Educational,  Oswego Coursework

Semiotic Tech and a WordPress Newbie


I can appreciate that WordPress was founded on the principles of giving access to everyone, including those of us that are not necessarily tech savvy. This open sourced platform’s mission was to democratize published. A principle they’ve remained true to until this day. While WordPress is free, they have found a way to stay true to their mission while becoming a multi-billion dollar company with the largest market share of websites among content management platforms. 

I also admire the fact that each new version release has a lead designer in addition to the lead developer. This demonstrates that WordPress is dedicated to the user experience. 


Graphic of laptop with WordPress logo.

As a first time user of WordPress, I think that the use of blocks is direct and simple. While there is still a learning curve, I feel that without the blocks it would have been a bigger challenge to navigate building my site. 

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I feel that the use of semiotic technology has not only made website creation and publishing more accessible to the masses, but it has also diminished the diversity of creativity. It’s manageable to build a website if you just need to follow a few prompts and make a number of style, formatting and content decisions. For example, if you have 100 websites created by 100 first time web ‘designers’ using 10 templates then where is the creativity? While each novice can customize their site, the foundation and the basics will be the same. The Adami article references styling and from this lens of creativity, my interpretation of styling can be compared to group think. Creators start to think the same way and start to follow the same trends. While I think it’s great that regular people like me can create a fairly robust website in a matter of days or weeks, I do feel that it is also necessary to have those that are trained, creative, skilled and talented enough to design from scratch.


Infographic depicting various communication medium.
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References
Adami, E orcid.org/0000-0003-3651-919X (2018) Styling the self online: semiotic technologization in weblog publishing. Social Semiotics, 28 (5). pp. 601-622. ISSN 1035-0330 
Semiotic technology. (n.d.). Sdu. https://www.sdu.dk/en/forskning/cmc/research-projects/semiotic-technology#:~:text=A%20semiotic%20technology%20is%20a,Leeuwen%20in%20the%20late%2000's.
Søren Vigild Poulsen, Gunhild Kvåle & Theo van Leeuwen (2018) Special issue: Social media as semiotic technology, Social Semiotics, 28:5, 593-600, DOI: 10.1080/10350330.2018.1509815