WordPress Tag Discussion Update and Weekly Preview

I’ve updated yesterday’s post about the WordPress tags, but I’m putting this here to make sure folks don’t miss this. Two people have now told me that they routinely use 15 tags + categories for their posts, check all the tags, and see the posts appear in all the topic indexes. So, I don’t see any reason to change my tagging strategy and I was worrying over nothing. But I’m glad I wrote that post, because I know a lot more about this stuff now for having written it, thanks to the bloggers who commented.

I also had a friend who has more all-time views that me, and a busier blog in general, tell me he’s not getting much from the WordPress reader, and we’ve been speculating about just how WordPress counts those views. That leaves the question of why I have more than 1,000 all-time views from the WordPress reader and 325 from the last three months, but only about 30 for this month. All things being equal, and given the fact that my traffic from every other major source of referrals has either remained stable or increased over the last two months, my views from the reader are short by about 120. And I think I have an explanation for that.

I’ve always been more concerned about reads than views on my stats page, so it’s been our policy from the beginning to display our entire posts in the reader on all three blogs. Except that I forgot to set Sourcerer up that way and didn’t realize it until sometime in May when I saw one of my own posts display a summary in the reader. I changed the setting immediately and promptly forgot about it until this morning. This also explains why, even though Part Time Monster’s referrals from the reader are in the same ballpark as mine, they are a bit lower, even though the monster has more overall views (differences in posting frequency are also a factor here – we post more often, so our referrals from the reader should be somewhat higher because we’re putting more content in the news feeds).

So, now the question I have to ask is whether I want to change it back. The problem is, I don’t know how many actual reads it costs me to change it back, but I know how many views it’s going to cost me to leave it the way it is. So I am curious. Do you read entire articles from your reader? And do you pass on articles that you would otherwise read when you see only the summary displayed?

In the meantime, I’m changing it back for a week, possibly two, just to see if it really makes as much difference as I think it does. I doubt this is a permanent change. To my way of thinking, losing even two people who read every word I write, but who I never see because I have no stats for people browsing me in the reader is not worth an extra 5 page views per day. And click-through rates on the internet being what they are, that could actually be several dozen people. But it’s the only way I have to account for such a large decrease in views, and I need to account for it. In the meantime, I apologize for the inconvenience.

Preview:

  • I’m introducing a new feature “Historical Campfire Stories,” later today. It won’t be a weekly feature yet, but I’m hoping it will be well-received enough to make it so eventually.
  • We’ll have more Penny Dreadful and True Blood this week from Diana, another dynamite Batman post from Jeremy, and more news on the short film A Mississippi Love Story, along with the usual photoblogging and music posts.
  • I’m doubling up on the poetry feature at The Writing Catalog this week because I don’t have the time to do another worldbuilding post before the weekend. I do plan to have another Gollum post at Part Time Monster this week, though.
  • We’re taking a break from the Feminist Friday discussions this week to regroup, and a break from blogging in general for the 4th of July weekend. We need to recharge our batteries a bit, take care of some offline stuff, and do as much writing as we can spare the time for. Beginning Friday, we’ll have mostly photo blogs until Monday, when we’ll start back up again at full speed.

Thanks for reading, and have a great week!

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20 thoughts on “WordPress Tag Discussion Update and Weekly Preview

  1. It is very interesting (and helpful) to read about your experiences with tags and post views and the like, so thank you.

    I am very much looking forward to more Penny Dreadful reviews and the Historical Campfire Stories sounds brilliant!

    Liked by 1 person

      • I not only like to browse, I have to. It’s either that or start unfollowing some blogs.

        Some very talented people post on all kinds of things. I do it too. When they go off on a political or religious rant, I usually give them a pass that day. I read the majority of their posts, but not all of them.

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        • So, the way you feel is that if you click the reader and the whole post pops up, and it’s something you’d normally give a pass to for a reason like that, it’s off-putting in a way that just seeing the summary is not? This is sounding like an important follower-retention issue.

          (I browse that way also – I hate the sorts of arguments that force people to go their separate ways over one thing when they have several mutual interests,but typically I just don’t read past the first couple of sentences if the whole post is viewable and keep going).

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          • Great observation. I suppose it feels intrusive. If I intended to read the whole thing, I would have clicked on it. It has a kind of Hare Krishna in the airport feel to it. Also, if the whole thing is in reader, there is no reason for me to click and enhance your stats.

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  2. I get absolutely zero views from the Reader. I’ve argued with people endlessly about it, they stating all views from the Reader should show up, me saying they don’t. I recently set up an account to test. I only see views from people who actually click into my page. About 90% of my posts have more likes than views and I think it’s because most people read things in the Reader.

    I think most people don’t realize that if the click on the number of words remaining or the time since it was posted it brings you to the site. If you do it that way you use the same amount of clicks as reading in the Reader but a much nicer layout – you get more text at once in a page and the layout is often screwed up in the Reader.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No. Views only count if someone clicks through to your blog. I’m certain of that. Views are people viewing your front page and other pages, viewing posts, and if they refresh a page, that counts as a view, is my understanding. And I agree posts are nicer on the actual blog, but page loading times can be an issue if you read a lot of blogs.

      I’ve never been sure just how much difference displaying the summary only makes, and whether the difference is a positive or negative thing. Hoping I’ll learn more about this in the next couple of weeks.

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  3. I don’t have a ton of time each day to dedicate to following blogs/working on my own. I find the first two sentences of the summary generally do not contain enough content to tell me if I want to go ahead and view the actual post/blog. I like viewing full posts so I can read the first paragraph (sometimes more) to see if I want to read the full thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I click through if it’s something long that I want to read, but just use the reader if it’s something short I’m just going to skim. It is kind of a pain to have to open up a new tab because my poor netbook is already so slow, so it’s basically a way for me to save something to read later, but even if I do always have to click through, it’s not enough for me to unfollow or skip reading the post. (I do all that because my Internet browsing time and TV time are the same thing — I want to skim, and then save longer or deeper posts to read after I finish watching TV.) I do also go ahead and click through if it’s a blog where the formatting matters, and I follow a lot of non-wodpress blogs so I click through to those or the formatting is crazy.

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  5. In answer to your question, I always prefer to actually click on the link from the Reader and head over to the blog and read the full article there. That way, while I’m visiting, if I see something else of interest, I can check that out as well. I only go through the Reader once a week (as I have my own blog, a short story, a novella and a novel series in the works) so I like to try and get in as much from everyone else’s blogs as I can.

    BTW, I enjoyed the Historical Campfire Story. Keep up the great work!

    Like

    • Thanks! This definitely helps. I don’t get to really use the reader as much as I like, either. I’ll take any insight I can get into how other people are doing things 🙂

      I’m glad you like the campfire story. That’s an idea I floated last week, and I’m trying it out to see people like it enough to make it a regular thing. It’s the first history stuff I’ve tried and I’m excited about it.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

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