Reader Update

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  • #2818390

    selah123
    Member

    the new Reader, as I am sure you have heard many times, is not good for those with photo blogs.. the photos are distorted and too small for detail which will put most people off of coming to the blog to read the post.. I much prefer the old Reader. This new one is only good for those with blogs devoted to writing.

    #2818391

    @bythebriny

    For those of us who run photography blogs, the new look is not good.

    Thank you for your feedback! Posts in the Reader intended to give the viewer a taste, and then let them click through for more. With the photos cropped differently now, the overall experience becomes more like a magazine with less scrolling—something many have asked for. WordPress.com is also constantly evolving and all of the feedback, like yours and many others’, will be reviewed and considered alongside the data we analyze about reader engagement.

    More on this at https://en.blog.wordpress.com/2016/12/14/reader-refresh-2017/#comment-231783

    #2818392

    @lalitebeing

    Have you ever considered giving us a heads up or perhaps a survey before implementing all these new ideas?

    Yes! Not every update gets the chance, but we have a beta testing blog called Horizon Feedback which you can join and I would love to work with you on feedback there in the future if you are interested!

    https://horizonfeedback.wordpress.com/tips-on-giving-feedback/

    https://horizonfeedback.wordpress.com/

    We also analyze past feedback compared to actual usage and try to make the best possible judgments about updates as we go—we are constantly updating and learning.

    I do not like the new reader or the new editor and let’s not get me started on the customer service hehe! It seems political and manipulative to give bloggers less content on the reader and insert unwanted recommendations ( especially for us seasoned writers). I pay money for my blog and do not appreciate less exposure and no warning.

    Thank you for the feedback. The recommendations are for your content, and they are intended to get more people engaging with more blogs on WordPress.com. Recommendations mean more exposure. The idea is for the algorithm to make some good recommendations that are relevant for each reader! Also, the more you subscribe to, the fewer recommendations you’ll see. You will see more of them if you are new to the Reader or haven’t subscribed to many things in the Reader yet.

    #2818395

    cindyknoke
    Member

    You are removing and censoring my comments in two forums! The WP reader is supposed to be for blogs we follow to make reading the blogs we follow easier. It is not supposed to be for WP to push blogs we don’t follow down our throats. You are taking space in the reader away from blogs I follow and using this space for blogs you promote. Blogs with no photos get two lines. Blogs with photos get their photos and layout mangled. And now you are removing my comments? Readers, please go to cindyknoke.com and see the overwhelming negative reaction from bloggers to these changes.

    #2818396

    abjag
    Member

    According the link to reader refresh: my comment is waiting for moderation there since yesterday and the other one I wrote today disappeared. I feel… ignored. I think this is very important, photos should not be changed without asking the photographer.

    #2818397

    ajeris
    Member

    Don’t like the new reader; can’t see the photos! I have an art blog. This is not good. :(

    #2818398

    @pellymade

    Thanks for the replies but why did you close the other thread?

    For a few reasons. I found the other one was getting hard to follow, the replies were getting long and out of order, and this one was originally started as the official thread relating to the latest Reader updates and I wanted to respect that. :)

    Thanks for the info, I wasn’t aware off all these shortcuts, but what you wrote proves my point exactly: too many clicks!! 6 unnecessary clicks just for one post!

    For people who love and use the Reader, they will have one click to reach a consistent view of content across blogs. Some people prefer this, some people do not.

    Before we simply saw the post and if we liked what we saw, only then we started to click. We even knew the number of photos of that post without moving a finger.

    May I ask about the number of photos part of this feedback? Why/how does knowing the number of photos in a post influence whether you click on a post in the Reader?

    I have passed along your other feedback about the photo cropping and title size.

    Could that strap of a photo make you curious enough to spend your energy and click for a view?

    I’d have to say yes, for me! And sometimes, not seeing the entire photo actually makes me possibly a little more curious than usual and more likely to click.

    Regarding heartafire’s comment on the other thread, showing more content in less space and reducing scrolling is something we’ve heard opposite and equally strong opinions about in past feedback. This means we have to make a choice and try to strike a good balance and the Reader will continue to evolve. All of this feedback is reviewed and considered as part of each update.

    #2818399

    @abjag, I will look for your comment and review it shortly.

    @ajeris, the Reader is always evolving. We will be looking into ways we can improve how cropping is done, but that may take some time.

    #2818400

    pellymade
    Member

    @designsimply and wp
    I understand that it’s your position to defend the changes. I am not convinced. I never thought that blogging means to have a big boss deciding about you without you. That’s unacceptable.
    I found out that there are many many other bloggers who resent those changes. I and many others explained thoroughly the reasons why, here and to the other threads.
    You will see what I mean by visiting cindyknoke’s post and read the (so far) 256 comments: https://cindyknoke.com/2016/12/15/changes-to-wp-reader/
    So we are not the minority wp says we are…
    I also found out that there’s been some kind of censorship to opposed comments. Mine still awaits moderation in the announcement post and that’s not good.
    And I agree with abjab’s comment: Photos are our artistic product and can’t be altered without our consent_

    For people who love and use the Reader, they will have one click to reach a consistent view of content across blogs

    It’s not 1 click. It’s 1 click, scroll and back. Before it was only scroll.
    I am sorry I have to explain this…

    May I ask about the number of photos part of this feedback? Why/how does knowing the number of photos in a post influence whether you click on a post in the Reader?

    Because there was that awesome little button called “view image” and you clicked it and saw all the photos.

    I’d have to say yes, for me! And sometimes, not seeing the entire photo actually makes me possibly a little more curious than usual and more likely to click.

    First this is subjective. Did wp had feedback about that too? And second that means you have a lot of free time and patience. I don’t; there are hundreds of photo straps, they all look promising, which one will I chose?
    This is not a game for us, we put heart, time, effort and money and we are not guinea pigs
    Finally heartafire also said

    To include other blogs in more than one bracket is so distracting and confusing and outright insulting to the writer, photographer, artist…all of us

    but no answer on that part…

    #2818401

    The new Reader has some severe consequences for photographers and other artists who have worked hard and are showcasing their work. The cropped format (portrait or landscape) is one problem; a second is miniscule thumbnails (try to see the detail in a landscape, or street scene at such a size or even distinguish between them). Magazines on line and in print have understood this for a long time, but magazines also get to choose their content, art and photography. The Reader is a forum for people to advertise their work quite the reverse from a magazine. Be it prose, poetry, painting, photography or news people choose what to post, its format and content, they work hard at that and Reader discards all of it when it comes to photography. Moving on to other improvements, as a photographer I might not like the “gallery format” maybe it does not suit my story line – does it even show my photos in order? And why would anyone want to visit my blog or view my post when most of it is there in Reader for him or her to see? How and why is it that Reader choses from my posts what to advertise at the bottom of my post, what if I am doing a series of posts and the posts chosen by the algorithm have nothing to do with that series. Why not have different formats for “Tag pages” where art/photography is the subject? We all work hard on our content and to have these changes imposed on us hurts. Many of us like WordPress for the community. Reader is a key function in that and having someone decide for us how our work and efforts will be reformatted does not help the community.

    #2818402

    I cannot understand why photographers are complaining – just think of all the time spent in composition and things like the rule of thirds, no need for it any more. Just crop all images in to letterbox format, in fact mask off all your lenses to do it for you.
    I for one think it’s brilliant, awesome, a big improvement.

    #2818403

    grahaminhats
    Member

    @WP

    I’m appalled to discover there has been an attempt to censor this topic.

    The comment made by Cindy Knoke (above at 1:04am on 16 Dec), together with a link to a mass of complaints, was initially removed. I have the screen shots to prove it.

    Further, Cindy’s complaint about censorship has not been published.

    How many more comments will investigation show have been withheld, both here and on the WP Blog.

    I have more on this matter and the Reader Changes on Sunday when we all have a bit more time to spare.

    #2818404

    mikebizeau1
    Member

    HI, I find find that your recent changes to the reader while well intentioned seem to have had unintended consequences which have diminshed the impact of many photography focused blogs which feature images and have minimal text associated with the images.

    For example: I post many photos in portrait and square format which the new reader then choses to display only a slice of. Not many people would be drawn to clicking the link of a photo in which the slice displayed is not interesting or does not represent the whole photograph or more important the story the photograph is telling.

    I have work hard to create these works and love wordpress for the community and opportunity it gives me to share my work with the community but this new format may limit that ability.

    I can see the new format being a positive for mainly text related blogs but not for photography or fine art blogs.

    I have queried readers of my blog about the new format and about 70% found it detracts from their WP experience.

    Thanks,

    Mike

    #2818406

    @pellymade

    I understand that it’s your position to defend the changes

    It’s my position to do my best to help work through updates and log the feedback. I try to be unbiased in my replies. I care a lot about providing good support. In that capacity, what I can do to help right now is to listen and report feedback in a concise manner with clear, specific examples.

    I also found out that there’s been some kind of censorship to opposed comments.

    Not every comment submitted is approved. Sometimes it’s just a matter of taking a little more time to reply to some of them, sometimes duplicates are filtered out, and sometimes we reply by email.

    It’s not 1 click. It’s 1 click, scroll and back. Before it was only scroll.
    I am sorry I have to explain this…

    Apologies for not listening more carefully about that one.

    Because there was that awesome little button called “view image” and you clicked it and saw all the photos.

    Aha, yes, that was a different gallery layout which was removed. I will add a note about this to the feedback list I’m collecting.

    First this is subjective. Did wp had feedback about that too?

    This was about my response to when you asked if a strap of a photo would make me curious enough to click for a view. I posted a personal opinion about that because you had asked and I gave an honest answer, and you are right that I do have a lot of patience!

    To include other blogs in more than one bracket is so distracting and confusing and outright insulting to the writer, photographer, artist…all of us

    It is, of course, not meant to be insulting! The recommendations are designed to promote and connect more blogs with more readers in a good way.

    #2818407

    @cindyknoke

    In our forums, sometimes comments automatically get marked as spam when they shouldn’t. I am not sure why that happens, but when it does and we are aware of it then we can restore the ones that are not spam and I have restored your comment on this thread. /hat tip @grahaminhats for mentioning the comment, that’s how I found it.

    The WP reader is supposed to be for blogs we follow to make reading the blogs we follow easier. It is not supposed to be for WP to push blogs we don’t follow down our throats.

    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.

    #2818408

    @rakmilphotography

    Thank you for your feedback. I hear you about the cropping, and it’s something we’re going to continue to work on.

    As a photographer I might not like the “gallery format” maybe it does not suit my story line – does it even show my photos in order?

    I am not sure how the order is picked. Also, the order is subject to change as we continue to make updates based on feedback and data.

    [UPDATE: I found out the order of images shown is the same order of images as they appear in the post.]

    And why would anyone want to visit my blog or view my post when most of it is there in Reader for him or her to see?

    Some people may prefer the Reader. This is up to each person.

    How and why is it that Reader choses from my posts what to advertise at the bottom of my post, what if I am doing a series of posts and the posts chosen by the algorithm have nothing to do with that series.

    The recommendations are selected by a combination of editors and algorithms. As you follow, like, and comment on blogs, the algorithm will recommend other posts we hope you’ll like. If you see a recommendation you don’t like, click the X on it.

    [UPDATE: I was thinking of the recommendations in the main stream, and someone pointed out to me that you were probably talking about the More in Site / More on WordPress.com blocks on the full post page in the Reader. Those are selected using a different algorithm and do not have the dismiss “X” links. The “More in Site” section links to content on the same site that use a lot of the same words.]

    Why not have different formats for “Tag pages” where art/photography is the subject?

    I’ll pass this suggestion along!

    Many of us like WordPress for the community. Reader is a key function in that and having someone decide for us how our work and efforts will be reformatted does not help the community.

    I love that you wrote this! I like being reminded about how cool and interesting our community is—I really think there are so many talented people blogging here!! What I can tell you is that I will do my best to log all of your feedback in a way that’s helpful to everyone.

    #2818409

    Re: Gallery
    Just to be clear. Why should any one other than the artist, author decide the format. We build and design blogs that suit our needs. if I wanted a gallery I would have a gallery.
    On preferring the Reader: You misunderstand, my audience uses the reader, they may now chose to look at your summary and not my carefully crafted post if you reveal too much you give them no reason to visit my post.
    On the Recommendations: I am talking not about the recommendation placed in the reader but those at the bottom of my post as read in reader.
    Hope this helps clarify my concerns – bluntly put the new Reader removes much of our work, makes it much harder to see what we intended. I would love to go through more blogs more quickly, but thumbnails and galleries does not help, the first photo in full and a few lines from post works for me, and from what I hear for many others.

    Thank you

    #2818410

    grahaminhats
    Member

    @designsimply

    If you didn’t know about cindyknokes second comment of complaint (re: censorship) how did you know about the first ? which was suddenly reinstated moments after the complaint.

    #2818412

    quietseason
    Member

    I quite like the new Reader, it’s certainly an improvement on the old one. I do think, though, that if you’re going to have images it should just be one, not all or most of them, because some of us like to use photos to illustrate a post in a story style, so that the photos are a surprise as the post is read. Having them in the reader to start with gets rid of that surprise element. It’s a bit like putting the images from a comic book all in different place, and completely out of context. As bloggers we need that originality kept intact otherwise our unique styles are lost.

    Another point I’d like to make is about something that is lacking and that is the ability to mark a post in the Reader as having been read. I can’t be alone, surely, in not wanting to have to keep viewing and scrolling past all the posts I’ve already visited and read? So maybe in your three-dot drop-down options you could include that? I see you have ‘block’ so why not also a ‘hide’ option?

    I’m also not keen on the extra posts from non-followed blogs, but mostly because many are so off my types of interest that I find them jarring.

    #2818413

    needhamb
    Member

    New Reader style certainly ensures less work will be looked at. It’s horrible.

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