Well, that ‘for now’ was rather short lived. Thinking I was updating a plugin, I accidentally pushed the button to update WP itself. So now I’m at WP5 regardless of my original intentions. Quickly installed the classic editor. My site still works it seems, but it might be some of the plugins actually now don’t. Hopefully I’ll be able to sort things out.

Replied to Sticking With WP 4.x For Now by Ton ZijlstraTon Zijlstra (Interdependent Thoughts)
With WordPress 5.0 Gutenberg now launched, I think I will wait until the dust settles a little bit. Most of the few plugins I use haven’t been updated to WP5 yet, and some of its authors write how Gutenberg breaks them. For now I’ll stick with WP4...

With WordPress 5.0 Gutenberg now launched, I think I will wait until the dust settles a little bit. I’m not encouraged by Matt’s State of the Word talk, in which he said ‘get deeper into Javascript’. I’d rather not actually. Most of the few plugins I use haven’t been updated to WP5 yet, and some of its authors write how Gutenberg breaks them. Also there’s still some bugs being ironed out. For now I’ll stick with WP4, until I see more confident reviews. Currently, searches for WP alternatives, calling WP’s new course Dreamweaver, quirks, and bugs, do not inspire that confidence. And already earlier this year there was the discussion of the total lack of accessibility efforts.

For a few months I used an additional category ‘microblog’ to share small status updates on this blog, next to having ‘front page’ blog posts and ‘Day to day’ timeline like postings. Those microblog postings were als shared to micro.blog/ton The separation felt a little contrived, as I mention in a comment discussing it.

So I decided to undo the separation between Day to Day and Micro. Already a few weeks ago I changed my micro.blog/ton to use the full RSS-feed of this blog, not just the feed for the micro category. Today I also went in to the database behind this WordPress blog, and moved all the 100+ postings in the microblog category to the day-to-day category. I first searched for the correct numbers of both the day-to-day and micro categories in the table wp_terms column term_id. Then I changed all the posts having the micro category to the day-to-day one.

The single mysql statement I used for this is
UPDATE `wp_term_relationships` SET `term_taxonomy_id`= numberfordaytoday WHERE `term_taxonomy_id`= numberformicro;

I bumped into a few postings that already had both categories. Through the phpmyadmin back-end I simply deleted the microblog category for those postings.

With this done, I then removed the reference to Micro in the main menu, and deleted the category in the WordPress dashboard. So now there’s just 2 types of postings on this blog, the ones presented on the front page which are more professional interest related, and the ones in the Day to Day timeline which are about more personal things, or small observations etc. Within the Day to Day postings I can choose to use a standard or status-update style posting type, which adequately reflects how I originally intended to use the microblog category. The RSS-feed contains all postings as before, it is just a distinction to influence the way content is presented to website visitors.

The Washington Post now has a premium ‘EU’ option, suggesting you pay more for them to comply with the GDPR.

Reading what the offer entails of course shows something different.
The basic offer is the price you pay to read their site, but you must give consent for them to track you and to serve targeted ads.
The premium offer is the price you pay to have an completely ad-free, and thus tracking free, version of the WP. Akin to what various other outlets and e.g. many mobile apps do too.

This of course has little to do with GDPR compliance. For the free and basic subscription they still need to be compliant with the GDPR but you enter into a contract that includes your consent to get to that compliance. They will still need to explain to you what they collect and what they do with it for instance. And they do, e.g. listing all their partners they exchange visitor data with.

The premium version gives you an ad-free WP so the issue of GDPR compliance doesn’t even come up (except of course for things like commenting which is easy to handle). Which is an admission of two things:

  1. They don’t see any justification for how their ads work other than getting consent from a reader. And they see no hassle-free way to provide informed consent options, or granular controls to readers, that doesn’t impact the way ad-tech works, without running afoul of the rule that consent cannot be tied to core services (like visiting their website).
  2. They value tracking you at $30 per year.

Of course their free service is still forced consent, and thus runs afoul of the GDPR, as you cannot see their website at all without it.

Yet, just to peruse an occasional article, e.g. following a link, that forced consent is nothing your browser can’t handle with a blocker or two, and VPN if you want. After all your browser is your castle.