Changes to WP Reader~

I had to search to find this. Are you aware of the changes to the WP Reader? They are compressing and chopping posts in the Reader to accomplish what they call “streamlining” so the viewer can scan more posts more quickly while seeing less of your content in their reader. What WP is doing is giving your post much less than half the room it used to have in the reader, sometimes only two lines of text if you don’t have photos.

They are also now inserting blogs they promote in your Reader. So they are taking up the room they are saving by compressing your posts in the Reader with blogs you are not following and they are promoting.

This seems manipulative and non-transparent on WordPress’s part and not in the best interest of bloggers.

406 thoughts on “Changes to WP Reader~

  1. They took away my stats counter without asking. Nice one WP. I did notice recently that people were clicking like more often while not actually coming in to have a look at the post. I wonder if its because a lot of the page is now missing on the reader. I did notice that the posts on the reader had suddenly become smaller. What’s infuriating is that we cant do anything about it 😦

    • You just summed up the whole frustrating situation perfectly including our powerlessness to effect change. Thanks for understanding and I, of course, share your feelings completely~

    • We also noticed such anomaly of people clicking the “like” button but not actually having read the article, which is a shame and looks more that they just like us to come to look at their website and try to lure people away from our site, because like everybody knows and perhaps also does, our curiousness and interest into others brings us also to look at whom liked a certain article.

      • Hiya Belgian Bible Students > While not really linked to my article I know it can be a bit annoying when people like without actually coming to read your page. It’s especially crazy as your stats counter tells you how many people have liked and visited. For me I really notice it when I post a YouTube video and people like the page but dont click on the video and watch it. The stats counter also tells me that. On the other hand you can look at it positively and think a like is better that no like. I personally keep an RSS list at the bottom of my blog for people I know will drop by and take the time to read my work. Best of luck to you and thanks for dropping by.

        • Thank you for bringing this up! Yes. People, including me, may click on your site and not watch your video. I scan some posts in much the same way I scan newspaper articles. I read the headline, maybe the first sentence of paragraphs, and the conclusion. Sometimes of course I read it all if it of interest to me. I watch some videos and not others depending upon my time and interest.
          I am not the least bit concerned if people just look at my photos in the reader or read my post in entirety and click on my post. I am so grateful for their likes of the part they did see. I focus on the positive whenever possible. I don’t believe it productive or worthwhile to monitor how people consume my blog, anymore than it is productive for me to criticize someone for scanning a newspaper article or parts of books and not reading all of it.
          Why should I think I know what other people should do? I am challenged enough keeping the focus on trying to do things well in my own life, believe me, laughing…..
          I am grateful for likes and for people even glancing at my blog in the reader even if they don’t click on it.
          This is a very interesting topic to me so thank you for bringing it up. I wish we could have it in an actual group discussion format with give and take. I would find it most interesting.

      • Hello Belgian Bible students! Is that why people do this? How do you know? How would this “lure people away from your site?”
        I think it might be more productive to focus on your site, what you are doing on your blog, and the people who comment on it, rather then worry about how people consume or don’t consume your site.
        I guess it is my years as a psychotherapist that taught me to not assume I know why people do something and not to think I know how they should do something. I focus on my behavior which is the only thing I have any business controlling.
        This is a fascinating discussion isn’t it? It would be a lot more interesting to have it in person and share our thoughts and ideas. Thank you for bringing up a provocative and important topic & cheers to you all~

        • Personal contact and a discussion with the people present in real life is always more interesting and often much more productive.

          We take your advice ad heart to ‘to focus on our site, what we are doing or trying to do on our blog, and the people who comment on it, rather then worry about how people consume or don’t consume our site.’

          Thank you very much for your comment and advice.

          • Thank you for your openness and receptivity. I am impressed with your non-defensive response. You are doing important things with your blog and staying focused on that will keep you on your path. Cheers to you & thank you~ ❤

  2. Its beginning to look and sound like things that happened not that long ago in Russia and Germany….., only now it’s happening here !!! I noticed small gradual changes but didn’t think much of them til lately, Cindy. Thanks for the update. 🙂

  3. today I rec eived a less than polite response from WP regarding my displeasure with the new reader, basically they told me to eff off.

    • I don’t know what the deal is with the lack of basic politeness. Apparently politeness is just something this company doesn’t value. It’s odd because I have never encountered it so systemically in a large for profit customer dependent organization. I guess this lets us know how unlikely they are to restore the prior reader. I am sorry this happened to you. I know it is quite a negative experience. ❤

  4. Geez, thanks for that update Cindy. I didn’t know. I never use the reader either, sorry to hear the change is so negative. I’ve always been an advocate of WP to others thinking about becoming bloggers but with these messages, I will have to re-consider that. What a shame. I’ve been spending more time at Instagram since it’s a quicker way to keep up with other peoples projects. I hate not having time here but I was stretched in too many directions. I wanna cruise your posts tonight though because I always am blown away. Happy Holidays to you and those you love the most my dear x K

    • Maybe it is time for me to check out instragram. I’ve resisted getting too many balls in the air, but maybe now is the time. You are such a sweetheart. Happy Holidays to you and yours my friend and it is always lovely to hear from you~ ❤ ❤

  5. I looked at this from the point of Mass Media analysis. This is the comment I submitted at the Refreshed Reader 2017 post.

    ” I understand the business motivation. All Mass Media have business interests. The other media principle is that changing the medium, alters the message. This new layout is designed to appeal to those reading/posting using a variety of hand held digital devices. The reality is that this modification in layout is a change in media. Shots are in Wide-screen-what’s-the-matter format that favours certain types of compositions, much the same way wide screen movies are cropped in for television. Cutting the composition and putting it into a wide-screen format alters the content/message of the composition. In a number of cases, if I were not familiar with the type of compositions that were regularly posted, my own included, I would not know what the post was about. In fact one may find the image so displeasing aesthetically that they would be less likely to look at the post.

    The unintended (?) consequence ( All Mass media have intended and unintended messages) of this change is that the reader now favours posts with multiple images, the gallery layout provides a more accurate display of all types of compositions. Single shots work best for images such as used as an example in this post – medium shot with central subject, heaven forbid an abstract, a extreme close-up, or a quirky still life/found art – not all images fit this layout format. Perhaps this is to increase a likelihood of a specific ( revenue generating) target audience ( All Mass Media have an intended target audience ).

    For “old-school” bloggers and many others, there will be those left at a disadvantage by this change. It would be nice if there was a means to negate some of the negative consequences of the change, but I fear the shift in how social media is consumed, together with the business need for the company to grow an audience, will mean bloggers will have to live with this. In some cases they may be able to adjust content, some may just put up with it, others may look to see if other blogging services offer a better means to accurately display samples of their posts. “

    • This is very well thought out and reasoned and masterful to bring in wonderful Marshall, “the media is the message!” You are so spot-on here. This is one of the major reasons I love blogging. It had limited mass mediation, until now. Now we are being edited, marketed, manipulated and advertised. It was news to me to learn we don’t even own our content. WP does. I loved you mentioning, “heaven forbid an abstract, a extreme close-up, or a quirky still life/found art – not all images fit this layout format. Perhaps this is to increase a likelihood of a specific ( revenue generating) target audience ( All Mass Media have an intended target audience ).”
      This is so true. I wonder who and what revenue stream WP is chasing now~

      • Thanks very much. Where does it specifically say they own the content ? Considering they made a big deal about us including copyright statements on our blogs to protect content, and there are those who use their blogs to promote various businesses, services and creative content, this seems a bit Facebooky to me.

      • Also wanted to add, I will be doing a post on this Dark Pines Media Literacy blog. Presently working on a Necro-Media post about the Polamatic app and a Tony Bennett music video. 😀

        The revenue is not from us old foggy bloggers, still on computers. The revenue comes from those youngsters on phones, tablets, phoneblets and other hand held devices. 😀 We are just getting caught in the backwash of changing mass media technology and the resulting changes in social media formats/codes & conventions.

    • What we do not understand is that a “Reader” should give a teaser of the content and should give us some idea what to expect when going to read the article. Now often we do have no idea about the content of the article and at some posts even the title is missing.

      We also like to bring our readers in contact with other posts of other writers, but by going through the “tags” we also noticed that like by the Zemanta selection, more writings have nothing to do with the so called ‘subject’. This way we loose a lot of time by searching and checking the possible or not usable postings. We also noticed some articles presented could also be just advertisements and as such have no use to be promoted by us and to spent time at them.

      • Yes. These things are quite frustrating. I do not like the truncated compressed space being allotted to our blogs in the reader. There should be a full first paragraph and photo if available in the reader. The former reader format was far better.
        And yes, I agree with you, tags should directly reflect article content. The reader is supposed to make scanning easier, not more difficult.
        It seems WP’s goal is to allott blogs less space in the reader so they can use the freed space to promote blogs of their choosing. The reader then becomes an advertising and promotion tool for WP which I do not appreciate. WP is serving an editorial function, choosing which blogs to minimize and which to emphasize. This makes blogs like media, controlled by editors and managers. I like blogs to be free from this control.
        Thank you for your interesting thoughts.

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  7. Thank you so much for posting about this Cindy, I had no idea. It’s always good to be aware of what I am now paying for since I ran out of room for photo storage this year. I appreciate your post. Kathy

  8. Had no clue about this, specially since in the computer that I´m using I can´t see the reader. I have to go to the email inbox and then click on the posts.
    I guess they have to make more money somehow,but certainly is not in the best interest of the readers.

  9. That is so unfair. Many of us pay for this service. It’s frustrating because WordPress is a “thing”. No live people to talk with. Thank you for making us aware.

  10. I noticed that. I also noticed that every platform sooner or later follows the “trending” type of visibility. Just hate that.

  11. I noticed the changes. Mostly what I have noticed is that WP has become a resource hog, requiring a lot more more CPU and memory. Some fellow bloggers’ posts take a long time to load, cutting down the number of blogs I can get through. It just takes too long. My own suggestion to people would be to keep it simple.

  12. Thanks for the heads up, Cindy. I am sure it is not the only change…not good.

    I actually keep is with blogs using Bloglovin because it sends me a digest of new posts each day. It takes me awhile to review them all, but at least I don’t miss them that way!

  13. There’s a general plot afoot by the powers that be, to turn the population into zombies and make them forget how to converse with one another because they’re one with their handheld gadgets. I went into Starbucks with my daughter the other day (at her suggestion — I prefer quaint tearooms) and everybody on the upper floor was on their phones or laptops ignoring each other. We were the only ones talking at all, until, like a breath of fresh air, a couple of smiling, talking gay men came up the stairs, not glued to electronics, and I was persuaded that there hadn’t been an alien invasion.
    So that’s why WP have made this change. It’s all part of the plot 😉

    • Well what a relief! Now I finally have an explanation! WP has been taken over by zombies.

      You do have to admit that the people you converse with online are sometimes even more interesting than some of the people you might be having coffee with. Laughing……in an ideal world this would not be the case….. 😉 😉

  14. Thank you, Cindy, for blowing open that mystery. The changes have been gradual, like recently when WP took away the borders and tabs on cellphone viewing — a change I seriously dislike. Being manipulated and marketed is a horrible thing. Thanks for raising our awareness, thanks for this forum.

  15. Apparently I haven’t been on since WP changed…AGAIN! It’s probably not a good thing but I’ve gotten so used to Facebook changing it doesn’t shake me up anymore like it used to and now it’s WP changing almost everytime I come on. I definitely don’t like the pushing of non liked or followed blogs being pushed at me…Facebook does this and so does Twitter…GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!

    • I am not very active on either FB or twitter, so I don’t these things and had no idea WP was reflecting a broader social media trend. Somehow it makes it a little easier to swallow, although it is still quite annoying~

  16. This is really irritating, Cindy. We work hard on building friends and it is hard to stay connected. I am sad they are focusing on space instead of who we want to read.
    No wonder people say they don’t always get my posts! I don’t pay for my WP so nor much to “leverage” with! hugs xo Robin

    • I don’t get your posts. I have to google get you and then I see all I missed. This happens a lot, not just with you. I don’t know how many people I miss. I wish they wouldn’t put blogs in my reader that I don’t follow and just let me see the blogs I do follow!

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  18. Hi Cindy,
    I don’t know if anyone else left a negative comment on WP’s reader post, but I had a follow up today from a Happiness Engineer called Sheri. It seems my dislike for the new format has been registered to be taken into account when they next plan changes to Reader. All the comments I read on the post were gleeful and full of praise, so if fellow bloggers who dislike the cropped pictures and promotional blogs haven’t done so already, maybe they would like to voice their negativity to the change too. You never know. We might see a result and they put it back the way it was! Just thought I’d let you know.

    • That is encouraging news. I had placed two comments on WP forums that were removed by the moderator even though they were quite polite. I tried a third time and that comment remained. It is good you received receptive feedback. I don’t know who these people are who filled the WP announcement with positive reviews. I suspect there may be an implied quid quo pro in operation though. As you can see with blogger comments here, the response is just overwhelmingly negative. Thank you for the update and a bit of encouraging news~

    • Thank you for thinking of me and for your thoughtfulness. I appreciate you and love your blog. I am award free but that doesn’t change the fact that you touch my heart my friend. Cheers to you and thank you too!

  19. I also noticed the changes to wordpress. I was a little bit upset that the statistics graph was removed. But only until i discovered it in the menue! 🙂
    The new format of the reader is more appealing to me. The size is reduced you see more at a glance and It still shows more photos in the reader.
    The reader also lists now other blogs you might like which is in accordance to the idea of “connecting people”.

    So don`t worry,

    best wishes Christian

  20. I don’t use the reader, so I don’t know how this change affected those who are clicking ‘like’ without actually reading 🙂 I loved the very first Reader, and after it was changed I don’t go there anymore. It is wrong that WordPress changes interface without consulting with bloggers. Also, after every change I have various problems with my account that last at least 5-7 days.

  21. A mí también me vuelven loca los de WP con sus cambios. ¿Por qué no dejan las cosas como están? Si todo va bien no hay necesidad de cambiar, y si tienen que hacer cambios por alguna motivación que se me escapa, cuando menos que lo expliquen. A pesar de todo, seguiremos por aquí. Un abrazo, Cindy ❤

  22. Strange and true: not good changes, dear Cindy… I hope we can manage to sort it out… And that our readers don´t miss new posts (thing which also happens with Instagram, BTW!).
    Happy New Year 2017 to you dear friend!!!⭐ 🌹.-

  23. Thank you for bringing it up – I am leaving the Reader since I do not find it useful. A pity it is, to destroy so much as they have done. If you go through the reader you will have two hands full of clicks before you get to the post and person you want to read. What is even worse is the way some people receive answers…unpolite and uneducated. If I had one single answer like that, I would stop using WP.

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  25. The changes the WP introduces from time to time drive me stark, staring bonkers, Cindy. It’s as if there’s a mentality of change for change’s sake, and I never find them any better than the original. Thanks for bringing up the subject!

  26. They make it easy to like posts in the reader, knowing you aren’t getting the sense of them at all. As a poster, I try to make my first few words count, knowing most people will only ever read those. I try not to hold it against other bloggers for not reading every word. We are all busy. However, when someone comments and has actually read the post, that means more to me than the sheer number of likes. I try to keep up with friends, but sometimes it’s hard to find them. I haven’t seen you in my reader in a long time, but I saw your gravatar. That led me to a page, and I didn’t see a link to your blog. It had a link to pinterest, which I then visited. You had cleverly written the URL of your blog there, so I typed that and voila, I reached your blog. But I follow thousands, and I can’t remember all those URLs. I used to get weekly emails from your blog, but they disappeared. Maybe they are hung up in a filter. Anyway, I’m working on a new novel, and that has to take my time. I do love connecting to other photographers and writers, though. I appreciate that it’s mostly free. Except for the domain registration. And the customization. Sigh.

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