And it’s great. I can check my site stats (never compulsively). I can shoot a blog straight out to Facebook and Twitter at the same time I publish here. (EDIT: the more I hang out on WordPress, the more apparent it is that they want my experience to be easy on this platform.)
I just can’t stop wishing that iWeb had wanted me to have that same experience. WordPress is doing a fabulous job, yet I remain disappointed that Apple didn’t want the job. I’m like that girl who has a sweet boyfriend who loves her, but I want the bad boy to notice.
iWeb is great. As a user who knows exactly (well, approximately) what she wants her website to convey and how much she wants to learn and work for it, Apple has delivered a product with a lot of character, pizzaz, and ease of use. As a user who knows enough HTML to occasionally insert a page break and make some text bold or perhaps link to another site (thanks, LiveJournal) it’s convenient to have little buttons at the top of the blog entry I’m creating that can instantly bolden, link, italicize, frisk and fondle the text pretty much any way I can think of.
The layout of the iWeb templates are pretty. I can use my own photographs. The templates are stylistic and fairly fresh, like the inside of an Apple Store.
But the blogging software left a lot to be desired. No stats except how many people are visiting the page. Clunky archiving. Unsexy widgets that don’t feel all that relevant. Kind of a rigid reader experience, too, as far as I can tell reading my own blog at the old iWeb site.
And the argument goes like this: iWeb isn’t for professionals. It’s for people making their own home pages. Even if the introduction to the tutorial for iWeb says it is for creating professional looking sites.
The thing is, how many people do you know that are making home pages that aren’t trying to either get a lot of traffic, either to spread an idea, or to sell or publicize something? Grandmas email photos, they usually don’t require a “professional looking” web presence to blog about it. And if they are savvy enough to blog, they are probably migrating to WordPress.
Which brings up an interesting issue, or perhaps an interesting niche that I fit into. I’m a fairly smart user. Not smart enough to be a developer. But smart enough to keep wanting a more sophisticated user experience, which included being able to produce things using software. The kind of user who got smarter using Apple products, and realized she could use them to make things that augment her professional presence. Like podcasts and hypnosis recordings using GarageBand, websites using iWeb (which, as I grew smarter, realized had to be tweaked in order for my site to register with search engines). I would be extremely stoked if the next DIY notch under my belt could be to make an app.
But I’m smart enough to know I’m not smart enough to know programming or how to develop an app for iOS, because I’m not a software developer. I’m smart enough to know I want an app and how I’d want it to function. Perhaps, you’d say, smart enough to hire a damn developer or to learn enough computer sciencey shit to make my own damn app. Or smart enough to go to the Apple website and get a developer kit and then realize I don’t know how to make use of it because I don’t know programming. (At this point, the word “smart” seems to address the idea of motivation and energy as well).
But I didn’t want to have to learn more than I learned in order to make my website. Because, even with the blogging deficiencies and the issue of SEO non-optimization, which the nice people of RAGE software have helped me address, I like my iWeb site! It’s pretty. It’s fine. I can use my own advanced amateur digital photographs. I can express myself and promote my business. It’s not a site advertising my services as a web designer. It works to peddle my knowledge of the human psyche. I don’t want to have to learn sound engineering to make hypnosis recordings and podcasts: I want to use Garage Band (But please, iLife engineers, feel free to make Garage Band more user friendly). I want the means of production in my hands. And one of the reasons I love Apple products is that it puts it there. Until certain means of the means of production is just out of reach, like making my own iPhone app.
So here’s what I want. An app that lets me make an app. I’d be able to choose from a menu of options that represented components that make up an ios application. I could choose a chart, a graph, a slider, a list, and make them interact with various data in order to make the app I want, which could be a game, a log of some sort, a portal to other published information, or an organizational system for media I’m launching into the world. Yeah, that would be great. I might find that this sort of thing would do just fine for the kind of app that I need-just like my iWeb site is fine for advertising my services as a therapist (rather than a web designer). Or I might find down the line it’s not and then I hire someone to make a better app out of the prototype I made for myself. Or, the whole experience might make me feel that learning software development is within my grasp.
All I know is, I wanna make more stuff.