Reader Update

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    Designsimply. Would be happy to talk about it on the phone, provide a perspective that may be useful.



    I feel a bit sad because my comment disappeared from here:


    @rakmilphotography, thank you for the offer! No need for a phone call because the feedback you posted earlier is very useful already, and I have made sure to log your concerns.


    @abjag, I think your comment was replied to by email. Not every comment on blog posts get approved, for various reasons, and some take a little longer to reply to there. I’m sorry it took a while to get to yours!




    ..HEY, IT’S XMAS!!! ;) :)





    ** WP are testing sending us their “Recommendations” by email more here



    Bonjour Designsimply,

    Like many others l am disappointed in the lack of thought given to the presentation of our photographic images in the new Reader design, especially when the person responsible is a photographer himself and used to run a photographic magazine “Back in the Day”. These are my specific complaints:
    1. The Letterbox strip destroys the integrity of my pictures.
    2. The gallery sampled thumbnails are sometimes also cropped and destroy the integrity of my pictures.
    3. Any ‘Initial Impact’ l have strived to achieve with my photographs to encourage a visit to my site is Lost.
    4. All of the above apply not only to the Reader but also to the ‘Tags’

    You can easily see the problem if you search redstuffdan in Tag.

    5. The majority of my visits, views and likes come via Reader – According to my Stats analysis – 1 to 4 above will have a negative impact on ‘Growing’ my following and will not provide easy access to the 5000 people who are kind enough to already follow me, many of whom use the Reader to see my new stuff.

    Derek Powazek is one of the people responsible for the changes and is replying to comments at:
    I would encourage everyone to drop him a line.




    @redstuffdan, Bonjour!

    I appreciate the way you’ve outlined feedback with clear, specific, numbered reasons. That is helpful. I’ve included your feedback in the log I’m keeping and have also posted it for developers on an internal thread. Thanks!




    Re: Recommendations by Email
    Reply from Jeff Bowen of Horizon Feedback to Opt-in suggestion.

    “Thanks for the suggestion, Graham. It’s not shown in the screenshot, but you will definitely be able to manage your subscription status for these, regardless.”

    So it seems, one problem down anyway. Marry Xmas all :-)


    @grahaminhats, just to clarify, that reply from Jeff was about Recommendations by Email, which is a different feature compared to recommendations in the Reader.



    I would like to add my voice to all the above and the previous post that is closed now. No use to repeat it all, I guess… Just that I don’t put in my time to have my layout and photos just as I want it, even pay for the customization tool to the same end to have it all massacred in the Reader… What a pity… and rather disrespectful towards the photographers among us, I think…


    There seem to be two bottom line questions in order:
    1. Statistically, is the new Reader format drawing more or less traffic?
    2. From the new Reader format, are users clicking and visiting articles more or less often than in the past?
    Personally, I’ve been a nearly daily viewer of the Reader for years. Since the change, I’m spending a lot less time on it and clicking on nothing to read more. The photos are now too small to draw me in, and there’s not enough text to know what’s going on either. I used to think of the Reader as akin to flipping through the pages of a magazine. If the tag is, say, Alaska, I need to be able to see, at a glance, whether or not there’s enough there to bother to keep reading. I don’t know what to compare it to now… It’s like a news site with just the headlines and a small article… but I would to to one of those news sites if I was looking for specific, current-events-related news articles. I used to use reader to browse – to see what someone has written under a given tag that might grab my interest. There’s just not enough there, visually, to make this kind of browsing useful and interesting anymore. At this point, I can’t see myself spending (wasting) further time on a format that no long supports the manner in which I browse articles.


    @barbradonachy, thank you for your feedback! Generally, we don’t share stats like those publicly because it’s for our team to analyze and make decisions regarding them alongside other stats and also considering user feedback. That said, they are excellent questions the team working on the Reader should already be tracking, and they will continue to make decisions they think will work best based on that type of data as well as user feedback too.

    Regarding text, I found this related reply relevant:

    In case it’s helpful, one of my favorite ways to browse the Reader is using keyboard shortcuts: j for next, k for previous, enter to open the full post, esc to close the full post.

    Past that, what I can do best to help from a support standpoint is to make sure this is added to the feedback report about this update. I appreciate that you took the time to explain your browsing habits and that you included specific examples about what you don’t like about the browsing experience after the update.


    Here is a screenshot of my Reader Feed showing a blog post which contains a video along with text, followed by blog posts without videos.

    Reader in

    The title of the blog post that contains a video is in very tiny white text on a badly cropped photo for the post.

    At least the video is not shown in the Reader. I do hope WP does not put the videos back into the Reader.



    I was very surprised that the roll out of the new reader happened without allowing WordPress users to preview the upcoming changes first. I strongly feel users should have been allowed to opt-in for the new reader as it does not do justice to all blog types. Photography blogs in particular have been most severely impacted. A single photo post without accompanying text now shows up as part of the image stretched across the page- completely unflattering. I would really appreciate it if you could adjust the new reader to take into account the needs of photobloggers as well as other bloggers out there.




    Why do you not show respect to your customer’s choice and let them opt-out of the Reader recommendations.



    Right now, a YouTube video should show up in the Reader if the video is the first usable media in the post or if the video is set as the featured image. YouTube is supported, and other video types will also be added soon.



    We do various types testing before new features are launched and we also look at stats. One type of testing is beta testing, and we do it for some features but not all of them. I work with teams to help them include beta testing before launches, and I’ll see if we can get the next Reader update included!

    Thank you for your feedback. I’ve also noted your concern about photo crops that look unflattering.


    @grahaminhats, we do not typically maintain two separate versions of a feature if we can avoid it.



    Thanks for more info on video posts, however, you didn’t mention why blog posts with a main photo, text and a video are reduced to a badly cropped landscape version of the photo with a title that is so tiny it can hardly be read.

    Did you look at my screenshot?

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