I believe that there is a point in the life-cycle of any software application when instead of just interested people using it, anybody tries to use it just because it is there. Blog seems to have reached that point since I get a lot of e-mails these days along the lines of “I don’t like the default look of my site using Blog. How do I change it?” Now to me, it looks as if these people haven’t even bothered to go through the different dialogs in the app let alone read the documentation since otherwise they should at least know about templates.
It irritates me that people get a free application, don’t bother to do any groundwork and expect to get better support than they would from Microsoft for something they’d paid hundreds of dollars for. (And yes, I’m in full rant mode and this does not refer to all the innocents out there who are truly stuck and write to me with genuine problems :p) I believe in providing support and I believe in helping others – that is one of the basic principles on which the whole idea of careware is based. But I hate freeloaders who won’t even bother to go through the app or read the documentation and the FAQ before they write to me and ask me to help them. I believe that you should do some work too if you want to be helped.
I agree, the documentation is not easy to read and it doesn’t illustrate certain points too well. But unfortunately, I don’t think I’m the best person to write the documentation since I know the software inside out and so take a lot of things that may seem not-so-obvious to others as granted. And all the people who’ve promised to write me documentation for Blog over the last year or so have never been heard of since their promises :p And I do take some of the blame for people expecting Blog to work right out of the box since I do say that you don’t need to edit HTML at the top of the Blog page itself and people may expect that means that you don’t need to know HTML. And I don’t think I explain what a template is properly. So be warned! You need to know enough HTML to edit a template and you do need to do some work to set Blog up to look the way you want it to … but come on, how hard is it to read the documentation and the FAQ? 🙂