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Related posts?

  1. davidscubadiver
    Member

    Sometimes when one is just starting out, ANYTHING to get a hit can be useful. For example, I recently started what could quite possibly be the most important Blog ever written in the history of the World (wide web). So, if I get a hit from "Jesuslovessatan", and that person uses her blackmagic to direct more traffic to my site, well, by golly, isn't that a good thing?

    These guys are trying to generate traffic. And there is an option to turn it off. So it should make everybody happy. Maybe they should have "advertised" the option and given people the option to turn it on instead of it being on by default, but its not like they came storming into the house in the middle of the night to drag you away for expressing your opinions.

    Can't we all just get along?

  2. I turned the Related Posts feature off today. I was worried that it might link my PG blog to a pornographic blog or vice versa.

  3. @arizonad:
    I have seen it happen at one of my friend's blogs already. :-(

  4. Dear davidscubadiver: I can understand why you feel that "Sometimes when one is just starting out, ANYTHING to get a hit can be useful," but some of us just want to run quiet little blogs that precipitate conversation. I enjoy corresponding with people from all over the world who think Torch Lake Township sounds like an appealing place to spend the weekend - or the rest of your life. I don't have a whole lot of interest in accumulating hits from a site about breast augmentation, for example. It's just not something I'm interested in - and the whole point of blogging is to engage in conversations you ARE interested in.

  5. @davidscubadiver - I can see where you're coming from and I agree that hits from within the same domain can be a good thing. However, I can't help but feel that the release of this functionality is a little premature. It really does smack of wp.com trying to get "googlejuice" from linking to other sites within wp.com.

    Matt has already said in another thread that it will be possible in future to "fine-tune" the related posts to exclude inappropriate content. Why was this future functionality not developed before the PRP was released to the populous?

    Something I would also like to see (if not even prefer) is to have possibly related posts auto generated for my own blog. Ok, leave the PRP for other blogs there too, but have internal PRP too.

  6. cornell, I agree about the Googlejuice (it is exactly the kind of thing I would do myself if I had the power) but Tony said that they also deliberately link to "mainstream media sites" which presumably aren't WP.com-hosted or he'd have said so. This bothers me. As does the fact that those VIP or MSM sites never, ever display similar "Possibly Related Links." So, not only does it reinforce the power of the mainstream media vs the little guy (ie US!) but also, there is nothing whatsoever in it for us to promote those guys.

    Possibly Related Posts links within your own blog come with this already. They're in bold, at the top of the list of links. But they're uncommon.

  7. Raincoaster I am on the other side of the Continent and I go to bed early for work, so I missed your response.

    my blog: http://echopen.wordpress.com/

    a blog on meditation and philosophical ramblings. This blog will never get a lot of hits, however, people interested in this subject matter would probably like to find related posts on other blogs.

  8. I really like the idea of this feature, but I would like to be able to control what posts are displayed to my visitors. Some of the "related" posts have been (IMHO) stupid and offensive. Maybe they could be "approved" before they show up? It shouldn't have to be all or nothing.

  9. I like the idea of this feature and haven't turned it off YET but due to the nature of my blog, Zionism and the State of Israel, I occasionally get links to racist sites. And there is no option to Report as Bigoted.

  10. Hi Matt,

    I wanted to put this comment on http://wordpress.com/blog/2008/04/25/possibly-an-announcement/ ...but the post is closed for further comments.

    After reading Steve Farrell's comment on that thread (May 3rd) I again opted for the Related Posts feature... its been 7 days now and I haven't looked back. My blog had already reached a new peak a day before I opted for this feature... so I wouldn't say it led to any unexpected surge in hits. I have always been for quality and relevance, but Steve Farrell's comment opened new paradigms. Theres no fear of decreasing hits now (as I had commented earlier). And even if they do decrease then it would only push me to writing better.

    Moreover, what ultimately helped me shed all doubts was the question I asked myself... "who am I to decide what the visitor wants to read ?" Though I do admit the fact that Related Posts Feature is a high diversion point for visitors... but the fact remains I haven't seen that happening through my stats !!

    And even if it does happen it wouldn't worry me now, for it does say ...'automatically generated'.

    Regards.

  11. Well, it can indeed decrease hits, since those related links open in the same window, thus throwing people off your blog when they may otherwise have remained to click around.

  12. Infact this is exactly what I had said in all my earlier comments on RPF... "Decreasing hits is a high probability". I just hope wordpress makes those links open in a NEW WINDOW, for it would enable many members to opt back for the feature.

    But despite this limitation I would continue to opt for RPF. I have a strong conviction that if posts are relevant and give quality to readers then theres no reason why the reader wouldn't hit on BACK button of the browser (though theres no way to ascertain this fact).

    In any case, I would continue to keep a close watch on stats. Last 7 days haven't been bad though... stats don't show any incoming referrers (RPF) nor do they show outgoing clicks (RPF). It might also be because most hits on my blog are through search engine results, few through tags. So perhaps readers stick to what they really want to read. Another factor could be.. many RPF links show my own posts as first 1 or 2 links.

  13. You can test it; I just tested it on my brand-new blog, and those links all open in the existing window.

    Statistics on using the Back button are not encouraging. Something over 80% of readers will close the window or click a new link rather than using Back if they don't like the post they're on...but I can't remember where I saw that study.

    The feature has much potential to recommend it; it's just the current implementation that some of us have an issue with. If it were indeed customizable, even vaguely, then I'm sure it would be more popular.

    For instance, four settings for outreach:
    1 within the blog,
    2 within everyone using the Possibly Related Posts on WordPress.com,
    3 within everyone using PRP and the Sphere Widget,
    4 or basically anywhere on the web (why limit it to MSM? Rupert Murdoch isn't going to give me any money).

  14. Yes, I knew they open in the same window.

    But don't worry raincoaster... yours is one of the most popular blog ! Am sure your feedback is valuable for wordpress. And your feedback also proves fears expressed by lot of members. So wordpress might already be looking into it.

    And despite using RPF, I agree with your points on improvements in RPF.

    WP... Matt... please do heed to member requests.

  15. Thanks. I know they are looking into things, because Matt has emailed me about it. But the sole improvement I've seen from a user point of view since it was implemented is that it now says the links are automatically generated. I can see not one other benefit to the user as a result of changes to the function since it was introduced. They've certainly gotten enough feedback. I'd like to see something happen.

    As popular as my blog is, I've good reason to believe that it's going to systematically be left behind, and that the way this feature has been planned and executed, that is exactly what they expect and want to happen; they are giving carrots to people who put it on, while giving the stick to those who do not.

  16. "..they are giving carrots to people who put it on while giving the stick to those who do not. "

    Your feedback generates more curiosity now. Perhaps you have analyzed the effects deeply. Please do share what carrots and sticks are these. It might help everyone in the process.

  17. I've been doing it for about three weeks now. I keep meaning to do one big blowout blog post about it, but so far all I've managed is a quote from Dante, a Nine Inch Nails video, and an image about Chinese militarism.

    Basically: if you put it on your blog, you will see a few hits from a wide variety of sources. Over time, this will open a substantial gap between those who have the feature turned on and those who do not. The ones who benefit MOST from the feature, however, are the Mainstream Media sites, who do not have it turned on at all and thus will never give links to the blogs who are a constant source of hits for them.

  18. "...who do not have it turned on at all and thus will never give links to the blogs who are a constant source of hits for them."

    I think you have a point.

  19. Thanks. I would apply this feature in a snap if it could be restricted to sites that were ALSO using the Sphere widget or Possibly Related Posts. And I speak as one who's gotten links directly from the Guardian, CNN, etc. If I want to link to them, I do. But I see no reason any blogger should give up his/her power to the establishment blogs were meant to circumvent. This is not a two-way street; it's a way to reinforce the hegemony of the mainstream media.

    Oh, there I go. You can tell I'm getting all fired up when I use the word "hegemony."

    Anyway, it's four in the morning my time and I JUST finished my paid work for the day. See why I haven't done that big blog post yet?

    The only reason I have so many posts in the forum is that it's the fastest website to load on my machine. I generally answer two or three questions while waiting for a web page to open.

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