the walking writer

I’ve been enjoying the Hearthstone beta since I got a key a couple of months ago.  Although I sometimes find the luck component of the game to be quite frustrating, I still enjoy the game overall.  After spending some time reading the forums, I think I’ve come up with my own feature wishlist.  It’s quite short and simple:

1. Do not add an in-game chat feature.  If one is added, please let us disable it completely.

I don’t know why many people on the forums desire to have such a feature.  I’ve played World of Warcraft long enough to see all kinds of horrible things in chat.  The first thing I do when I start a new character in WoW is turn off Trade Chat.  However, there’s no shortage of trolls in other places in the game, such as LFR.  I can quite easily imagine the sort of comments that would become common while playing Hearthstone.

If the developers decide to add such a feature, I hope they will at least let us turn it off completely.

Many years ago, the Internet was filled with blog scripts covering every programming language.  I remember spending hours comparing all of the available scripts before settling on one.  Greymatter was one of the first ones I remembered.  There were plenty of other popular options, including MoveableType and b2 (which later became WordPress).  These days, however, WordPress seems to be the king of blog scripts.  From major corporations to the tiniest personal weblog, WordPress is the choice for many users.

I’ve been using WordPress for years, probably not long after it first emerged from b2.  It does what I need it to do, and I’m familiar enough with it to do just about anything with it.  However, I think there is some room for improvement.  New users, in particular, probably feel intimidated by the backend of WordPress.  Even making a simple change to the formatting the main blog template requires coding knowledge or significant assistance.

However, to my knowledge, no other blog script has stepped up the challenge of dethroning WordPress.  In fact, with the rising popularity of social networks and the decline in self-hosted personal blogs, I wonder if anyone will ever try to become as popular as WordPress.  There are, to be sure, a few possibilities.  Textpattern, for example, still lives on, even without its original creator.  However, at the end of the day, I imagine many bloggers reach the same decision I’ve reached: I don’t want to trust my content to a blog script that may not exist in two or three years.  At least with WordPress,  I’m reasonably certain that updates will still keep rolling out for years to come.

I’ve been in the freelance world long enough to have weathered through a few holiday seasons.  Without fail, no matter what industry your freelance work is in, your work flow will probably slow down or completely stop during the holidays.  I haven’t written anything for my main source of work since before Christmas; it’s a situation that I’m used to and expect each year.

Without fail, forums dedicated to freelance work will flood with posts wondering about the end of freelance work forever.  Rest assured, it doesn’t mean that at all.  Freelance is a tricky beast; you never really have any certainly about securing future work.  Anxiety during slow times is understandable.  I think this underscores the importance of having a number of different ways to make money through freelance work.  For writing, as an example, you could work on creating a portfolio or posting entries on your own blog during a slow period.  Yes, you probably won’t get any immediate money for rent and bills, but eventually that work will probably pay off.

In a week or two, if history is any indication, things will pick back up at most freelance gigs.