Tag Archives: Reader

Another post about a perplexing WordPress.com ‘feature’

I’ve had issues with the WordPress Reader in the past, but this latest one has me scratching my head. Have a look at how many screens I have to go through to comment on a post from the Reader:

This is a screenshot of the Reader. Notice the function circled in red? Comments are definitely available.

So I click on the heading of the article to read what it’s actually about and get this:

 

‘Share’, ‘Comments’ and ‘Like’ are still available, as you can see, but if you click on the ‘Comment’ function, WordPress just refreshes the page you’re on without allowing you to:

  • leave a comment or
  • see what other comments there might be.

You can, however, click the ‘Like’ function.

Something not shown in the screenshot [because it wouldn’t fit] is a very small link in the top right corner of the screen that says ‘Visit page’. I didn’t notice that link at first, and assumed that I was already on the page. But no. To get to the actual page, I need to click again, either on the ‘Visit page’ link or on the heading of the article.

Then and only then do I finally get to the poster’s blog where…glory be…I can leave a comment!

And, of course, with all these clicks needed to simply leave a comment, you’ll have to click back just as many times. 😦

Is this a WordPress change-in-progress that isn’t quite there yet? I hope so because this layering is annoying and will probably stop all but the most determined reader from leaving a comment, and that is bad for all of us.

WordPress is not Facebook. It’s a blogging community that interacts via comments. That is its strength and beauty. Likes are all well and good, but we all know that it’s comments from friends and potential new friends that puts the joy into blogging. Anything that creates a barrier between members of this community should be avoided at all costs.

Let’s get back to a format where the Reader provides not only tasty samples but also a direct gateway to the main course.

cheers

Meeks

p.s. And after all that, you can read Chris the Story Reading Ape’s blog post here. 🙂


Weeding my #Reader list

Dear Everyone,

Please don’t worry, 98% of my Reader list remains unchanged, which means that I’m still following you, still popping in whenever I can, still enjoying your content.

meekathara furiousThe 2% of blogs I have weeded out include some ‘professional’ rebloggers and an 18+ site that suddenly appeared out of the blue [excuse the pun].

I have nothing against ‘soft porn’, or even erotica. If that’s what you enjoy, great, just allow me the freedom not to be bombarded by it. This is not the first time that the WordPress Reader has gifted me with questional blogs, but I really hope it’s the last.

I have nothing against reblogs either, in fact when I find a post that really grabs me, I’ll reblog it myself. But…if I recommend something it’s because I genuinely think its good. You may disagree with me – we are different after all – but at least you’ll know that my recommendation is honest. When I find my Reader filled with recommendations that smack of professional marketing, well, I get a little annoyed.

Do I flood you with endless posts about my books?

Maybe I should. Maybe I should become a professional marketer myself. Maybe I should treat all of you like potential dollar signs…but I can’t. Most of the people I follow, I really like and to my old-fashioned way of looking at the world, when you like someone you treat them with the same respect you’d like them to show you.

So no spamming of marketing material on Meeka’s Mind. If you like my fiction, great. If you only come here for the how-to posts, that’s great as well. If you only drop in for the music or some wacky tech, you’ll always be welcome. And if you stay and chat, you’ll become part of the family. My Manifesto.

Phew…I feel so much better after that rant!

hugs to all,

Meeks

 


#WordPress Devs….just stop it! This #Reader is 0/5

Okay, now you’ve really messed up my Reader! Where the hell are the blogs I follow?

For those who haven’t yet seen the new WordPress Reader landing page, this is it:

wordpress crap reader 2016

Under ‘Welcome to the Reader’ you will find this:

Recent posts from blogs and sites you follow will appear here.

But they don’t. They don’t appear ANYWHERE. Nor is there a clickable link to take me to wherever my follows have been hidden.

‘Explore Discover’ [shown as 1 on the screenshot] is Freshly Pressed with a new name.

‘Get recommendations…’ is just that, a list of blogs I do not follow that WordPress thinks I should be paying attention to.

In the Navigation pane to the left is an option called ‘My Likes’, but this only takes me to posts I have liked in the past.

Nowhere can I see a way of checking in on the blogs I have CHOSEN to follow for reasons pertinent to me.

How dare WordPress tell me my choices don’t count!

I hope this is a glitch of some sort that will get fixed pronto because this new Reader is so awful I really am tempted to leave WordPress altogether. Only the thought of losing all the material I have created during the last four years is stopping me.

Not happy WordPress. This time you really have gone too far.

A.C Flory

Meeka’s Mind

https://acflory.wordpress.com

17/2/2016


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


WordPress Reader and the invisible Blogs

angryOkay, this post is going to start with a question: why is my WordPress Reader filled with just 7 bloggers?

I know this can’t be some kind of weird timezone difference because Saturday morning here is still Friday in the Northern hemisphere. So how is it possible that out of all the people I follow, only 7 are active?

Fortified by a large mug of caffeine, I trolled through my Reader and came up with the following numbers:

Dream Big: 2

RGS: 26

The Mighty Mumford: 5

Venturebeat: 2

Wildsound: 2

Annas Art: 1

Christian Mihai: 1

I didn’t get to the absolute bottom of the list because…I lost interest, but the numbers are still significant in a ‘what the…?’ kind of way.

I do love tech related stuff, and there was a time when I’d look forward to seeing Venturebeat posts in my Reader. Now I rarely see them at all. Instead, I seem to have an overwhelming number of RGS posts. The RGS posts are mostly tech related too, but unlike the Venturebeat articles, RGS merely reblogs from other sites. So if this is an either or situation I’d rather have Venturebeat. Please.

But this odd imbalance in my Reader goes way beyond which brand of tech articles I get to see, it screams a deeper question – ‘Where are all my other blogger friends, and who gets to choose what I see in my Reader?’

I know my invisible blogger friends are posting because I get notifications about their posts via email, but I almost never see their posts in the Reader. Why not? Has the purpose of the Reader changed whilst I had my back turned? Isn’t it meant to be about all the bloggers I follow?

Math is not my strong suit, but this odd pattern in my Reader has been growing for some time, and it’s really starting to annoy the fecal matter out of me. Why can’t my Reader truly represent all the blogs I follow?

If anyone has an answer that doesn’t involved PhD level arithmetic, I’d really love to know.

Disgruntled.

Meeks


Why is my WordPress Reader full of blogs I don’t follow?

I’ve just done a quick check of my Reader and there are hardly any posts on it from blogs I follow. Why? Are my friends not posting? Is WordPress filling in empty space with randoms?

I don’t understand the rationale behind this distortion of my Reader, but if I wanted to read a post about breasts I would look for one.

reader madness 1

Ditto the post about something you stick on the end of your penis [if you’re a guy].

reader madness 2

I’m not a prude, but by the same token I am very much not interested, so could you please stop?

As for the religious posts, that’s insult on top of injury. Atheists don’t enjoy posts about what god does and does not want, written by those who apparently think they know.

This is not fun WordPress. I would rather look at an empty Reader.

Either show me the blogs I do follow or don’t show me anything at all.

Most unhappy,

Meeks

 


The new, improved? WP Reader

The WP Reader 'Like' button

The WP Reader ‘Like’ button

I’ve only been using the new Reader for a short while, and I admit it’s handy to see what other bloggers are doing from within WP [instead of following links from my email inbox], but that ‘Like’ button worries me. It’s too easy.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against easy. Easy is good, and sometimes easy is necessary, especially when you’re following a lot of people. But when liking someone’s post is a substitute for actually reading that person’s post… well that goes against the grain. Yet that is exactly what the ‘Like’ button allows us to do.

To me that somehow devalues the whole concept of ‘liking’ people, but I know it’s a  thorny issue. I know there are times when I read a post and enjoy it, but have nothing worthwhile to add. Sometimes that’s because I don’t know anything about the subject matter, and sometimes it’s because other people have already made the comments I would have liked to make. So I don’t comment but I do express my appreciation with a like.

Yet not using that ‘Like’ button freely has other, unintended results as well. If I don’t like everyone I follow will they think I dislike them?

At the moment I try to keep up with different people at different times so I can drop in on everyone eventually. But that doesn’t make me happy either because I genuinely do like all the people I follow.

Am I reading too much into this whole issue?  Or am I just a bit of a social misfit?

I suspect I fall into the misfit category. In real-life  I’m a bit of a hermit, so I’m clueless about how to maintain relationships with lots of people all at once.  I’m the kind of person who goes to a party and either stands around looking lost, or huddles in a corner with one or two others having a deep and meaningful. Social butterfly I am not.

I admit the fault is mine, but still, I do wish the  WP Reader displayed full articles instead of just snippets. That way, when anyone hits that  ‘Like’ button we’d all know it was a real like, an ‘I-love-you’ like. 🙂

After a year and a bit on WP I consider myself to be a real blogger, but I know there are people out there who have been blogging for much, much longer than me. How do you guys keep up? And is there a sort of blogging etiquette I haven’t learned yet?

cheers from the hermit crab,

Meeks

 


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