WP and the plight of single-post bloggers

Yesterday I posted about my favourite bloggers not appearing in the WordPress Reader. You can find that post here. Today, I’m posting about how I worked it out, and why the answer doesn’t make me happy.

So first up, what did I discover?

I’ll start by saying that WordPress has not been messing with my blog, at least, not directly. However my timezone, and the prolific nature of some of the blogs I follow have combined to create a situation where I actually get to see very few of the blogs I follow. This is a design issue, but more on that later.

The person I have to thank for this discovery is the lovely D.V. Berkom. D.V. is an international blogger/writer friend, and I normally follow her posts via email, but today I went to her blog via the ‘Followed Sites/Manage’ option in the WordPress Reader:

WP followed sites

When I clicked on the blue ‘DV Berkom Books’ link, I was taken directly to her site where I saw that she had published a post 2 hours before. I couldn’t remember seeing it on my Reader so where was it?

Back in my WP Reader, I scrolled down checking the published times of the posts displayed there. Again, the majority were from RGS and a few other prolific bloggers. And all had been published within the last hour.

By this point I was down to the last 1/5 of the list and still only seeing posts published in the previous hour. Instead of giving up, however, I persevered and finally found DV’s post at the 2 hour mark.

If you’re wondering how I know when posts are published, you can see the location of the timestamp here:

WP followed sites 3

I also found a slew of other single-post friends down in the nether regions. [Single-post bloggers being those people who post on average just one post per day].They had all been pushed off my radar because:

  • they had arrived while I was asleep [I live in the southern hemisphere],
  • a few, highly prolific blogs had crowded them out,
  • and I rarely check the very bottom of my Reader list.

One thing I still don’t know is how long posts hang around in my Reader before they’re shunted off entirely. 4 hours? 5? 24? If anyone knows could you please tell me in comments?

Now that I know what the problems are, I’m faced with a choice; I can either see the prolific posts that clog up my Reader or I can see the single posts published by my friends, but I really can’t see both.

Why? Because even if I scrolled right to the bottom of my Reader list every day, it would only happen once a day, so effectively, the prolific blog posts would still crowd the single-posters out.

In reality, the choice is no choice at all. I’m following close to 500 bloggers. I don’t want to see just 6 or 7 of them per day. Unfortunately, WordPress does not give me much in the way of options. I can control how often [if at all] I receive email notifications about blog posts, but I cannot control how often [if at all] I see posts displayed in my Reader. So, basically, it’s an all or nothing situation. If I follow a blog, I get everything that blog publishes. The only way to reduce the volume of posts is to unfollow the blog entirely.

And that is what I’ve done. RGS is no more.

If you’ve ever wondered how to unfollow blogs in WordPress, simply click the ‘Manage’ button next to the ‘Followed sites’ option. Once the list of followed sites is displayed, navigate to the site you wish to unfollow and click the small button to the right of the name:

WP followed sites 2

So I’ve just gone through and unfollowed the prolific bloggers. Sorry guys.:(

I’m not happy about this, and not just because I enjoyed the tech posts. I’m a single-post blogger, as are most of my friends, so I have to wonder whether our posts are being seen at all, or are they getting crowded out by the professionals? [I have no idea if the prolific bloggers are professionals or not, but as many of them reblog posts from other sources, I have to wonder where they get the time to find all this material].

Theories aside, I know one thing for certain, I’m intensely grateful that so many of you found me and have become regulars. Love you all, and apologies for ‘neglecting’ you. 😦

cheers

Meeks

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About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

41 responses to “WP and the plight of single-post bloggers

  • DawnGillDesigns

    That is really interesting, thank you. I only recently started using WP for both reading and writing blogs (I’m a very late starter!) and I have no idea how I would be able to keep up if I had a *real * job. This was extremely helpful. Thank you. And to DV, without whom i’d not have stumbled across you πŸ˜€

    Like

  • thelonelyauthorblog

    Interesting. I wondered how that reader worked. Thanks for posting this.

    Like

  • Hugh's Views and News

    I’ve never trusted the WordPress Reader as I have noticed that many of my own posts don’t even show up on it. I actually signed up to ‘Bloglovin” on the recommendations of WordPress and they send me one email everyday that include links to all the new posts of the blogs I follow. The only problem is that you have to search for all the blogs you follow first. It’s time-consuming (and not all bloggers have a Bloglovin account) but it’s saved me huge amounts of time.

    Like

    • acflory

      You’re the second blogger to mention Bloglovin. I like the sound of one email daily, but to be honest the thought of having to wade through hundreds of sites to set it up does not fill me with joy. 😦
      That said, I will check Bloglovin out because I’m definitely not happy with the Reader either.

      Like

  • HonieBriggs

    We may be, geographically speaking, a world apart, but I’m glad somewhere in the ether we made a connection. I often find blogs that I follow mysteriously (probably not so mysteriously) disappear from my reader altogether. Then I have to go in search of them and re-follow.

    Like

  • Matthew Wright

    I tend to put links to my favourite blogs on my own blog – partly because I think they’re great blogs and others should have opportunity to enjoy them too. But also because it’s easier for me to click through to them myself. I have to ration my social media time, and as you say, the reader buries posts fairly quickly.

    Like

    • acflory

      I have something similar in a widget that displays 50? or is it 25 of the blogs I follow at a time. Unfortunately it’s still just a slice of the whole. I honestly don’t know what the long term answer is. :/

      Liked by 1 person

  • anne54

    I subscribe to Bloglovin, and am able to put in my favourite blogs. It sends me a daily email to alert me that someone I like to read has written a new post. It is works for me because it allows you to put in non-Wordpress blogs. However, I find reading and commenting on the posts in Bloglovin a pain, so I come to the Reader. This happened today. Bloglovin told me you had written this, and I scrolled through the reader to find it. Not the most efficient method, but it doesn’t clog up my email inbox.
    I think it’s Spring Cleaning time for my Reader! And I will check out EllaD’s list. Isn’t she a darling?

    Like

    • acflory

      Oh, I hadn’t heard of Bloglovin until now. Might check it out myself. And yes, EllaD’s great. Thanks to her suggestion, I now have my tech posts in a nice little reader all their own. πŸ˜€

      Like

  • Candy Korman

    And here I’m always feeling alone in my zone by following bloggers ahead of me in Europe, behind me on the West Coast of the U.S. or YOU way, way, way ahead of me!

    Like

  • D.T. Nova

    “One thing I still don’t know is how long posts hang around in my Reader before they’re shunted off entirely. 4 hours? 5? 24? If anyone knows could you please tell me in comments?”
    It’s at least 4 days (I just scrolled my reader down as far as it would let me) and I think that was still based on the number of posts rather than the age. (I follow around 130 blogs.)
    If you search for an uncommon tag it shows results up to a year old.

    Like

  • dvberkom

    I don’t check my reader nearly as often as I should–I’d be down the rabbit hole for hours! Most of the time I receive an email notification from those bloggers I want to keep up with, which helps manage the time spent. And yes, I’ve noticed blogs mysteriously dropping off even my email list…hmmm. Glad to see I can create a list for must-reads–thanks!

    Like

  • orangepondconnects

    I’ve had to unfollow some bloggers who would post at least 20 times (if not more!) in a 24 hour period. They were all reblogs that they were posting and all it did was clog up my reader. I felt bad for unfollowing, but all the reblogs were making it hard for me to find those single-post bloggers.

    Like

  • chrisjames282

    “…who post just once a day…” Blimey, I’ve got this blogging lark ALL wrong! *eye-rolling emoticon*

    Like

  • teagan geneviene

    I run into the same trouble/conundrum… I sincerely appreciate the very prolific bloggers, and once in a while, I’m one of the dozens they promote, so I don’t want to un-follow them. (And I don’t mean people who post a few times a week. I mean people who post several at a time on multiple days…) Yet I miss seeing most of the people I follow. My blogging time is limited — and it usually ends up taking all my writing time as it is. Neither do I have time to have that many blogs coming to my email box. So I do the best I can, and hope they forgive me. And if I keep an eye on comments when I visit a blog, I find reminders in the form of their comments, and track over to them via the connecting link. Thanks for this post. Hugs!

    Like

    • acflory

      -hugs back- I’m so relieved other people are in the same boat. I know it’s not a very comfortable boat but as you say, we do the best we can. The thing that astounds me is that some people can follow hundreds of blogs, comment and be active on other social media as well. How do they find the time to even go to the loo?

      Like

  • roughseasinthemed

    I follow about 300. Can’t bear blogs that post every day, let alone more than once a day. Totally into quality v quantity. Some I read, some I comment on. I try and comment on most/all of my faves’ posts eg EllaDee is a fave.

    Like

  • Karen

    I regularly cull blogs from my Reader in order to keep it manageable (around 200 blogs–I’m impressed that you’re able to follow nearly 500!) and I only follow one blogger who posts more than once a day. You have to be posting some really terrific stuff multiple times a day to stay in my Reader, otherwise you’re unfollowed.

    A problem I’ve had in the past with WP (and this may have been corrected by now) is that a blog would drop from my Reader due to some glitch. Blogs would just stop showing up and I’d have to go to the site and follow them again. (And how did I find out what was happening? I knew I didn’t unfollow the blogs, so I started following my own blog, and I mysteriously disappeared from my own Reader on two separate occasions.)

    Like

    • acflory

      Ugh, I wish I could keep up with all the blogs I follow. There are some I read/comment on religiously, some I try to pop in on ‘regularly’ and some I visit when something leaps out at me from the Reader. Correction – when it used to leap out at me.
      I’ve had to unfollow a few blogs today but EllaDee pointed me towards the ‘Lists’ function and now I can set up like a mini, tech-related reader in a list.
      And yes! I’ve noticed some blogs disappearing as well, although your sleuthing technique is pretty unique. πŸ˜€

      Like

  • drewdog2060drewdog2060

    I always try to follow blogs by email as I frequently forget to check the Reader. This does have the disadvantage of clogging up my inbox. However it does mean that I don’t miss posts. Kevin

    Like

    • acflory

      Hi Kevin. πŸ™‚ My initial strategy was to allow email notifications from my favourite blogs and to catch up with everyone else via the Reader. I still get far too much stuff in my Inbox but it’s the best compromise I’ve been able to come up with.

      Like

  • The Story Reading Ape

    Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    Anyone else had Meeka’s problem with WordPress posts?

    Like

  • EllaDee

    Still doesn’t explain PR’s latest missing post from my Reader… obviously a different aberration, hopefully short lived.
    Something I’ve discovered via exploring your… our… Reader issue/s is Lists… at top LHS of the Reader page we can create lists of blogs, like a subset of Reader… somewhat clunky process as you have to manually add each blog’s URL but it means you could segregate the busier blogs into a separate List.

    Like

    • acflory

      I looked at that but wasn’t really sure what it was for. So a subset you think? I might give it a try. Thanks! πŸ˜€

      Like

    • acflory

      You’re a genius, EllaD! It is a pain getting the URLs of sites you like but once you copy them into a list, it [the list] essentially becomes a brand NEW reader!
      I created one called ‘Tech sites’ and now have 3 tech related sites all sitting there, happily waiting for me to check them out. AND, they’re not cluttering up my main Reader.

      -massive hugs-

      Liked by 1 person

  • Yvonne Hertzberger

    Hmmmm. That clears up a lot. Though I’m still not sure what to do about it as I’m sure I’m in the same boat – or even worse as I do not blog daily.

    Like

    • acflory

      Me too, Yvonne. I guess we just rely on our friends to remember us. πŸ™‚

      Like

    • franhunne4u

      Neither do I – but I have limited the blogs I follow. Not many multi-post-blogs for me – I think I have two of those on my list. And when a blog ceases to be of interest I do unfollow. You cannot read EVERY blog about cats πŸ˜‰
      I myself blog about 3 times a month. Somtimes a little more. Quite some months less … Quality before quantity. I am not good enough to have that many high quality entries. And I blog alone on my blog (and in German, I am not advertising my blog here).

      Like

  • Carrie Rubin

    It’s tricky to keep up with all the blogs we follow, no doubt, especially those that are more prolific. I try to stop by when I can. But as you mention, our readers can get congested and difficult to sort out.

    Like

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