The WordPress Reader

Not too long ago I wrote about an apparent issue between posts written in the Classic Editor and how the WordPress Reader sometimes displays them with no paragraph breaks. The post looks fine on the blog’s website, but the WP Reader isn’t recognizing its paragraphs. (This problem still hasn’t been fixed, and I continue to notice posts where it obviously happened.)

That post went longer than I expected because I had to explain the HTML aspects of why the problem seems to happen and how to go about trying to correct it. I meant to get into other foibles of the Reader but ran out of room.

This post adds an extra room just for the WP Reader.

Which, let me be clear, I’ve never much liked. The recent changes make me like it even less. In fact, the most recent change makes it a lot less useful (and much more annoying) than I found it before.

To be blunt, over the last year or so I’ve lost a lot of my respect for the WordPress organization. I’m reminded of restaurants that open, are great at first, but then the founders — the ones with the vision to create the place — want new challenges and move on leaving the place in the hands of non-visionaries who essentially just manage and hope to make money. The quality invariably declines, and many of those places eventually close (leaving room for new visionaries).

I sense that WP is in a similar state. A once excellent innovative venue that’s no longer guided by people with the same depth of vision and creativity. I suspect those have moved on to new challenges worthy of them. I am sorely pressed to even understand some of the current thinking.

In parallel, long-form blogging was never a major player on the interweb, and I suspect it’s even less of a player these days. The beauty and wonder of the WordPress I first came to know was that it seemed to understand and value long-form blogging.

I no longer sense that. Like,… at all. I sometimes even feel they’d be happier if picky demanding people like me just slunk off and didn’t bother them. I think the “Happiness Engineers” (what an awful job title) have realized they simply don’t have the means to engineer much happiness in this quarter. I’ve felt written off in numerous interactions.

Frankly, some of resistance I feel about blogging at all these days comes from what WordPress seems to have become. A once great restaurant now just going through the motions. I don’t enjoy eating here as much as I used to.

§

Well, nothing lasts forever, right? Nothing good, anyway, or so it often seems. (The good die young. Old curmudgeons like me persist. It’s a fundamental irony of the perverse universe.)

But enough foreplay. Let’s get to it.

§ §

It started months ago, and I was sure it was a bug they’d correct. At this point, I have to assume it’s intended behavior, and this single (inexplicable to me) change has shifted my view of the WP Reader from “actually kind of useful” to “I hate this thing!”

If you use the WP Reader at all, you know it has multiple sections or tabs. (People call them tabs, but they’re not tabs in my eyes, not when the selector links are embedded in the page and it’s the page that changes. But then I’m really picky about words.)

I don’t believe I’ve ever used the Search or My Likes sections. I checked out the Lists section, made a list to see how it worked, but don’t find any value in it. Very rarely, when I’m that bored, I’ll explore using Tags, but very rarely.

I’d be curious to know how many of you, who do use the WP Reader, use those sections.

For me the only sections of value are Followed Sites and Conversations. The no-paragraphs bug makes the Followed Sites section much less appealing though (as does another WP trick that I really hate; I’ll get to that).

Over the last couple of years what made me like and use the WP Reader was that it made Conversations much easier to participate in. Commenting on a post, or even merely giving it a Like, causes that post to appear under Conversations, and it used to be that the Reader displayed only the most recent comments, which was exactly what one would want. Handy links allowed progressively opening older comments. It was all very good, and it’s what got me using the Reader.

Several months ago, that changed. To me the change, as I mentioned, looked like a bug they’d eventually correct. But the months wore on with no fix, and now I have to accept (for whatever bizarre logic behind it) this is expected behavior.

What I’m talking about is this:

Why, oh why, oh why, is my most recent comment hidden but an older one isn’t? What logic makes this even sensible or rational? Let alone useful, and let me say right now, it isn’t at all. Using the Reader now requires clicking links just to see what you might reply to. I cannot fathom the logic here.

As a software developer, a key piece of advice I had for newbies was to use your designs and use them heavily. It’s only through actual use that your mistakes in user interface design rise up and bite you. It’s hard for me to believe the people who designed this behavior actually use their own product.

Searching for the logic, I thought for a while that maybe it was being especially clever and hiding my comments in favor of showing me comments from others. That theory didn’t survive the physical evidence. It doesn’t care who it hides, it just hides the most recent comments. Why? What the hell is the logic here? (Or is there any?)

I truly find the interface behavior completely inexplicable. Here’s another example:

Note the, not one, not two, but three links offering to load “previous” comments. “Previous”? You mean most recent? This, in my view, is idiocy.

Clicking any one of the three gives this:

The sheer stupidity here boggles my mind. You might think, from the positioning, that that first link would act as an “open all below” and the second and third links might open the individual comments they seem to be hiding. But no. Clicking any of the three shows both comments that were hidden.

This makes using the Conversations section of the WP Reader annoying to me. And the utter lack of apparent logic or even reason makes it utterly infuriating.

Here’s another example snapped just today:

Again, three links for “previous” comments, and they all lead to:

Doing nothing more than unhiding the single most recent comment — the very one you’d think would be of most interest. My mind truly boggles here.

(You wanna know the real reason we can’t ever seem to get software completely right? Part of it is that software is really, really hard to get completely right. A bigger part of it is that many of the people doing it shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a keyboard.)

§ §

This “Load previous comment” non-sense in Conversations is the central complaint today, but by no means is close to the only complaint I have about the WP Reader. I have, in fact, a host of complaints about the Followed Sites section.

§

Grayed out prior to 7/2020

Something I noticed a while back is that WP “grays out” our older posts as displayed in the Reader. Apparently, there are those who somehow abuse the system by changing the dates on their posts. Rather than deal with the actual problem in a clever way, WP apparently decided to just shit on everyone.

It may be that many bloggers post ephemeral stuff that’s in the moment and quickly lost downstream, but many other bloggers invest a lot writing informational posts that do not age. They remain relevant, if not forever, certainly for many, many years.

It’s, once again, an insult to long-form informational bloggers (such as yours truly, and I am indeed very insulted by this).

Thing is, graying something out implies it is disabled. The first time I saw one of my posts grayed out I panicked just a little. Wasn’t sure if the post had somehow vanished, been damaged, or maybe couldn’t be clicked into. Turns out it was fine, and you can click into a grayed out “disabled” item (in contravention of basic UI practice).

But I will never forgive WP for that first moment of WTF?!?! What happened to these posts I worked so hard on?!?!

And this is just one more example of inexplicable decisions coming from WP these days.

Surely every post has an indelible created date. (If not, the designers were beyond bad.) Why can’t WP leverage that to deal with date cheaters? Why not mark their posts with a red banner or something? Why this blanket graying out policy?

§

Apparently, a design goal with the Reader Followed Sites was making all posts look the same, so nearly all formatting information is stripped from your posts there. That means, if you used color highlighting or other formatting to make a technical post clearer, all your efforts are for nothing.

If you indented your LaTeX equations so they don’t look like shit jammed against the left margin, well, WP Reader will see to it that’s ignored. Even the centered section marks I use — using WP’s own tags to make them centered — end up on the left margin (which is both inexplicable and very annoying to me).

Yet it seems (usually) to center photos (even if it doesn’t respect the confines of the photo’s width for the caption — I swear, the WP Reader has so many things wrong with it — I can’t help but wonder how much of it is a package someone just bought rather than being directed development — I’m pretty sure that explains the Block Editor).

I mean, why am I paying extra to WP to have access to custom CSS for my blog when their Reader just ignores my CSS?

§

If you use the WP Reader, you might have noticed a change in the Followed Site link a few months ago. It used to just take you to that section. One click pays for all.

Now, clicking it just drops down a list of blogs you follow ordered by most recent posting. Which isn’t an awful feature, but not really what I want behind that link.

Having the feature as a distinct link would be nice, but in many ways, it just replicates what you already see on the right side. Its value is low, and it adds an extra click every time you want to actually go to that section. I’m sorry but that is a bad design. I can’t respect whoever thought that was a good idea.

If you were observant, you might have noticed that, for a while, the dropdown list had numbers to the right of each blog listed. Those numbers didn’t seem to tie into anything that made sense. Now they’re gone. Whatever.

§

Have you ever been in the Conversations section and seen that New Posts blue oval that pops up in the upper right? Have you ever clicked it and noticed that it does absolutely nothing except take you to the top of the page?

To see that new “post” (comment, actually; you’d think a blogging platform would know the difference), you have to refresh your browser. Which doesn’t require being at the top of the page, so clicking that blue oval has zero value. Zip. Nadda.

§ §

With most software, I can tell what the designer intended, why they made the choices they did. With the WP Reader, I find myself in the dark, which could mean one of two things: I just don’t get it (always possible) or the better chefs at this restaurant moved on to better kitchens.

I feel it’s the latter because [a] of course I do but [b] I’ve seen some stunning incompetence under the hood. Every New Year’s, and every Blog Anniversary (7/4), I pull the XML export file with all my posts, comments, image links, and more. I have a suite of XSLT and Python that crunches that data.

They finally fixed this, but for a long time the XML was invalid (due to illegal characters), so I had to fire up XMLSpy, go looking for those errors, fix them, save the 60+ megabyte XML file, and try again. That was a pain, and I’m glad they finally figured out how to generate valid XML.

I also download CSV (comma-separated values) files with page hit info, and the last two times I’ve done this (July 2021, January 2022), I discovered WP is now creating illegal CSV files. They’re getting quotes wrong. Thing is, CSV files are kiddie-level. Getting those wrong, in my eyes, means you have no business in my business.

Here’s what I’m talking about:

"""Invictus"",15,{link}
"United States Baker", 15, {link}
"The Expanse: Disappointment", 15, {link}
"2001: Visual Tone Poem", 13, {link}
"Square Root of NOT", 11, {link}
"Physical vs Abstract", 11, {link}
"Barrel of Wine; Barrel of Sewage", 10, {link}
"Movies: Grand Canyon", 10, {link}
"""Imaginary" Parabola", 8, {link}
"""No Serviceable Parts Inside"", 7, {link}
"""King": FKA USA", 7, {link}
"The 4th Dimension", 7, {link}
"Westworld: Questions!", 7, {link}

This is a section of the CSV file for my page hits this past January. It is incorrectly formatted. The problem is the post titles that have double-quotes in the title (which I made bold). The CSV standard is very clear on this matter. Embedded double-quotes must be doubled (” ⇒ “”). They seem to get that right on the first one, but completely blow it on the second one. Note the lone double-quote after Imaginary and King. And Invictus and No Serviceable Parts Inside should both end with three, not two.

So now I have to edit these and fix them every time I download them.

And as I said, CSV files are truly kiddie-level stuff. Hard to respect a software organization that can’t get CSV files right.

BTW, the {link} is a new field silently added a year ago (to the initial surprise of my processing suite). It’s actually the link to the post. I made it {link} for brevity and clarity.

§ §

Is it just me or has WP seemed really sluggish lately? As if their servers were overloaded or their client-side browser code was bloated, overly complicated, and just plain slow?

Or maybe both? Given the invalid CSV files, who knows. Probably both.

§ §

Why use the Reader at all? I mostly don’t use Followed Sites anymore. (A WP Happiness Engineer, at one point, even recommended I use a comment or note in the post urging it be read on the website, not the Reader.)

But the ability to always reply directly to a comment is only available in the Conversations section of the WP Reader, and I do value that ability quite a lot. It’s what got me using the Reader in the first place, and it still remains the main reason for using it at all.

Stay away from the Reader, my friends! Go forth and spread beauty and light.

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

29 responses to “The WordPress Reader

  • Wyrd Smythe

    If I seem angry about this, it’s because I value competence and ability so highly, and I’m very dismayed that such a favorite restaurant is dishing out what I see as sub-standard fare. It really does remind me so much of a(n actual) restaurant that used to be finestkind but isn’t anymore.

    If only there was a better place to eat. 😦

    • Wyrd Smythe

      This platform is even more broken that I realized. I just tried to click through to someone’s post from the Reader, but when I get the site page, I’m no longer logged in and can’t Like or Comment.

      “Waiter!! There’s a bug in my soup!!”

    • Wyrd Smythe

      And here’s another thing: At the top of the Followed Sites page is:

      Suggestions: m night shyamalan, parable, el mariachi film.

      And these three suggestions are all links to a search for those topics. But the very puzzling thing is that those three topics aren’t just from way out in left field,… they’re from way out in left field from a ballpark located in some distant city.

      I’m saying it would hard to find three other topics of less interest to me at the moment. One of them is ancient history (although a good film), one of them hasn’t impressed me since his two hit movies at the turn of the century, and the last is too vague to be interesting. I can’t even imagine where the first and last even came from. “Parable” might be related to the Octavia Butler posts I did last year.

      F- on the suggestions there, WP. Total fail.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Here’s today’s…

        Suggestions: machete film, debugging, derek jeter.

        And once again, three swings, three complete misses. Where is it even getting these ideas?

  • Wyrd Smythe

    And now the WP Reader is cutting off the entire post below the fold. WT-actual-F?!?!

  • SelfAwarePatterns

    I still think the Conversations tab issue is a bug. The “Previous” label seems to only make sense if it’s still supposed to be about previous comments. It seems like they got an if statement reversed or something. Have you tried saying something to support? Seems hard to imagine nobody has complained…but maybe nobody has complained.

    I do sometime use the Tags section. It’s a way to see what other bloggers that I don’t necessarily follow are posting about particular topics. I used to go there somewhat regularly (or to its functional equivalent in prior versions of the UI), but in recent years it’s rare, maybe once or twice a year.

    But mostly I use the Reader to make sure a newly published post is showing there, and then only because of the issue I used to have. Once in a while I’ll use the comment UI under someone else’s post because it lets you reply despite maximum indentions. (That UI comment reply limitation on the sites is one of my long standing beefs with WordPress.)

    • Wyrd Smythe

      It sure seems like a bug to me, too, but if so, it means their developers have literally never looked at the product even once. I’m not sure I’m prepared to find out they’re that bad at their jobs. But, yeah, I’ve meant to at least ask. They’ve made contacting them harder and I’ve felt a bit dismissed the last few times I made the effort, so I’ve been putting it off.

      Yeah, likewise on the Tags section.

      It was double-checking that my post rendered correctly in the Reader Followed Sites that got me using it at all, and it’s still the main reason I find myself there. You make a good point. That in Conversations we can reply to any comment means they could include a reply link under all comments on the site. It feels like a trivial fix, actually.

      None of which gives me warm fuzzies about WP. One of these days I’ll write a post about how broken their Categories and Tags handling is. That was a broken design from day one, as far as I can tell. In your RSS feed XML, for instance, all Tags and Categories are <category> elements and, in reality, are just all tags. There is no indication in the feed file as to which tag might be the Category (or Categories) you “posted under.”

      • SelfAwarePatterns

        On Conversations, I know what you mean about it being hard to imagine they haven’t seen it. If they themselves don’t use it, seems like that should be a flag for someone. But that requires someone, developers, managers, etc, to be paying attention.

        Yeah, the reply thing is just annoying. I’ve probably had a dozen conversations over the years explaining to someone why there isn’t a reply link at the max indent, and that I can’t change it. I contacted support back in 2013 or 2014 about it, and have seen other do it since, with the support personnel usually determined not to understand the issue.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Well, as I said, I have been meaning to ask, but it requires a time when I have nothing better to do than sit around waiting for their people to respond. And then, as you say, it becomes a game of convincing them a problem exists and then that they should do something about it. Recently they seem to want to fob me off to some third-party site their developers use, but then I have to create an account and etc. That’s a hard pass. I’m just not that proactive.

        Ha, yeah, I think I’ve seen some of those explanations over the years. I’ve done it myself a few times.

        I’ve been reading more Alastair Reynolds. Since I read Revelation Space and House of Suns, I’ve read Terminal World (ha, airships!), Century Rain, and Slow Bullets. Enjoyed them all. Now if whoever is hoarding Redemption Ark would finish it and return it to the library book… the book has been in a “4 week wait” for almost a month. I’m second in line. How long does it take to read a book?

      • SelfAwarePatterns

        I actually stopped using the chat feature with support a while ago. Now I just email help at wordress dot com. I can submit my issue and move on with life until they respond. (I really hate when vendors force their customers to use chat. It’s not as inconvenient as a phone call, but it still chains us to the computer for the conversation, most of it spent waiting on them.)

        Good deal on Reynolds. You just reminded me that I’ve never read Century Rain. You might check out Chasm City for another book in the Revelation Space universe, but standalone and not in the Inhibitor sequence, although one of its characters does have a brief part in Redemption Ark.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Yeah, I’ve done the email thing, too. It’s usually at that point they point me at that developer’s site. On some level, I think I just don’t care or think it would be worth the effort and disappointment. There’s already enough of the latter; why amplify it?

        Chasm City is in my queue (along with Pushing Ice, Permafrost, and Merlin’s Gun) but none of them are available for immediate checkout. I’ve already got six books on Hold and plenty others in my three queues (Queue, Want to Read, and Possibles). Those I mentioned are in the Queue queue. I’ve also got the Poseidon’s Children Universe trilogy books in the Want to Read queue. Unfortunately, the first one is also currently unavailable.

        So, I detoured. Earlier this week, I read Ben Bova’s Uranus, apparently the first of his outer planets trilogy (the third of which isn’t out, yet). Enjoyed it. The second book, Neptune, is one of the books in my Hold queue (sigh). This outer planets thing is apparently part of a much larger series, the Grand Tour series. Quite a few titles on that list to try!

        So, I detoured again. I’m a bit more than halfway through Greg Egan’s Zendegi.

        The only disadvantage I’ve found to these library e-books is the occasional availability issue. Can make it a bit harder to read a series or trilogy.

      • SelfAwarePatterns

        Ah, you reminded me of another Reynolds book I haven’t read, Pushing Ice. (I’ve read all the others, but they all blur together in my memory.)

        Those queueing issues remind me of what I used to have to deal with in the old Netflix DVD service. It always seems like there was an episode of a show I was going through that someone was sitting on. If I was really into the series and the delay stretched out for any length, I usually ended up just buying it. (Leading to a bloated DVD collection, most of which eventually got discarded.) I was very happy when streaming made all those issues obsolete.

        I think I read some of Bova’s Grand Tour books. I remember the Mars one, but I think there were others. Been a while.

        For some reason, I started reading Roger Zelazny’s Lord of Light. It’s often recommended by sci-fi authors. The description has usually turned me off, but after seeing a fresh recommendation from Charlie Stross, I decided to see what all the fuss was about. It has its moments, but not sure yet whether I’ll finish it. It tends to bog down a lot.

        One nice thing about ebooks, is I can read them without glasses, something I’ve started having to use for physical books. But I’m too impatient to wait on library queues, so now I have a bloated Kindle library. 😜

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Well, I suppose it teaches patience. Or something. I have to say, Kindle does tempt me sometimes. OTOH, free books, so I guess the waiting is the price. At least e-book library bloat doesn’t require bookshelves or lots of boxes when you move. It still kinda blows me away that my entire music library (over 60 gigs) and all my e-books (and a lot of photos) all fit in my pocket and go everywhere with me.

        Uranus is the first Bova I’ve read, probably since I was in high school, and possibly the first novel. I’m sure I’ve encountered his short stories, but so many of those potato chips over the years, few stand out. If I ever read a Ben Bova novel, I’ve forgotten it. I plan to give his Grand Tour books a try. (The two-week wait on Neptune means one person has it and I’m next, so it could become available any day — I believe the “two-weeks” is based on the 21-day loan period and some average of how long people keep loans.

        Neal Stephenson’s latest, Termination Shock just became available, so I’m starting that now.

        As an aside, I saw the library had just added a new manga, Hamlet, supposedly full text (very few productions of Hamlet ever use the full text). Reminded me a little of those old Classics Illustrated comics that, to this day, are still my only knowledge of some classics (like Prisoner of Zenda). I liked the idea of a full text comic of Hamlet, so I checked it out. I only got a few pages before deciding to return it. The opening scene involves a changing of the guard, and it was done in such an overwrought way that by the time the ghost shows up, it hardly stood out. I don’t think manga will ever be my cup of tea. Ah, well, nothing ventured…

      • SelfAwarePatterns

        It seems like maybe one of the earliest books I ever read was by Bova, something about people being exiled into space, then deciding to make an interstellar journey since they were stuck in space anyway. (I’m probably not remembering the premise right since it now sounds really dumb.)

        A Hamlet manga? That’s a strange combination. But I guess the Japanese would be as interested in that story as anyone.

        My interest in manga has faded. I still keep an eye out for Alita updates, or for anything new from Tsutomu Nihei, but that’s about it. There’s some good material out there, but it’s a pain to consume. I actually find it easier to read the pirated material than the official stuff, even though I’m totally willing to buy what I read to support the artist (if it’s available to buy), but the way the publishers make it available is stupid, and I wish the money didn’t have to go through them.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Looking at Wikipedia, sounds like it might be Exiled from Earth (1971)? First book of a trilogy, apparently.

        Yeah, exactly, and I got the impression it was just one of many classics that brand did. Do you remember the Classics Illustrated comics? I do think their efforts are exactly that sort of thing. Bring the classics to new young readers. So that was one issue — full text, perhaps, but with illustration pitched at young minds (hence, I suppose, all the drama in what is usually done as a fairly low-key scene until the ghost shows up).

        There was also that the library app passed me off the browser to read the manga, and either Safari doesn’t have a full-screen mode, or I don’t know how to invoke it, so I had browser bars above and below. And none of that single-frame reading, either. That, the black and white, the general tone of the illustration,… reading a few pages was enough for me. I’d rather put on the Kenneth Branagh version. It’s full text, too, which makes it four hours long, but it’s the best version I’ve ever seen.

      • SelfAwarePatterns

        Exiled from Earth sounds right. I do remember two books, but not a third. Although that probably came down to our local branch library just not having the third one, since that’s where I got the first two.

        I do remember the Classics Illustrated. I think I read the War of the Worlds one. If I’d been older, I probably would have taken a lot more advantage of that series.

        Yeah, the black and white aspect of manga takes some getting used to. And of course remembering to read them from right to left (unless the publisher mirrored them, as they often did in older ones). There are also customs to learn, such as black frames usually indicate a flashback. And very few of them have the single frame advance features of domestic comics. But at least you get more than just superhero stories with them, which seem few and far between in American comics.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Yep, War of the Worlds, I had that one. Between the comic, various movies, and the Orsen Wells radio broadcast, I’ve never felt the need to read the actual book. (At least I don’t recall reading it. My memory is getting more and more like Swiss cheese these days.)

        I like Hamlet enough that I would have put up with all the mechanics of reading a manga and even the black and white (which is even somewhat appropriate for the material), but the overwrought way it was pitched was a deal-breaker. That and having to read it in a browser, which I found distracting. I’ve checked out other library manga that didn’t do that, so that was a surprise.

  • humoringthegoddess

    I appreciate your sentiments about the “new” Word Press.

  • Brian

    I use Reader as far as it presenting me with a list of what I might want to read. To avoid reading someone’s blog in the bland Reader format I click the heading with the middle button/wheel of my mouse which opens the blog in a separate tab and the author’s intended formatting.

    I never actually noticed the Conversations feature until reading what you wrote about it. I generally use the Bell/Notifications icon to reply to/read replies. I think my brain is used to processing things this way because my phone is old and presents SMS messages as individual messages rather than ‘conversations’. Likewise I have the conversations option disabled on my email accounts.

    Years ago WP had a feature whereby it would, as soon as I submitted a post, suggest other people’s posts based on what tags theirs and mine had in common. This was immensely useful for finding like-minded people and blogs of interest and I never forgave WP for losing that feature. It seems the Tag section in Reader is a crappy version of that, but instead of it working automatically based on what you wrote about last you have to think about and manually add the topics you want to receive as suggestions. The old way would keep me on WP for ages after submitting a post while I delved into what other people had written, now I click Publish and leave; Facebook, a platform that is notorious for keeping its audience hooked, would be laughing at WP right now.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Cool! I never knew about that middle button/scroll wheel trick; you taught me something new, thank you! There is a Visit link at the bottom of the listing that does the same thing, but I like the button trick! I’ve discovered, however, that if one has just set their browser to ignore third-party cookies, WordPress stops working in various ways, one of them being that when you do click through to the blog author’s website… one is no longer logged into WP. So, I’ve been having to, one-by-one, allow third party cookies on all the blogs I visit.

      I used the Bell/Notifications icon for responding for a long time. I do most of my blogging from my laptop hooked up to a 27″ monitor, and the small area for replying there, versus much more real estate in Conversations, drew me there. Both of those allow responding directly to a comment, whereas on the actual site, reply links vanish once comments hit the indent max.

      I remember that feature. The Followed Sites section has a weak-ass version of that. At the bottom of one’s post are a pair of links to other posts on the same blog that the system decided might be related. (What’s really dumb is that, if you’ve linked to some of your older posts, it’ll often put those at the bottom, which seems redundant to me. If I’d coded it, I’d avoid explicitly linked posts.) And then, all the way below all the comments, are two more links to (what the system sees as) related posts on other blogs. Exactly as you say, following those links sometimes leads to hours of “wiki walking” (or, in this case, WordPress walking).

      Ouch (on WP’s behalf) on that Facebook observation. Very true and, I’d opine, very condemning. I’m becoming more and more convinced that perceptions of quality and creativity decline… are more than mere perceptions. How disappointing.

  • Depressed and Disappointed | Logos con carne

    […] I’ve also posted about other issues with the WP Reader. […]

  • Wyrd Smythe

    Man, I can’t believe how broken the WP Reader Conversations section (still) is. Now it seems to be entirely hiding new comments. For instance, I expect that, although it will now put this post at the top because of this new comment, it won’t provide any indication that this comment exists.

    In about 24 hours, the very top link will provide the indication, but the comment still won’t be shown in any form unless you click that link.

    … Words just fail me.

  • Wyrd Smythe

    This post has been getting an unusual number of “marketing” Likes — Likes that I’m sure have nothing to do with the post and everything to do with someone’s blog marketing plan. Makes me wonder what stands out about this post that makes it such a target. 🤔🤷🏼‍♂️

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