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!