Housekeeping notes, and wordpress updates

I don’t write about the blog itself often but for those who have been following along, you will know that I sometimes turn various new WordPress features on and off.

The last update was a few months back when I turned on the ability to rate posts. I thought  it might be fun for readers to be able to give quick feedback (like the equivalent of a thumbs up or down) if they didn’t feel inspired to comment, and maybe I’d learn more about what people liked. Bloggers generally tend to measure the popularity of a post by the number of comments received and number of hits – but number of comments might just mean that you wrote something controversial, and not necessarily just a good post that people liked. This isn’t a money making venture so I’m not pressured to write posts that will get a lot of hits; from my point of view this was pure curiosity.

It has been an interesting experiment. There hasn’t been a lot of feedback, possibly because the ratings don’t show up on the RSS feed or because people read from the front page and not individual posts, but it has been a good pointer to when a few people liked what they saw. So thank you if you did take the time to score a post.

thumbsup

I’ve now turned that feature off, and instead turned on the ability to score comments. You can now go score each other :) WordPress use a slashdot style of scoring where you can either give a comment the thumbs up, or thumbs down.

So, have at it!

WordPress introduces the like button

Part of the reason for changing things around (other than FOR SCIENCE!) is because WordPress is now featuring the ability to say that you like a post. If you are logged into WordPress while browsing blog posts, you will notice a new icon on your menu bar.

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If you find something you liked then you can click there and:

  • the writer will be able to see how many people liked that post
  • you’ll have the opportunity to reblog it (this also has the side effect that if you wanted to reblog something to say how much you hated and despised  it, you have to hit the like button first)

So what is reblogging? Bloggers often get inspired by each other. I know that many times I have started a post by saying, “I read this really good article on blog X ((insert link)) … ‘”

When you reblog a post, WordPress will insert the title, link and some text from what you are linking and then let you add comments underneath. I’ll reblog a post later today with some comments as an example. The idea, I believe, is to make it easier for bloggers to repost something cool that they found with comments of their own underneath.

If you are interested to know more, here is WordPress’ news on the new features.