I want to preface this post with the following: In no way do I want this post to come off as whiny, or as a post filled with complaints. Also, I don’t want to give the impression that I am speaking from a high horse, or that what I am saying is the best approach. This post is merely a list of a few suggestions/ideas that I think could improve this (already wonderful) site.
I’ve been on WordPress for about 22 months now. It’s been a fantastic experience. However, I think there are a few things that can be added to make this site even better.
Again, I mean no harm, these are just a few friendly ideas.
1. View count for posts read in the Reader
In my Reader, there are posts that I can view in full text right there, and there are posts that I can only read the first few lines of, before I have to decide whether or not I want to view the entire post.
I know this is a setting that can be changed back and forth, I’ve tried it myself.
However, if someone reads a full text post in their reader, it doesn’t count as a “view” for the person that wrote the post. The person who reads it may not “like” it, which is fine, but the author is left wondering if anyone has read, or even seen, their post. That’s the impression I get, at least.
Now, this isn’t about me craving a high view count. I just want numbers to match up. For instance, I had 35 likes on a post yesterday, but it only had 20 views. Probably because I allow the full text in my Reader.
I allow full text because when I’m scrolling through my reader, I’ll admit that I get lazy. I don’t want to open a brand new tab. And that’s unfair to the author. I’m forced to judge their post based on the first few lines and decide if I want to read the entire post, or not.
Whereas if the full text were there, I could at the very least skim through the post and it would count as a view for that blogger. When a blogger (especially new bloggers) sees that someone has read their post, it’s a sign that someone out there is actually reading the words they write. That someone actually cares. This could be a big motivator for a new blogger.
We all get into this blogging world without knowing if anyone is actually out there reading or blog.
Again, it’s not about boosting views. It’s about knowing that someone is at least reading our post, even if they don’t “like” it.
2. Real Awards
WordPress is filled with fake awards that are the modern day version of chain emails. What if WordPress came up with their own awards? They don’t have to give out a prize. All they have to do is give recognition.
Possible monthly awards could be: Blog/blogger of the month, blog post of the month, best new blog/blogger, funniest blogger, etc.
And then there could be year end awards, with the same categories as used for each month. The winners of each month will then make up the nominees for the year end award.
How are the winners of each award decided upon? I don’t know. I don’t think it can be based on views, comments, or likes, because that would give an advantage to blogs that have a large following.
What if a blogger has only been blogging for 10 days, have an extraordinary post, but no one sees it?
I realize this would be extremely subjective and difficult to track, as it would be hard for the awards committee (I just created an awards committee?) to read every single post. Maybe limit it to Freshly Pressed selections?
3. Let there be an easier way to find other blogs
Right now, I find new blogs by searching different tags. I also find new blogs by going to other blogs and looking through their comments section on their posts.
I’m currently following about 200 blogs, which is probably not very many considering how many blogs are out there. I think I’m picky in the blogs I follow. I think most people are. I don’t want to follow blogs that I’ll always pass over in my Reader. Just as I wouldn’t want someone to follow my blog just to follow it.
So even though I follow about 200 blogs that interest me, I feel like I’m missing out on so many more. Truthfully, it’s hard to monitor a bunch of different tags every single day. There will be many blogs that I miss.
So what’s the solution? I’m not sure. I was thinking of a page that just lists the names of a whole bunch (every?) of blogs, with a mini description next to it by the blogger. If I click on the name of the blog, I would expect a link to their site where I can go through their posts and see if it interests me.
Going back to the list of blog titles on a page, I wouldn’t put a “Follow” button next to their name. That would make it too easy for people to just follow every blog on there within five minutes and try to artificially boost their following.
Also, I would allow users to sort the list of blogs based on different preferences. For instance, we could sort by:
New Blogs – Blogs created within the last __ months.
Category – Each blog would be categorized under one, or multiple categories. If the blog doesn’t follow one category, it can be called miscellaneous, random, or “anything that comes to mind”.
Freshly Pressed Blogs – This would continue to promote Freshly Pressed-worthy blogs even after their 15 minutes of fame are up on the Freshly Pressed page.
Country – Separate blogs by country. I like following blogs that are written in different countries because I can learn things about their culture and way of life. That being said, I also like reading blogs that are written in my own country. This would make it easier for people to find bloggers around the world.
And so on. There are dozens of ways you could sort blogs.
4. Add a tutorial on how to tag effectively
This should be one of the things a new blogger goes through during their set-up process.
I think a lot of new bloggers come on here and don’t know that the main way people find their posts is through the tags they use. So because people don’t know this, they just put random tags. Funny ones. Ones that don’t make sense. Sarcastic ones. Even tags that are more like hashtags on Twitter.
Let people know that there are common tags that they should be using and not something like: “random thoughts in my head”.
I like to read posts by new bloggers. I don’t know how to find them other than searching for the “introduction” and “first post” and “about me” tags. I’m sure there are many I’m missing out on because they didn’t tag their post with one of those three, or because I don’t know what other tags they would use.
There is too much guessing when it comes to tags. Someone may tag every post with the same things and I don’t even know those tags exist and vice versa.
5. Bring the all-time stats summaries to the new stats page
I didn’t like the new stats page at first, but it’s really grown on me. I’ve pretty much stopped going back to the old stats page now, unless I want to look at the views summary and the country summary.
I love breaking down stats and the view summary page was excellent. I also like looking at all the countries that have viewed my blog. I think others do too. In the new stats page, there isn’t a button to see an all-time total. I can just see the breakdown by years.
All I’m saying is, if the old stats page eventually disappears, bring the summary pages – the one’s with all-time stats – to the new stats page.
Alright, that’s it. I’ve had these ideas for a while and just thought I’d type them out and let people think about them.
My ideas may be flawed, wrong, or dumb. They’re just ideas.
Thanks for reading.