Slagging off WordPress – again

Yes. I know. You all wanted to read the ‘Wankers, seriously…’ post. Or at least those of you who spotted it in Reader and didn’t manage to get there fast enough before I took it down.

I may tidy it up and post it later, but that involves too much work, so for now I shall have a brief snipe and gripe at WordPress.

I’ll start with Reader. I think I’m going to have to put up a sticky on roughseas apologising to people for not visiting their blogs.

There was me thinking everyone had got severe attacks of Writer’s Cramp or got bored with blogging, but no, it was just Reader not bothering to include everyone on my notifications. Only the élite few got through the Reader filter. if you’ve had a comment from me recently, consider yourself élite, at least in the opinion of WordPress.

It used to be that posts didn’t show up in order, so I always had to scan down to see if one had popped up that hadn’t been there previously. Now they just don’t show up at all. Stupid system. Instead of implementing retrograde redesigns, it might be a good idea to make them work correctly in the first place. [Here is a link to WordPress blog post about Reader]

The display of Freshly Pressed blogs has also changed. Now we just get the title, and not the first few words of the intro par. No wonder WP is exhorting everyone to choose an eye-catching title.

There is absolutely nothing on Freshly Pressed to tell the reader what the post will be about. Which is why I gave this an obvious title, although possibly one that won’t get me Freshly Pressed.

However, on the topics section or blogs I follow section of Reader, there are still fifty or so words of the intro to allure and tempt us in. Or not.

Surely it should be the other way around. If you are following a blog anyway, chances are you find it an ok read until you get bored with it or pissed off with their opinionated views – which aren’t the same as your opinionated views. So you don’t need the intro. But if you are looking for new blogs, and you are foolish enough to browse Freshly Pressed, as I do when choosing to put off the cleaning, then an intro would be a tiny bit helpful.

In the midst of all this inconsistency from our Lords and Ladies, Masters and Mistresses who rule WordPress and know everything there is to know about blogging, us mere mortals are exhorted to be regular in our blog posting.

So that our desperate audience knows when we post. This is probably because WP can’t get their act together with Reader. If you haven’t seen a post from Someone Who Always Posts On Saturday or Moaning on Monday, you know to go over there to have a look.

Well me, I am extremely lazy. I want new blog posts spoon fed to me in my Reader thank you very much, or else what is the point of it? My next less lazy option is to visit the blogs of those who have commented as there is a good chance they may have posted because they are clearly on-line in WordPress. Finally, the last resort is to hit on my blogroll page and work my way down the list. Tedious in the extreme.

So the latest post to irritate me on The Daily Post was about posting regularly so that your readers know when to expect you. What irritated me even more, was the puerile link with going to the toilet. Or rather, gastro-intestinal health. But to be blunt it was about crapping regularly. And on top of that, the author of the post asked people to come up with appropriate supposedly witty comments using metaphors for that.

There is a place for schoolboy humour, but on one hand encouraging people to blog professionally and well, and yet on the other, asking them to come up with asinine crass jokes about poo just doesn’t do it for me.

And while I didn’t comment on the links between blogging regularly and going to the toilet, I did say that the worst thing in the world is for people to write something when they have nothing to say:

My one comment to new/inexperienced bloggers would be – don’t force yourself to blog. It will come across as contrived and without feeling.

And the idea of needing a prompt defies, to me, what blogging is about. If you can’t think of anything to write, I would say don’t bother.

I wrote a longer comment but those are the salient points to save you all the effort of ploughing through 100 comments over on the Daily Post. I did however find an interesting blog out of it. The dissenters are always the interesting ones.

I recommend the following link from NannaPrawn as a good read, with far more humour than griping whingeing cloudy roughseas has managed.

Still on blogging, Ella_Dee gave me a couple of awards, which natch, I never acknowledge properly, apart from to say thank you.

However reading her post, and also a comment by Jean over on TimeThief’s blog, I started musing about who reads – and comments on – what blogs.

I looked specifically at three areas, feminism, vegetarianism/veganism and geographical location. I have interests in all those, obviously, and write about them to greater or lesser degrees. But with a few rare exceptions, I don’t get comments from veg*ans, feminists, or geographical neighbours ie Gib or Spain.

There are some single topic blogs, who get regular and sometimes, loads of comments from people who have the same passion for the same subject. The truth is, however, there is only so much you can read about feminism when you have been thinking it for years. Same goes for not eating animals. I just couldn’t do a whole blog about either of them, although ironically this blog started off as predominantly feminist.

Women aren’t treated equally, regardless of a few high-profile western women and heads of state elsewhere, plus the odd CEO. They are still raped, killed, bought, sold, and regarded as sex objects. How many times can you say that? How many times can you discuss gender-specific language, sexist language, whether or not to wear a wedding ring (or even get married, let alone changing your name), shaving your legs, your armpits, pubic hair, or wearing high heels and make-up?

It gets boring after a while. Even to me. Yes, I might write about some issues from time to time, but I normally switch off to endless feminist blogs. Or vegan recipe blogs. I’ve not been eating meat for more than 20 years. There’s not much that I don’t know about the issues – animals are abused and killed, the environment suffers, the food industry profits and people eat shit – and, the recipes or the food alternatives. So why read about them? I don’t usually.

What about geography? Well, I think I follow a handful of Spanish blogs. One, when she writes it (hint Totty) is interesting because I like her personal take on life. Plus she has been living in Spain a hell of a lot longer than I have, so there is lots to learn and chupa absorb from her. A couple are in Asturias. One posts interesting photos of life in Asturias where I haven’t visited, and the other is rarely in Asturias as she is on the road most of the time, currently teaching English in Hanoi.

Another lives a few miles from my finca in Spain (few being relative, anyway we are both in the same district of Málaga province). Like me, she has followers and commenters from around the world, but unlike me, they have something to say on her blog. Because I know the area, know the local fiestas, have lived in Spain for more than ten years, I have absolutely nothing to add to her blog in terms of comments. You would think it would be the other way round, but no. I’ve commented a couple of times I think, but how many times can you say, been there, done that, without sounding like the biggest sabelotodo (know-it-all) in the world?

Similarly Gibraltar blogs. I think I can proudly claim that not a single Gibraltar blogger has ever commented on mine. One wanted me to follow him so that he could achieve 1000 followers (or some such number before he left to return to the UK). Uh? He might have listed me on his blogroll but he never took the time to comment on mine. I didn’t follow.

I’ve commented on another local Gib one, but never had the courtesy of a return visit. It’s a bit like the one in Spain. Yes, I’ve been there. Yes, I’ve also taken photos of that. Are we all in competition? Or is it just boring to read about the same things that we all write about?

I muse on this from time to time, because I find it interesting that the people who read and comment on my blogs come from all over the world, and although some might have similar views, there aren’t that many feminist, lefty, vegetarian, environmentalist, animal rights supporters commenting on any of my blog posts.

And while I think it would be interesting to receive comments from the above rare species, the plain fact is, that it is more interesting to get readers and comments who come from a different perspective. At least it makes for discussion. And probably explains why I rarely comment on blogs that write about the same topics as I do.

I’ll end with a quotation which has nothing to do with anything, except it is far more witty than garbage in, garbage out jokes on The Daily Post.

Wandering back from the shops today, my partner met a couple of construction acquaintances. They were having a coffee before starting work.

‘It’s a hard life for the working classes,’ he said cheerfully to them, as he came back home to varnish the doors yet again and later have a couple of beers.

Had they known anything about Oscar Wilde, the obvious reply might have been on the lines of ‘It’s an easy life for the drinking classes.’

I’ve adapted the quotes there, but for anyone who doesn’t drool over any Oscar Wilde quote and isn’t aware of it, his original was ‘work is the curse of the drinking classes.’ Which was a reference to the earlier much-touted British quotation (origin unknown) of ‘drink is the curse of the working classes’.

The first time I read it was when I had sat my O-levels and we all signed each other’s school hymnbooks! One friend wrote, ‘Drink is the curse of the working class, work is the cursing of the drinking class’. Maybe not entirely accurate in quotation terms, but it has stayed with me ever since.

To me it meant, some people have such a shit life they have to resort to drink. Some people have such a rich life they can avoid work, and drink as much as they choose, and probably not cheap gin, which is what 18th century Britain was famous for. ‘Drunk for a penny, dead drunk for tuppence’.

Regardless I would recommend the quotations of Mr Wilde before the banal attempts at lavatory humour on The Daily Post.

PS I tried to post on one of my old Blogger blogs. It was appalling!! Far worse than WordPress. If WP takes one step forward and two backwards, Blogger takes ten backwards. Just to say that WordPress isn’t all bad. And because I so like to be fair and objective.

About roughseasinthemed

I write about my life as an English person living in Spain and Gibraltar, on Roughseas, subjects range from politics and current developments in Gib to book reviews, cooking and geocaching. With other stuff sprinkled in too. My views and thoughts on a variety of topics - depending on my mood of the day - can be found over on Clouds. A few pix are over on Everypic - although it is not a photoblog. And of course my dog has his own blog, but most of you know that anyway. Pippadogblog etc
This entry was posted in animal rights, blogging, environmentalism, feminism, gibraltar, life, musings, spain, thoughts, vegetarianism. Bookmark the permalink.

55 Responses to Slagging off WordPress – again

  1. Having looked at what the WP gurus suggest…be regular in your habits and end every post with a question….it seems to me that they would be better off concentrating on the nuts and bolts of their organisation and leaving bloggers to blog in their own fashion.
    Or would that rid their lists of every half witted exhibitionist who needs a schema to follow….

    As to blogs, following and commenting….there are some I enjoy for their content but as I agree so often don’t have much to add, others where it’s a bit like a coffeeklatch free for all, and there are those I occasionally read to confirm my opinion that they are up their own backsides (WP must be getting to me).

    I enjoy blogs with a voice rather than blogs with a subject.

    • I think the answer to your first par is just, Yes.

      I also think, in my ageist fashion, that half of this is about teaching young people how to blog and what to write and how to write, and some of us, really don’t need that. Which is why they should have an older persons’ snooty group.

      What on earth is a coffeeklatch? Latching onto something? Ha! I do read ones that I dislike occasionally for exactly the same reason. Gives me a laugh though.

      Blogs with a voice is a wonderful description. Well said.

      • I see what you mean about WP trying to teach younger people how to blog…but to a model – the very thing that blogging is not about. In my self opinionated view.

        Are you going to suggest the snooty group to them…that should blow their fuses!

        Coffeeklatch is like catching up with friends…everyone has their own bit of news, views they want to give out.

        One blog I particularly dislike is Living the Life in St. Aignan….the writer is a pedant and a bore…and has managed to live there for goodness only knows how many years without knowing the first thing about his area – apart from markets, shops and chateaux..
        I take a look every so often to see if he is still prosing on….and, inevitably, he is!

        • I’m tired and old and bored with reading crap (by which I mean reading tedious young blogs). I never thought I would say that. I always thought old people were bossy and so up themselves. And now that is me. I didn’t realise older people actually did know more than me. So when I said, tired, old and bored, I meant bored with silly young persons’s posts and that is a horrid thing to say. But I really feel like writing back to some banal drivel about ‘I’m tired today and I can’t make my grad class’ – go away and come back when you know what you are talking about.

          I did learn a lot from some younger women on a chat forum. Inevitably it ended.

          Actually I thought I had suggested an older persons group on WP forums. Perhaps I should resurrect it. Oh, I remember, it was probably on the forum they chucked – Off Topic. Guess I could put it on Ideas ….

          There is something about reading blogs you don’t like that is quite fascinating. I do it from time to time. Horribly addictive in a way.

        • I had to take a look at Living the Life. I’ve read worse. Shame I have no pix of my grape picking months …

          • Doubtless there is worse….but he is unique in his field as guru of Americans in love with what they think France is about.
            I once read a post of his farting about what whelks are called in French….

            • I misread that to be ‘a post of his about farting’….

              That sounds like the sort of blog I would have to keep reading just to give myself a laugh.

              I’m wondering what whelks are called now in French. And Spanish. Irrelevant really as they are all mariscos, and I know to avoid them. As with fruits de mer. The only specific one in Spanish that comes to mind is mejillas. And gambon in French. I saw Michael Gambon live at Alan Ayckbourne’s theatre in Scarborough, he was brilliant.

              • Stick to the Michael version of Gambon…..
                I did not take to fruits de mer…apart from regular food poisoning outbreaks when the deliveries to the local supermarket went from twice weekly to once, it was the movement on the plate and the opening of a carapace which was not altogether attractive.
                I reckon the French for whelks is ‘bulots’ (I think he found something more complicated)as that’s what my friends called them….luckily have so far not spotted a whelk in Costa Rica to be identified in Spanish…

              • I used to like seafood, and had no problems with the shells, whether oysters, mussels, or the gambons. But t was more than 20 odd years ago. I thought the French were meant to be quite good at it. It’s bloody expensive in Spain so I’m glad I don’t eat it. Saw some crayfish/lobster type things last Christmas at Eroski in our local town at 75€ a kilo. I nearly fell through the floor.

                For some reason, which is lost in time, we always used to call Michael Gambon, Michael Bonbon. But I don’t eat bonbons either.

  2. Steve says:

    hey, I managed the post… I am unfamiliar with Oscar Wilde so that bit went over my head a little, I mean i’ve heard of him of course, but don’t know any of his stuff.

    The thing that it (this post) got me thinking about was “why do I do the daily prompt”. I think for me I hope to get some inspiration for a post of my own when I write it, and they can be fun too, I think I need all the practice I can muster at writing.

    I have noticed that posts in the reader are out of order, some jumping above or below others in the pecking order, hell some even appear twice. I just set wordpress the send me a mail when someone has posted something new, it is messy as it can fill up the ol mailbox but at least (I hope) don’t miss any.

    • There is no way I am cluttering up the inbox with emails. Years ago I had a blogging reader thing, can’t even remember the name. And all that happens when it fills up is that you delete them. Same with email notifications. I would never read them all. But I do read them on Reader when they occasionally appear.

      My very serious gripe about prompts is that it is totally sterile. A load of people all writing about undo, or seconds, or whatever is utterly boring (that’s not a comment on your blog), there is no variety and basically no personal inspiration or ingenuity.

      I’m coming from six years of blogging and endless years of journalism. So I don’t really lack subject material. But if I don’t feel like blogging I leave it alone and take a few days off. But what interests you at home? your daily life? those are the things to be writing about, not a standard prompt /rant. Just my view.

      Oscar Wilde is well worth a read. As for films, the Picture of Dorian Gray (and the book) is unsurpassable. Recommended.

  3. I hate it when I have to agree with people–far much more fun when we disagree on at least a small bit of it. Nonetheless, here we are. I’m in total agreement. Some of that new crap drives me nuts!
    I will also agree with you on the comparisons with other blogs. I’m new to public, personal blogging–most of my recent writing (last 10-12 years or so) has been work-related and appears elsewhere. Last summer when I decided I’d like a blog I took the time to investigate what was available. Even though most of my friends use other products–most notably blogspot–I had no difficulty in selecting wordpress as my favourite…by a wide margin. It still is, even if parts of it…ummm… need improvement. At least they have kept the dashboard intact. Thank goodness.

    • No reason to agree on here. That’s the point of this blog. I’ll blast most people into the ethosphere when they argue about my core values (oh that was a bit too jargonish) but that’s par for the course. I’m happy to have an extended debate about whatever, although natch I consider my POV to be absolutely perfect. But the dumb down approach drives me up the wall.

      Yes, lots of younger people know different things to me. But it would be good if they learned to type, spell, use correct English, grammar, layout, design …..

      I loved blogger for years. It was perfect. I noticed a few people used WP, investigated and it was crap. Now, WP has stolen a huge march on Blogger.

      But I do think people need to challenge and argue with the changes on WP. So that’s why I do it. Who knows who reads it? :D

  4. Agreed! I have lost blogs through the redesigned Reader and have had to refollow. I didn’t know about the élite filter. Clearly WP want to make the site more tablet user friendly but I would have thought that most serious bloggers are going to be using a PC or a laptop!
    I try to keep away from FP, it just irritates me and makes me angry, most of it is very poor and hardly deserves the dubious accolade of best of the blogs!

    • Well, when I eventually find them, I am still following them, but such a nuisance to have to hunt them down. I’m a busy woman. Doesn’t WP know that? As far as the élite filter goes (which I have totally made up I might add) for some strange reason you normally make the grade.

      Trying to make things tablet friendly is a bit like telling people years back to keep their blog width small, not write much and bear in mind people with small screens on dial-up. That is totally redundant now and if I can read a blog/website on my iPhone, then I’m sure tablets can manage to read anything. I think you mean a desktop or a laptop. I have a desktop (Mac) although no longer internetted, and a laptop (also Mac). I have no PC. Don’t start me on the Mac/PC thing!

      I like to look at FP from time to time. It satisfied me in a strange sort of way. I read some serious shit that gets FP-ed more than once, some okay ones that are actually on my blogroll, some good and some mediocre, and I just like to laugh at some of the others. I read one about the horse meat déibâcle, written say a couple of days ago, saying no more than I did but at greater length. I wrote my post ten days ago! Current and topical or not? Americans I tell you. They’ve probably only just woken up to the story if that. I’m surprised to read anything about Nazi Youth Pope resigning on there – and that was another long-winded boring as hell post. Although some of the posts on the same blog were far better. Their criteria for FP is just crap. If there even are any. But as I say, it puts off the cleaning of which I did zilch today :D

      It’s the accolade that drives me up the wall. I could live with ‘Random selection of crap that is out there’ but ‘Best’? They are having a laugh. The day that I ever get FP-ed (well not in my lifetime) and I display that stupid logo you will be welcome to have a real go at me and say ‘You said you would never publish that silly badge’. It’s a bit like refusing an OBE :D

      • I really look forward to you being FPd, that will be so funny!

        • In which case, sweetheart, you need to recommend me. They do take nominations apparently. You may need to get a few others to do so, if you want it to work however. Give me a topic, tell me which blog you want to see it on, and I will write to order. I used to get paid for writing to order so it’s hardly difficult. You could recommend this one, but I just can’t see this one with that wonderful title, quite making it!

          • Do it Andrew. I’ll recommend too as I also look forward to the day Rough Seas get’s freshly pressed. ;-)

            • Thanks J. But you all know I won’t be putting that blue badge on my blog. Or maybe I will, it would give you all something to laugh about.

              Before she got FP, Lynne over at Free Penny Press suggested they should highlight blogs rather than specific posts, which I thought was a good idea. I follow and enjoy blogs because of the entirety, and not because of one specific post. And the interesting aspect about being FP, is that if you look at some of the blogs, they get a load of one-off hits for the highlighted post, and then their comments often drop back down to single figures. So where’s the value apart from the blue sticker?

  5. Harry says:

    Did you check to see if your settings for getting posts is set to instant, are you getting my posts :)

    No good to challenge and argue with wordpress, hundreds of us did about thre years ago and it made nodifference.

    • Actually I think I do get most of your posts. I don’t subscribe to email though, and I find reader settings slightly odd.

      And sir, I beg to differ, while most of our complaints fall on deaf ears, they did change the stupid automatic email notification about a comment than they implemented a few months back.

      While complaining about WordPress may not be as serious as some of your posts, or mine, I’ll continue to do so out of principle. So what if it’s free? It doesn’t mean someone can piss all over me. People seem to have become so meek and effete it defies belief. Arguing against crap changes is one way of encouraging others not to accept everything with ‘Great post, super advice’ sort of comments.

      I’m getting into old person ranty mode so will now shut up and go find a beer!

      • Harry says:

        They had to change that because so many kicked up about it, the latest thing i don’t like is when i get an email about a post i don’t have to go to the post i can just click like and leave.
        Old people rants are good i like them :)

        • People kicked up about other things, ie changing topics from magazine format to scroll down. Did they change that? No. I no longer read topics. I read FP for a laugh. Sometimes.

          Reader is the same, You can click on like without reading. I normally my blogs set to disable like (must change roughseas back actually) so I find it vastly entertaining for people to click on like for a 1000/2000 word post as soon it is published, when I haven’t even read through it, and the button isn’t enabled on the actual post. Anyway, you’ll probably know the culprits.

          I’m NOT old. Really. I certainly won’t get to be a dribbling pensioner the way the UK fucks about with the bloody pension age. I just have an old age, rebellious mind-set. To be serious, I do wonder if the 50-70 years-old generation (for want of a better age group) is actually quite strange. You could say it was baby boomers (which I didn’t even realise I was) and I may gave written about it somewhere, but some of the younger writing leaves me utterly cold and depressed.

          Anyway, old people need to go back to bed.

  6. Vicky says:

    I totally agree, I don’t see the reasoning behind posting for postings sake just because its a certain day or subject.
    The blogs I do read, which aren’t many, I look forward to, basically because they are fresh and exciting, and have come from the blogger with feeling and not because they feel they HAVE to keep up with WP’s suggestions.

    • Thanks Vic. That’s such a succinct way of putting it. We all blog for whatever reasons, but keeping up with the Joneses isn’t mine. Or rather keeping up with the WordPress régime. Who’s going to go into a decline if I don’t blog for a week? I mean, I ask you. If they are so sad about my lack of posts they can send me an email. Assuming they work out that everyone who comments on your blog by default gives out their email address. Which I actually don’t agree with.

      Fresh, exciting and with feeling is a great description. Absolutely summarises what I enjoy in my fave blogs, and the ones I hope to see in my reader. Which reminds me, where is your latest, fresh exciting post with feeling? (Still adore J on that header).

      Isn’t there an age thing here though. NO, I DON”T have to do that. Rather than, oh yes, pick me, I’ll do what I’m told?

  7. Perpetua says:

    I’ve never even thought of blogging unless I’ve had something of my own to say and would never, ever try to blog every day or even every other day. A big part of what makes blogging so addictive to me is the comment conversation and there’s no way you can have a decent conversation and expect people to comment regularly or in depth if you keep firing posts at them with no time to draw breath.

    I too am not a fan of most single subject blogs, usually preferring eclectic blogs like yours and Helen’s with a wide range of topics and good writing. i do follow a few blogs which major on a single subject, but I have to like either the blogger or the writing or both to persevere.

    I know I grumbled a lot when the new Blogger interface came in and still don’t think it’s a patch on the old one, but it’s better than it was and I manage perfectly well with it now. I also still prefer Blogger for extras such as its wonderful updating blog-list, and from the sound of it Google Reader is infinitely better than its WP counterpart. Once I’ve added a new blog address to my subscription list, all updates come through as soon as they’re posted and and it’s never let me down yet.

    • Your first par mirrors my own views absolutely. And as I said to Vicky, I’m sure some of it is an age thing. There is a confidence issue that we blog with what we want and are happy about and don’t need to follow rules. We make our own and live within them. Well, if we have any rules at all that is.

      The one category I forgot to include above was ex-pats. In which, given your flexible living, I think you also fall into too. Three different countries to my knowledge. Helen’s is/are wonderful, no idea how she found me, but I’m pleased she did.

      And I agree with your comments about single subject blogs. Although I follow some, I comment on very few, and usually they get deleted after a while. How many times can you admire a daffodil photo – or whatever? A random example, and I actually like posting flower pix, but I’m sure you get the idea. I truly love variety on people’s blogs of whatever sort.

      I do think Blogger has gone downhill. The only way WordPress has deteriorated since I rejoined (I first joined years ago and it was rubbish back then, not a patch on Blogger) has been on the photo uploading/gallery/slideshow. That’s about actual blogging. My other gripes are about the incidentals, forums, updates, presentation of notifications. I used to like the Blogger update on the blogroll, that was a great feature, and I would actually check my Blogger blogs when I moved to WP to find out who had blogged because it was so good. But on the other hand, WordPress notifies you immediately someone has commented on your blog and that is a seriously good feature. I don’t even need to go into my blog to reply. Similarly it notifies us of when someone replies to a comment. You’ve built up a far greater readership on yours than I ever did on Blogger (although the dog had huge numbers years ago) but for me, WP has been much better in engaging people in discussion – which is surely the point of blogging.

      I never did use Google Reader. There was something else I used, but it was depressingly full of too many blogs so I ignored half of them anyway. One of the reasons I never sign up to follow blogs by email.

      • Perpetua says:

        I’ve got Blogger set to notify me as soon as a new comment is made, but I have to go to my blog to answer the comment, Being able to answer via the notification email is a WP feature I envy. :-)

        • It’s not even an email. We don’t have to be on our blogs. Just logged into WP. I’m writing this reply from the little notification box that comes up immediately.

          I made a blogger post yesterday that drove me up the wall. While I loved it years ago, and like you I liked the blogroll update, it just felt so pedestrian. WP was terrible when I first tried it. Now, I prefer it for lots of reasons not least the discussion element. And oddly I have found more cranky old Brits via WP too :D

          Oh and we can edit ours and everyone else’s comments. Seriously good!

          • Perpetua says:

            Ah, that I didn’t know about, either the little box or the ability to edit comments. The first I can live without, but the second I really envy you. :-)

            • The little box is extremely good actually. Totally effortless. I don’t re-write people’s comments I hasten to add. Some ask me to correct obvious literal errors, so I tend to do that without them asking mostly. It’s so easy to hit a wrong key and everyone appreciates it being amended.
              I make errors on my own blogs, so it is nice to go back and alter them, because people read comments days after the actual posts, I changed a couple today. I may gripe about WP but it isn’t all bad or I wouldn’t still be here.

      • I think I found you via Perpetua!
        And were it not for her I would not be on WordPress…she demystified it for me in terms I could understand.

  8. Harry says:

    I’m with wordpress about five years and have never used either reader, i have my blog set to recieve posts as soon as they are made.

    • Five years ago WP was terrible. Seriously. Don’t even know what my old account was. Minimal choice of themes, no flexibility to fiddle (I like to fiddle) and poor security. Now, it is streets ahead in spite of my gripes.

      I’ll check out my settings, although I think they may be set to instant, I had problems with that at one point, mainly because I was getting sent mails that I didn’t want. Thanks for the reminder.

  9. EllaDee says:

    I read neither Freshly Pressed or DP. Reading ‘Stay Regular’ reinforces why… not relevant to me who isn’t blogging in pursuit of numbers fame or fortune, distasteful and shallow. I did enjoy quite a few of the comments though.
    I have no preference over preferred post genres. As you know, I follow a mixed bag.
    Helen put it better than I could “I enjoy blogs with a voice rather than blogs with a subject.”
    I do like to be engaged enough to comment, and tend to fall off following blogs where there’s no commenting interaction. In the main, the decline occurs where the posts are primarily generated via WP or blogger challenges and the posts are made to order. The chicken or the egg, I wonder?
    Looking at the blogs I follow it appears with only a few exceptions the comments lounge is my litmus test continuing to follow a blog, evidenced by the dwindling number of blogs I follow but sense of community and enjoyment I get from those I do. Correspondingly I find new blogs through the comments or award posts from bloggers who comment.
    Maybe someone from WP will write, or has already written, a post stating the obvious about commenting to increase blog traffic…
    I had a quick look through the FP posts :( I’ll recommend your FP post as well… Had I know that’s what it took I would have recommended the Donkey Meat post.

    • I need to say that I am NOT a FP addict. I tend to look at it when a) I want to write a blog post poking fun at it and b) when the cleaning needs doing. I do follow DP in case there is anything useful in terms of blogging tips. There usually isn’t.

      No idea if it is an age thing, although you are years younger than me (well a few anyway), but I can’t ever imagine having found the ‘Stay Regular’ post funny or even remotely useful.

      Writing to prescription, whether for laxatives or otherwise, so does not suit me. A couple of comments were interesting, and sensible, but all the jokes/puns/failures at humour did nothing for me at all.The best result I got out of it was reading NannaPrawn’s skit on it, and finding out that she came from Yorkshire and lives in Queensland. I had a work colleague whose wife refused to visit QLD in the times of Joe Bjelke.

      I follow a mixed bag too. And as you say, Helen’s comment was top notch. If there was a FP category for comments, I would definitely nominate that one. I may yet start a ‘Comment of the Week’ section somewhere, although I will no doubt a) forget or b) it will fall off the end.

      I have absolutely no idea why I get so many good commenters, who write some seriously good responses, but I certainly appreciate it. The only danger is, it can sound cliquey, you get to know the people (as much as you can), their style, their blogs, some of their life, and it becomes informal, jokey, fun – and hard for someone else to break into. I think it was My bright life, who said she had to think twice before commenting on roughseas. A couple of others have said they find the topics intimidating, or me :D. But anyone is welcome. I don’t care if they can’t spell, don’t know what I am writing about, if they take the time to read and comment, that’s appreciated. Because I get seriously racked off when I visit a blog and someone doesn’t reply to my comment. It’s hardly difficult with that little orange thing popping up all the time.

      Have to confess to playing at the WP photo challenge from time to time. Recently the topics have been less than inspiring to say the least. Kiss, Home, Further, or something on those lines. But when I read blogs that are totally made up of someone else’s challenges I totally switch off. A travel challenge here, a photo challenge there, a word challenge somewhere else? Utterly boring.

      I prune my list from time to time. I get rid of boring ones who never visit, that maybe wrote a few decent posts months back. I find a few new ones, and no doubt they will end up in the bin too. Swings and roundabouts. I do enjoy receiving comments and visits and discussion from the small core of faithfuls, they always receive priority on my trips out into the blogosphere.

      Seriously, I WAS joking about being recommended for FP and I hope everyone who reads my blogs on even a semi-regular basis knows that. Of course you would have recommended the Donkey Meat one. You got the credit for it!!

      And although I often write exceedingly long posts (and comments), the posts I have read about horse meat/donkey burgers said no more than I did in an extremely brief post. Less was truly more on that one, I felt.

  10. bluonthemove says:

    I think the style of writing is as important to me as the topic, if not more so. If the style of writing is good I can even make my way through a post about Landrovers!

    I find if I see something that interests me, strikes a chord, it will often lead on to a blog about my experiences within that area. I would never try and force a blog post just because I hadn’t written one for two weeks.

    I rarely look at FP and I don’t even know what this Daily Post thing is, but as I don’t generally like being told what to do I doubt I’d bother with it very much. I’m off to the gym now, whilst a bit of swimming is good for my sore shoulder its mainly to sit in the sauna and try and get warm. Its 1 degree in London town and flurries of snow abound.

    • Cheeky person. Nothing wrong with Land Rover posts. But yes, I do agree. While I don’t like photoblogs, I do enjoy the ones that provide a good commentary, rather than – here is a pic, please all sigh in approval. There are some topics I would never read. Parenting being the first that comes to mind. However well written, I just have JSN interest in that.

      Personally I don’t think you write enough, but that’s a selfish point of view, me wanting to read interesting blogs.

      I think the Daily Post thing was originally set up to tell people how to write a post a day (ie the title). And encourage the most banal detritus in the world. Then there is the WordPress blog where similar posts are written telling us all how to write.

      I read them both to a) occasionally be subversive, because someone needs to write something other than ‘thanks for that, great post’ and b) to see if there is any useful information, ok and c) to take the piss back on my own blog. Because at least it adds a little humour.

      Swimming would be nice. I never got round to it in the Med this year. Maybe next year. Never been to the Gib pool yet. Must check on over 50s deals.

      Blue skies, although clouds too, and sunny. You knew I would say that.

  11. GetFitUAE says:

    Have you tried Bloglovin to keep track of the blogs you follow? When I have time to delve in the blog world this is by far the best reader tool I’ve encountered, and I agree with you on WP and the lack of logic and useability of Reader.

    Regards from the Vegan in Dubai. ;)

    • No, never heard of it, but I might look it up. What I like about Reader when it works, is that I can just click on follow without having to do any work. It should be effortless and easy, which is what I need.

      Your latest post has come up incidentally. The hit and miss affair is just so incomprehensibly random. I figure if someone comments, they have probably posted. Of course if they haven’t commented because I haven’t appeared on their Reader, and they haven’t appeared on my Reader so I haven’t commented on theirs – well you get the idea, destined never to find one another again. Or something like that.

      • GetFitUAE says:

        Agree and it shouldn’t be a tough issue for WP to solve. I also like the fact that you can start following with the click of only one button – in comparison you would have to manually add your favorite blogs to Bloglovin. That being said, I like the simplicity and structure there.

        I recently starting blogging again after almost two years off, and I don’t like the new WP at all, especially the way they have set up the top bar and having to click through a range of buttons and menus to get to the old style dashboard, as well as the ‘new post’ (lack of) functionality… Perhaps I’m just stubborn and stuck in my old ways, so will give them a few more weeks before complaining aloud.

        • Yes, that one button follow is very good for lazy people like me.
          Although if someone is not on WP you have to add them manually, which strikes me as somewhat monopolistic ie it is a deterrent to having non-WP bloggers on your list.

          I got a WP blog years ago and thought it was a terrible platform. Limited choice, no ability to fiddle with the theme, and at the time, not a patch on Blogger. But if you think WP has deteriorated, I think Blogger has too. Hence my switch. And I have to say, I have met far more people on WP and found some excellent blogs. In the 12 months I have been on WP they have fiddled with it and not done anything for the better. That’s what comes of having techies in charge of something instead of people who use the product ….

          • GetFitUAE says:

            Surprising they don’t realize this themselves. User testing panel anyone?

            Check out bloglovin though, this is a better solution to keep track of blogs one follows at least (in my opinion). :)

            • I’ve mentioned a panel idea before, can’t remember whether it was on here or whether I put something on the forums. Better check and if not I can suggest it over there. I doubt they will pay any attention. They pay zilch attention to complaints about bugs and changes, so I doubt they will want to implement changes that users want :D

  12. Val says:

    Phew…. and I thought I wrote long posts! Okay, here goes. First off, there’s a little two button link to the right of the Freshly Pressed title on the FP page that gives you a choice of thumbnails or excerpts. Myself I prefer the thumbnails even though they don’t give any details as I can usually tell from the – often daft – image and title whether it’s something I’m going to want to read. The short paragraph is surely enough to show the writing style and give a snippet of what the post is about? I wouldn’t want my full posts there as I like people to come by my blog. That said, I do have full posts in external Readers (via RSS feeds) so I can’t really complain.

    The Reader isn’t very old. This is when and where it was introduced: http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/read-blogs/ (See, they have their own blog ‘hidden away’. Doing a search on its home page, of various tags, reveals some interesting facts – like how many changes and to what they’ve made since they started the site. Though I’m not sure that they haven’t actually hidden their earliest posts. One used to be able to get back to them all. A google search of their blog is even more helpful than relying on their tags.) And they’ve not got the Reader working properly since it started which is why I – and many others – don’t rely on it.

    Personally, I prefer to use people’s comments in my own and other blogs to visit them, also bookmarks (I’ve a folder on my desktop of all my fave blogs and I add more regularly), and – when I can be bothered to log in to the account – Google Reader, as I mentioned before. Sorry that can’t have been helpful to you but the Reader here is so glitchy and the staff are always so busy with other things that most complaints about it just fall on deaf ears. I’ve whinged myself about it many times, too.

    As for Blogger – horrible site. I prefer WordPress.com any day, for all its annoyances.

    • Hi Val.

      I always write long posts. Apart from the short ones of course. I did a poll once (must do another ‘cos they are fun) asking people what they liked. Natch, they said short posts. And continue to read the long ones, which tend to receive the most comments. Apart from my Sorry one over on roughseas – again about Reader.

      Long posts in short pars are far better than short posts in long pars.

      Thanks for the FP tip, I”ll look that one up. Yes, it’s the excerpt I want, I want an immediate image of style and whether someone is writing, ‘Sorry I was too busy to blog yesterday but I had a shower and made coffee,’ or similar.

      FaceBook used to rack me off. Post a blog link on there, the toerags would read it and then comment on FB. Not what I wanted at all. I guess people visit and comment or they don’t.

      The Reader must have been introduced pretty much when I joined WP then. I have found their hidden away blog. I may be slow but I eventually track things down. I don’t know how I found it though. I started following it because the wonderful Daily Post feature about why we freshly pressed this crass blog post had disappeared and I realised it had been moved – without announcement – over to the blog. I like to read why they freshly press posts because it makes me laugh and gives me something to snipe about over here. Or write my twee little satires over on roughseas.

      But Reader obviously does work for some people. Maybe follow less blogs? And it did work for me at one point.

      Comments is always a good way to visit, but it means if you are mutually missing out via Reader then you’ll always be in parallel something or others. I don’t use bookmarks much, although I do have them, but a blogroll of all the ones I follow on bookmarks would be a nightmare. I’ve got the blogs I visit pages on my blog (roughseas again) which has the main faves.

      It is helpful, I didn’t know about the FP option or that Reader was so new to start with. If people don’t complain though, nothing will ever get done, and it was interesting that (again roughseas) so many people said it was a problem for them too. As have you. Seems to me the staff are sent in too many directions. They would be better fixing what isn’t broke and not fixing what ain’t broke. Which is the way priorities seem to go. Can’t think of a single improvement they have made with all the changes over the last 12 months I have been with them.

      Blogger used to be great. Used to be much better than WP. Fiddle with the templates, fonts, colours, everything. Now? – Terrible.

      Thanks for your lengthy reply when I appreciate you are going to take some time out to nest over the next however long. Or whatever Old Birds do when they don’t blog.

      And it was a mere 1953 for the record. My donkey burger post was much shorter. But they shorter they are the pithier they are…

  13. angryricky says:

    *Like* ;)
    Thanks for chatting on the private blog. I spent my undergrad days steeping in feminism, but I’ve spent most of my time since then with working-class men, so it doesn’t show as much as it used to.
    I was vegetarian for a while, but when my wife left, I started eating meat again because eating anything was better than starving (over a year later, I’m still struggling to keep myself fed).
    I’ve never been to Europe, but I have a friend who lived in Melilla for a year. He also spent some time in Malaga, and visited Gibraltar once. I think the only real value in reading other blogs that focus on your city is if you like to go out a lot, but run out of ideas quickly. Generally, not useful, unless you’re so full of civic pride that you could be a Gibraltar cheerleader.

    • You’ve reminded me I must remove the like button from roughseas. I do keep forgetting to take it back off.

      I wouldn’t comment on yours if I didn’t enjoy the blog, hence my comment originally about re-opening the Cafe Arab, without really being aware of what had happened. I don’t comment on every post because I don’t want to swamp your blog, but I do read them all. Luckily you do come up on Reader consistently which is good.

      I don’t think feminism ever got discussed when I was at university, which could be either a good or a bad thing. My partner is working class and is pretty egalitarian, probably moreso than me when we first met. But he comes from a background of lesbians in the family, inter-race relationships, strong-minded women working and bringing up families on their own, so it was totally different to mine.

      Here’s a somewhat different take on male homosexuality (and rape) though from his side of the family:

      http://wp.me/p22GQH-lo

      But on class/education/money/poverty, I’ve not noticed any difference regarding views about feminism. And while mine isn’t particularly academic, I certainly do subscribe to the belief that society expects women to do/act/look/think in a certain way qv your point exactly about Lady MacBeth and her femininity. Or not. [I had a load of ideas about that post the other day, so looking forward to seeing your next draft].

      I also believe that people do not realise how powerful imagery and words are in reinforcing gender and sexual stereotypes (applicable across the board there). And while I can’t personally stop women being sold into ‘marriage’ or the sex slave trade, I can write about some issues to try and make people think. Whether it influences anyone is another matter.

      Being veg suits me these days (and has done for years). I no longer consider I have the right for an animal to be raised (whether in good although usually bad) conditions, and then killed to put food on my plate when I can eat otherwise. And my food has less impact on the environment (ie land usage and water). It probably needs a bit more planning as you can’t go out and buy two lamb chops and stick them under the grill, and it is handy when there are good, quality vegetarian organic products available locally.

      I’ve not been to Melilla or Ceuta (the other Spanish enclave visible a few miles across the Med from Gib). I really must go. Málaga city is actually nice, but I like most Andalucían cities.

      Interesting comment about reading similar blogs – geographically. I think that mirrors my view. There’s nothing to learn or gain, whereas how many North Americans do I know teaching English in Saudi?! Gives me a far greater insight into a different life, rather than reading about one I’ve had for more than ten years.

  14. Ally says:

    Interesting post!
    I have been having Reader dramas that I also dismissed as a widespread case of writer’s block. Very frustrating!
    From a feminist vegan.

    • Thanks Ally.
      It is indeed frustrating that there is clearly a problem, and do they fix it? No they faff around changing this that and the other and introducing newer brighter shinier things that probably won’t work properly either.

      Now, if only you lived in Spain, you would have ticked all the boxes. But those are two pretty good ones :)

      • Ally says:

        Well, there’s something else that isn’t working! I didn’t receive a notification of your reply. Aargh!
        I thought people weren’t replying to me, but I’ve just conducted a protracted search through past posts, and found a stack of replies (including your lovely one).
        If I ever come to Spain, I’ll look you up! We can munch on good food and solve the worlds problems. :)

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