It has been more than a year since I made my last post on this site. At the request of some dear friends, I thought I give the control panel of my site at WordPress.com another look to see if I can continue with my experiments.
I am quite pleased to find a number of niceties and functionalities.
1. On new themes: I counted five pages of 30 theme thumbnails per page. I am not sure if there are 150 themes in there as some of thumbnails keep repeating, but anyway, I found some beautiful themes and some, premium themes too (meaning, you need to pay to use the theme).
For a change, I decided to use
Greyzed, a dark and grungy theme with drop-down menus and a widgetized footer. (Updated: 2011-09-29: What you are viewing now is a Rusty Grunge by Chris Wallace. I will write in my next post why I dropped Greyzed – after only a day!)
2. In the editing page, there is now a “Writing Helper” which allows you to use an existing post as a template and Request Feedback for getting feedback on your draft before publishing. (It’s good that the Share A Draft plugin for self-hosted blogs had been ported to WordPress.com.)
3. Also under Appearance panel, there is “iPad” which when activated displays “a beautiful app-like experience to visitors browsing with an iPad.
4. Under Appearance, there is also this “Extras” which you can switch on or off by simply clicking on “Update Extras” for your selected option. If activated, your blog will be displayed with a mobile theme when viewed with a mobile browser.
Obviously, this is an alternate to “iPad” for viewers who do not use an iPad like me.
5. Under Settings, there is “Webhooks” which I passed over as I am not into “hooks” yet. (Perhaps, later.)
6. Under Widgets, I found a number of new apps. Depending on which theme you use, you can put these widgets to enhance the appearance and functionality of your blog. From memory, these are the new widgets: Facebook Like box, Flickr (or has this been there since last year?), Twitter (I am sure this was not there before because I even posted “How to twitter your WP.com post”), Vodpod videos, del.icio.us, and Authors for multi-author site, obviously.
These are my impressions. I will probably have a closer look at some of the recent changes to WP.com so I can share my observations with you. Meanwhile, it would be great if you can start exchanging notes with us by sharing your impressions and comments.