that so much? I mean, I know I’m asking for a lot here… but could we all take some time to actually LEARN some stuff before doing things? And can we stop helping people who refuse to do this seemingly obvious and simple thing?

Take a course. Read a book. Practice some things.

Get a basic understanding of how at least some PIECE of what you’re doing works before you charge head-first into it. I really, honestly believe that if everyone would just slow down and learn a little bit more instead of just blindly doing things, the web (and probably the world) would be a much nicer, better place as a result.

I know I’m probably wasting my breath here, but hey… you asked. ❤️ ✌️

2 responses to “Censored: An Open Letter to Everyone”

  1. Thank you so much for publishing this. This situation right here is how we got into the mess of an inaccessible web. Because people who call themselves developers and designers or whatever refuse to learn HTML and CSS and how they’re supposed to be used, and just jumps on the newest, coolest tech. You can absolutely have a WordPress that makes publishing easier for people, and still create an accessible to everyone web. But it requires everybody who’s doing this to buckle down, learn how to do their goddamn job, and then, write code that ensures that users can’t possibly screw things up to the point of creating an experience that sucks for everyone. This is also very hard to do, and unless WordPress project leadership, (I’m looking at you, Matt), gets behind this, and says, “we need to be making it very difficult to create inaccessible things, and start encouraging everyone to learn how to do this web thing properly”, we’re going to just continue down this road.

    Damn, maybe I should have just written my own post.

  2. I get where you’re coming from, I really do.

    I cringe whenever I see some novice ask a legitimate question, then receive bad advice from someone else who isn’t much more experienced. Or when some privileged snowflake goes ballistic over some minor issue in a plugin or app, or even because they are expecting it to do something that it never even claimed it would do. And those same bozos will threaten to take their ball and go home, and tell all their friends how terrible you are if you don’t cater to some idiotic whim.

    Or, on the other side of the coin, I can’t count how many times I’ve downloaded some nice looking theme only to look at the code and find a steaming pile of crap that my dog wouldn’t even go near. And then learn that there’s a “Pro” version that is selling like hot cakes at $99 a pop.

    But I’m afraid that the alternative is a web full of walled-garden sites catering to an increasingly aloof “in crowd”, while the rest of the web spirals into nothing but cries for help and responses of “RTFM!”