A Guide to Places with Pictures and Stories from Life

WP Reader Changes – Worse to Come

The Lesser Known Problem:  According to the Announcement ⇒, WordPress will be putting their recommendations into our reader lists.  From the WordPress Blog announcement:-

“There are millions of amazing posts flowing through WordPress.com every day that you never see, and we want to bring a few of them to your attention, so we’re adding a bit of serendipity. We call it Recommended Posts.”

“This new section will show up in Reader intermittently — more for new members, less for existing members who already follow a lot of sites. You can also see Recommended Posts on the Search page.”

If this is allowed to proceed, how long before we start getting emails of the recommendations which appear in our reader.

From the WordPress Forum on this topic.

“Recommendations will hopefully work to help to connect more people with more blogs they like. More are shown to people who are new to using the Reader and less are shown to people who already follow a lot of sites. if you don’t like a recommendation, click the X icon to dismiss it and we’ll keep that in mind.”

That is, we are coerced into following more blogs in order to reduce this intrusion.

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Update: It now looks as if WP will try to push their recommendations into our emails.  Here ⇐.   The Fix ⇐

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Further:-

There are many bloggers who do not like the new format which misrepresents/distorts/crops pictures, minimizes samples and lacks respect for their work.

For those without super-fast broadband, the reader has become much slower.

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Why Push Content: One can only conjecture.  There seems to be a need to stimulate activity. (i.e the number of recorded views). This may be an attempt to retain the WordPress image in the face of those blogs which have been abandoned or are rarely used. I think this approach is likely to make the situation  worse

Another possible reason, for the new format, is so that it fits cell-phones and creates more space for the “recomendations”.

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Censorship: There are a number of complaints that adverse comments have been excluded from the WordPress Blog on this subject and at least one from the WordPress Forum on this topic.  That will be another post later, with screen-shots of the items reinstated on the forum after complaints.

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Solution: For everybody to enter a comment on the WordPress Blog ⇒ and the WordPress Forum ⇒ (which every WordPress blogger has a right to use) and thus spill outside of those forums to the ears of those who bear influence.  There is a further mass of dissent at Cindy Knokes post ⇒.

The WordPress Blog seems only to accept very short comments.  Please report anything short that is rejected.

Complaints are numerous, these are mine. Pick as you will or add you own.  One does not need to justify or argue, only state.

As a paying customer, I (also) object to:-

The intrusion of unsolicited posts into my reader.

The intrusion of my unsolicited posts into the readers of others, causing them annoyance.

Any prospect of unsolicited emails from the reader.

The misrepresentation/distortion/cropping of my photographs and lack of respect for my work.

The reduction in sample size.

The slower reader speed.

The high-handed manner of this action without any prior consultation.

The poor competence in its implementation.

Any form of censorship, being contrary to the stated views of WordPress, the precepts of the free-world and the free-press.  Particularly of dissenting views and the marginalisation of dissenters.

The more we accept without protest, the more we will be used without respect. 

“Merely exist on our knees, or take the chances of being fully alive on our feet.”

Making an effort does make a difference.  Imagine how bad it would be if we didn’t.

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More News and Articles on this Subject ⇐

And, on a lighter note, A Christmas Ode to the WordPress Reader ⇐  😀

 

 

29 responses

  1. I especially dislike the distortion of photos. Not only did the full-sized photos help me find blogs I regularly enjoy, they piqued my interest in blogs I follow but rarely check out.

    Knowing that, I’d try to make sure the top photo in my blog was one that would stop regular readers but, more importantly, pique the interest of other people who might never stop at my blog except for curiosity about the story behind the featured photo.

    I feel the truncated photos do a disservice to people who work to present a creative and interesting face forward to earn the support of their regular readers and those who might enjoy what they’ll find if drawn in by the lead photo.

    I suspect those who work to present a creative and interesting face forward are, basically, most bloggers!

    Another problem that seems to be corrected is that hitting “back” took you to the start of the reader, not to the point you left to view a blog. My scrolling finger went numb, literally, since the truncated views change trying to relocate where I was in the reader. I know it was a disservice to the blogs farthest from the start because I clicked “like” on some that I knew I’d like because they were blogs I follow regularly, but I knew I’d have to wear my finger to a nub to get back to my last place on the reader if I opened the blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    December 18, 2016 at 12:19

    • Quite so. WP are so thoughtless and show little respect to a persons work.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 18, 2016 at 13:19

      • I don’t regard my cat blogs as much more than light entertainment, but I want those who follow it to be able to find it in the reader feed. It’s now more of a “Hmm!Wonder what this photo is supposed to be? Looks like a bar of fuzz.” Skip.

        Liked by 1 person

        December 18, 2016 at 16:41

        • For a photo blog such as yours that is a very fair point. Perhaps copy it to the forum, using the above link. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          December 18, 2016 at 16:50

  2. Actually true. This change we did not even know of. Perhaps we need to read around more!

    Liked by 1 person

    December 18, 2016 at 13:08

  3. Derek to have an impact make your comments on the announcement site. I am making my comment there later. The thread editor says he is a photographer.

    Like

    December 18, 2016 at 13:13

    • Some people have had difficulty getting past moderation on the Blog. So I’d suggest both Blog and Forum.

      Liked by 2 people

      December 18, 2016 at 13:16

  4. Couldn’t agree more… Weggieboy’s comments are also very accurate.
    Posts are skipped because reader’s don’t have the time or patience to guess what that strap of a photo is all about. I know because I regularly explore my tags in search of new bloggers I might like to follow. That pleasure of discovery was taken away for good; it became a tiring, time-consuming and frustrating torture, even for the blogs I follow…
    As I wrote in all my replies to the sticky post and elsewhere, wp does not have the right to alter our artistic product without our consent.
    And as for the “back” button issue weggieboy mentioned earlier, I am not sure it’s fixed. Out of 10 times I hit it, 1 doesn’t work well and I return to the top. Let’s see…
    Thank you Graham for your comments, post and replies about this horrible move wp did “for” and without us!
    By the way, my opposed comment in wp’s announcement post never showed up…
    Cheers,
    Pelly

    Like

    December 19, 2016 at 01:34

    • It’s a matter of ethics and respect. WP don’t seem to have either.

      You might try again with their Blog. It seems that they only accept short comments. If short comments get rejected, there will be a very embarrassing case against them for censorship and bias. My own comment is still in moderation (they don’t seem to work weekends).

      Good Luck 🙂 G

      Like

      December 19, 2016 at 06:55

  5. A blogger asked me how I knew wp owns our content. This was my reply:
    These nitty-gritty details are spelled out in the Terms of Service. Go read your TOS and you can see it all verbatim. If you are self hosted at WP it may be different, I don’t know for sure. The worst thing appears to be that WP can shut down your blog at any time, for no reason, and no notice if they want to. Then, poof, your blog disappears and links to it lead to nothing. They can use, modify and do whatever they want with your content, ie., they can eviscerate it in the reader for example. Check out these:

    4 Reasons You Should Never Use WordPress.com – Crazy Egg
    https://blog.crazyegg.com/2012/02/24/reasons-to-use-wordpress/

    7 Little-Known Reasons WordPress.com Sucks for … – Smart Blogger
    https://smartblogger.com/wordpress-hosting/

    https://startbloggingonline.com/wordpress-com-vs-wordpress-org-whats-the-difference/

    It seems like WP org where you self host your blog may be better. You own your content and can do anything you like with it. Check out:

    http://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-tutorials/how-to-properly-move-your-blog-from-wordpress-com-to-wordpress-org/

    Like

    December 19, 2016 at 06:53

    • Well no need to worry too much as far as copyright is concerned, it is not not quite so bad as it seems. From the TOS :-

      “By submitting Content to Automattic for inclusion on your website, you grant Automattic a world-wide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, modify, adapt and publish the Content solely for the purpose of displaying, distributing, and promoting your blog. This license allows Automattic to make publicly-posted content available to third parties selected by Automattic (through the Automattic Firehose, for example) so that these third parties can analyze and distribute (but not publicly display) your content through their services”.

      That is, they can use as a granted license (including reblogs and however they wish to use posts in their reader) but it does not confer an exclusive license or copyright. Our copyright is preserved by item 6 of the TOS.

      “As Automattic asks others to respect its intellectual property rights, it respects the intellectual property rights of others. If you believe that material located on or linked to by WordPress.com violates your copyright, you are encouraged to notify Automattic in accordance with Automattic’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) Policy”

      Actually it’s not Automattic’s, it’s a government statute.

      More worrying is WP terminating a blog without having to justify it. But:-

      Matt Mullenweg took a real shellacking in my comments section, in which he participated, here ⇐ (scroll down a lot as there are several enteries) without consequence. Our protection is WP own anti-censhorship stance. As long as we do not give an excuse, such as being abusive or defamatory. And:-

      Regarding the matter of any censorship of members views or bias, either on the Forums or on the WordPress Blog (there have been complaints), or by “taking down” a post or blog. I remark that such actions:-

      Are contrary to WP own stated view (esp: WordPress Srikes back against Censorship, WordPress Blog Nov 23, 2013).

      Contrary to the US First Amendment Rights/Freedom of the Press (we are authors/publishers).

      Fuels the argument for WordPress becoming a Regulated Public Utility under Congressional control.

      Subject to the concerns of the ACLU, CPJ, IFLA, EFF and many others.

      So, perhaps not so worrying after all.

      It will go into a post later.

      Like

      December 19, 2016 at 08:19

  6. Thank you Graham. Your analysis is most impressive and on the mark!

    (Authors note: Cindy is kindly referring to the post not my recent reply to her comment)

    Like

    December 19, 2016 at 06:57

    • Thank you for your comment and your initial heads up.

      Beaker and Sam the Eagle send their regards. 😀

      Like

      December 19, 2016 at 08:25

  7. You mentioned something about WP recommendations coming to us via email.

    Have you seen this post yet? https://horizonfeedback.wordpress.com/2016/12/19/call-for-testing-recommended-reading-emails/

    Like

    December 20, 2016 at 06:42

    • Yikes. That wasn’t there yesterday. Damn cheek.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 20, 2016 at 07:43

      • Thought you’d like to know about this.

        I subscribe to their blog just to be informed on what they (WP) are working on so not to be as surprised by whatever changes that occur next.

        Liked by 1 person

        December 20, 2016 at 07:45

        • Will you put that on the forum or shall I. ?

          Liked by 1 person

          December 20, 2016 at 07:50

          • I think you mentioned it there already, so why don’t you put on the Forum post.

            Like

            December 20, 2016 at 08:50

            • Done. And thanks again for the heads up. They really are beyond the pale.

              Liked by 1 person

              December 20, 2016 at 08:56

              • Very good. I saw your new post about it, too. Thanks for letting more bloggers know about this “new” email thing.

                Like

                December 20, 2016 at 10:35

                • You are welcome. If you hadn’t spotted the post I wouldn’t have thought they would have the nerve to go that far.

                  I’ve subscribed now. They bear watching. 🙂

                  Liked by 1 person

                  December 20, 2016 at 10:45

            • By Done, I mean yes that’s a deal. I’ve got my Xmas head on. 😀

              Liked by 1 person

              December 20, 2016 at 09:26

  8. It’s sad to see that WP is going the same way as other social media platforms (FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc). They build in algorithms and push content based on… what? Not based on the active choice and exploration by the users, but based on some presumptions. We get used to being fed with what someone else serves us, and I don’t think that’s a good direction to go, for internet in general. We end up being pulled into boxes without knowing how that happens, instead of being encouraged to go and explore for ourselves. I have to admit that I’m one of those who spend less time on WP lately, but I have to say that I miss the people I know here, so the loss is most of all mine when I’m absent. In the end, WP is about the people, right?
    It’s disappointing to see that WP is following this trend, I wanted to think of it as a platform that stands “above” all that.
    Thanks for your efforts to share all this!

    Like

    December 21, 2016 at 10:22

    • I quite agree with you. They’re causing themselves more harm than good. It seems to have started when Matt Mullenweg took over as CEO. They will probably only see their error when they lose more bloggers. Although, It will help if we make complaint on the forum. Eventually somebody is bound to say “we should have listened to the customers.”

      Thanks for dropping by. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      December 21, 2016 at 13:11

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    Like

    December 23, 2016 at 05:45

  10. I’ve ignored the WP Reader since a week or so after I started blogging (I hated it), so I hadn’t even known about the changes. But I’m furious about the changes to the Stats and Admin pages. It might be worth bombarding them with comments on Twitter, which is more public than WP’s forums.

    Like

    December 29, 2016 at 12:40

    • That’s a very good idea. I’m a bit short of time for the present but will certainly do that soon. I’ll update my posts to suggest that by tomorrow. Thanks again.

      Like

      December 29, 2016 at 13:05

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