Freshly Pressed—Be Careful What You Wish For

It seems the goal of many bloggers is to be Freshly Pressed. I even read forums where bloggers complain they haven’t been Freshly Pressed, and damnit they want to know why, and they’re rude to the volunteer moderators!

My experience was totally unexpected. I woke up to 700 hits, and by the end of the day I had 3200 hits and hundreds of comments. I was overwhelmed.

I confess I don’t usually read Freshly Pressed posts, because I get much more satisfaction from new blogs with potential, or any blog I can relate to where the author actually wants to talk to me. I’m here to share, learn, and connect. I enjoy dialogue with likeminded people. It’s not as easy as you think.

Many of the comments I received were extremely generic, “great post” or “loved it.” I began to wonder why people would do this. I went to the Freshly Pressed blogs of that day and found many of the same bloggers who left me generic comments wrote the same comments on other Freshly Pressed blogs. I began to see a disturbing pattern. Many comments were simply a link to that person’s blog! Others came from people trying to sell something. I’m certain they didn’t even read the post, and I did not approve those comments.

The other day I received notification of a pingback, and when I went to the site what I found shocked me. It was set up to look like a news blog, but every post was the first paragraph of a Freshly Pressed blog with a link to their site. The “About” page was blank. However, there was an enormous blogroll of about 50 hardcore Islamic blogs and websites. I wrote a comment under my own pinged post and asked them to remove it. They did not respond.

Under “Blog Info” at the top of any WordPress post is a “Report as Spam” option. A box comes up to state your case. I explained that I thought this site was a front for Islamic sites using Freshly Pressed blogs as a lure. Within about 15 minutes, I got a response from WordPress saying they had shut the site down. When I clicked on the site again, a banner came up that said “This site has been suspended for violations of terms of contract.” I never expected such immediate action. I wrote WP a thank you note and asked if I could write about this experience, to which they replied “of course!”

A friend told me she had similar experiences with other blog publishing platforms before she switched to WordPress. Her requests to delete her blogs have been ignored, four years later she is still getting spam from her former blogs, and that writing the administrators accomplishes nothing.

Those of us who have chosen WordPress have the best blog publisher available. For free. WordPress rocks bigtime. They make it easy to set up, post, and  contact. Problem? They fix it.

I also received sensitive, perceptive, and observant comments and met some new bloggers because of my Freshly Pressed experience, some of whom I am now subscribed to and consider part of my “circle.” I’m not looking for thousands of hits or pingbacks. All I want is mutual, friendly relationships with people who have something to say that I’m interested in. WordPress has them.

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38 responses to “Freshly Pressed—Be Careful What You Wish For

  1. I’ve been on Freshly Pressed a few times and experienced exactly the same thing you did. With the increasing number of hits and comments, the amount of spam I’ve received have gone up as well. I started blogging to share my thoughts but also to connect with others who have similar interests. These days, it’s increasingly difficult to find quality blogs on the Internet, but once in a while, I come across a blog like yours.

    Happy blogging!

    • One thing that bugs me about some blogs is they try to make them more like Facebook than thinking people’s thoughts and experiences. All these lists, awards passed around like chain letters, etc. I swear if they start with Farmville on blogs I’m gonna have a hissy fit.

      • the awards passed around like chain letters was something i was completely unaware of until it happened to me; i do believe that the person who awarded me was actually sincere because she and i share similar interests, but the next step was for me to actually award it to five other bloggers, which i did and was happy to do because i do revere these other bloggers, but then i realized the work that was involved in the “award” and it’s sort of a back-handed compliment. there is no other accolade and like you, i simply want to meet nice people who share similar interests. (i don’t know if you and i do, i just found you when i searched “what is freshly pressed?” on the WP search engine and here i am. i like your style and cadence though so i’ll read more about / from you. and i agree: WP rocks: it’s very writerly oriented. have a great day!

        • Hi Molly, yes regular folks do love to give themselves awards, same as celebrities do. There are so many awards in WP that they have become meaningless. I politely say thank you and decline. Having to pass them on like a chain letter as part of your acceptance really kills that ‘special’ feeling. Can you imagine if they asked Pulitzer prize winners to do that?!

          • no. i like your thank you and decline. i felt obliged when i did / got mine because i was very early in the blog game and was still on blogspot (which STINKS in comparison to WP) and i felt pressure, but not anymore. i feel freer here, on WP, for some reason.

  2. Very true, WordPress does rock! For a free site it is amazing how much support they provide, despite us not being “paying” customers.

    I had a strange problem arise when working on posts, if I used the ctrl+I command to italicize a section, the curser would jump to a previous paragraph and mess up my typing. I wrote WP about the problem and they had the BEST support I have experienced in quite a while. They even hooked me up with a video screen capture program so I could record the problem for further investigation. As a result I am a loyal WP fan.

    As for FP, I used to want to be FP but after hearing your experience I’m hoping it doesn’t happen! I’m building my blog the old fashion way, one reader at a time. So far I have a nice following, discovered some great sites as a result, and enjoy the community being created. I count you among the best of my community 🙂

    • I didn’t even know about that command, I use the open bracket, i, close bracket, then after done with italic section, use open bracket, slash, i, close bracket, this one: (don’t know if that will translate into the code or not). It’s how we did markup code in typesetting so it’s ingrained into me.

      I agree about building your blog one reader at a time. I never thought it would become so important to me. It’s one of the highlights of my uncomfortable life! Thank you!

      • Nope, the italic code didn’t print. It’s the one that’s shown under the comments box. Anyway, if you have any more problems with the command you use, try this one ’cause it’s so easy!

  3. This is the same thing I experienced with my first blog a month or so ago! I wasn’t even on Freshly Pressed, and I didn’t have the comments experience you had. The WordPress support crew was very helpful, my only complaint being that they didn’t see the “problem” as being as urgent as I did, wanting to handle things one link at a time. Sounds like they’ve found the switch to throw to stop this problem.
    I ended up deleting the blog and even an associated email. Gotta love the ‘Net – it is hard to find the people you want, but the scammers can find you in minutes!

    • Oh man you hit it with your last sentence! I think it depends on what you’re looking for. I see blogs with a zillion comments but don’t have one thing in common with either the blogger or the commenters. Which makes it all the more special when you do find a connection, I just love it.

  4. Hi,
    My experience of being Freshly pressed was the same as yours. Many people just left a one or two word comment as if “to be seen” . I was away on holiday at the time with limited internet access. I always try and respond to comments so I was in a right lather!
    I am glad to read WordPress took your complaint seriously and it was sorted immedietly.

    I was introduced to WordPress by my daughter who was previously using blogger…:( enough said. I love the WordPress community and the way they encouraged people to hook up with other bloggers on the PAD and PAW challenge. I’ve met so many wonderful bloggers and we have built a real supportive community 🙂

    • People have come forward and related awful blogging experiences with other publishers, so we are very fortunate to be here on WP.

      Since they do take your complaints so seriously and try to help, it’s all the more annoying when people are rude to the forum moderators. It’s not just about Freshly Pressed, people harass the moderators about all sorts of trivial things. It wastes the volunteer’s time and takes them away from the real problems we sometimes have.

      This blog has been a lifesaver for me. Should have started it long before I did, but I was scared. Tried Facebook first and HATED it. I know I’m in the minority here, but it was a very depressing experience for me!

      • Facebook is a plethora of useless information. A bombardment of disconnected statements on the Wall. There’s no meaningful exchange. Just a bunch of chatter. To me, at least. Maybe I don’t know how to use it. But it seems more of a vehicle for people to brag about themselves and build long lists of “friends”, people they don’t actually know much about.

        I’m on Team WordPress. There’s real community here (and I’m still relatively new). Deeper conversation. A desire to share, and learn. More thought goes into each post, and more thought goes into most comments. Quality, not quantity. I’m glad to be here.

        • There is no “way to use it” except to be as shallow as everybody else. I hated it. I can’t understand the stress over the accumulation of “friends.” They’re not your friends, and you’re telling them personal information. The bragging, the lists, the games, the stalking, the time wasting…I was enormously uncomfortable with it. And the only people who found me from my past were people I never wanted to hear from again anyway.

          Blogging is for people who think. I’m glad you’re here too.

  5. Thanky for sharing this with us all. Being new to Blogging and all that comes with it, I was wondering if it was just. My experience with Blogging thus far has been mind blowing. Am just so impressed with the diversity of interests, passion and for the genuine consideration towards fellow bloggers as well as for the readers of the ‘shtufffs’ that has been posted -a world unto itself of warm and creative people. Is it perfect. No. But am enjoying the ride. I feel like am back in Art School again and that’s not a bad thing.

    I have already experienced these nuisance sites and Comment Spammers. Actually just received a spam from IP address 95.65.74.220 in Moldova. If you or your readers receive then kill it.
    FYI…..Did a little investigation, it appears to be a comment spider that has been out there for about 4 years.

    • Well, not all bloggers are considerate. But diverse, yes! Anything you want…yet I still have to hunt for people I can truly open up to. Sometimes I find a blog I really like and they never respond, so I move on. That I do not understand, because without connection, why do it?

      Yes many spammers come from far corners of the world, which I love, but their blogs are not in English so I can’t read them. I just have to assume they’re spam and not approve them. But WordPress also does a great job of catching spam!

      • No they are not all considerate. So I just shuffle onward. I just cannot believe how fortunate I have been to trip over the good un’s. Must have my Forrest Gump shoes on.

  6. I’m a WordPress fan too. I’ve never had a problem with them. It truly is remarkable.

    Can’t say I’ve ever heard of freshly pressed. I must be a true ludite! After reading what you had to say I wasn’t sure If I wanted to check it out or not.

    You always have such amazing experiences no matter what it is you are doing. It is remarkable, and fun for all of us to hear about. Thanks.

    • I thought you were on Disqus…didn’t know you switched to WP, so I’m out of the loop too. You should check out Freshly Pressed, because I’m certain you’re going to end up there one day soon!

      • I just use Discus for the platform for comments. The main web page is Word Press based. I doubt I’ll ever find my way to Freshly Pressed. My titles are too boring. Now your titles, wow, they really grab me before I even read what you have written.

  7. I suppose everyone would like to make it to the front page at least once. I really could care less. I have come to the conclusion that it is probably a lottery win anyways. My blog is political and believe me when I say I get some absolute nuts leaving me comments. Recently I decided to remove some posts that referenced my family, after someone commented on my little girl. You can imagine how that went. Everyone, especially the new bloggers need to use caution while blogging.
    You are doing a great job Debra.

  8. Thank you. Please be careful. A controversial blogger I know told me a hater emailed her a picture of her house from Google Earth. (She called the police.)

    I’m still learning, and am much more cautious now than when I started. Still, we’re out there, accessible, and most of us are trusting souls. But there are an awful lot of fanatics of all kinds out there, cyberfueled by whatever group they identify with.

    A lot of people use pseudonyms, but that would take the fun out of blogging for me. I yam who I yam.

  9. Just curious- which post of yours was Freshly Pressed?

    Is getting on Freshly Pressed just random luck?

  10. In late March I wrote a post called “So You’ve Never Been Freshly Pressed.” My analysis of a blogger’s chances of being Freshly Pressed says that the selection process is very much like a lottery. There are a few things a blogger can do to improve their chances, but after that, it is a matter of luck! However, once you have been Freshly Pressed, your statistical odds of being selected again go up.
    I think it would be safe to say that most of us Never Discovered bloggers in the trenches would still like to experience the good and the bad of being Freshly Pressed!

  11. It may be an initial lottery to choose from half a million posts a day, and maybe there is some luck involved in that. They probably choose posts they think will appeal to many tastes. They tell you what they’re looking for. I wasn’t trying to get on it. Good luck!

  12. A most interesting post. I believe the reason why your blog is so popular is you have something worthy to say, you write in an accessible but not condescending manner and you have information and/or thought provoking comments to impart.

  13. Awwww, shucks. Thanks J Leo.

  14. This post was very interesting to read. I haven’t been featured on FP but it’s my dream. Thanks for warning me about spammers though. I’ve had a few spam comments lately but nothing too serious. I like your blog. It isn’t easy to find a nice good quality one these days. 🙂

  15. Hello Eva,

    Why is FP your dream?

    Do you rescue horses too, and ride? Do you have a horse of your own? I’m afraid I can’t read animal stories, they make me too sad.

    Thanks for writing.

  16. Currently I don’t use tags, instead I use categories and, as far as I know, Freshly Pressed posts are found via tags (probably amonst other criteria), so I’m hoping I won’t ever get Freshly Pressed as this has happened to so many people I’ve come across. I don’t like it, the dumbed-down commenting, particularly when it’s for the purpose you mention – gathering links, etc.

    I enjoy getting to know people via their responses to my comments in their posts and their comments in my blog, but these days a lot of my ability to follow through on more than one or two comments and responses has been lowered by a bp-reducing medicine I’m on and my inability to sleep at night. But I do try very hard to keep up with people’s blogs I’m interested in and their authors. I reply to all, or at any rate, nearly all, comments in my blog, I think it’s important.

  17. I meant to add to that comment that I also hated Facebook (tried it, it wasn’t for me at all.) and so far I love WordPress. (September will have been blogging here two years).

  18. Well, I think I learned more about Freshly Pressed than if I went onto their sight to see what all the fuss is about. So I have to say “thanks” for all the inside info. Had thought I wouldn’t mind getting “pressed,” but I guess now I can go on my merry, old way as an undiscovered hobbit. I get visitors, and some regular friends with whom I chat…what more could a a blogger want?

    contented…but still…hmmm… 😉 will be adding you to my blogroll…so i make sure to be back to visit. 🙂

  19. Hi hugmamma, it’s really quite a bother. There’s so much self-promotion in many of the comments that you quickly begin to see the phoniness. All those people who wrote the one-liners never came back to my blog—it was all about getting their gravatar on an FP’d post. Yuck. Thanks for writing, and you’re right—chatting with like-minded people is much more rewarding!

  20. Hello! I am brand new to the blogging world and came across this post when I typed “What is freshly pressed?” into the wordpress search bar. I am hoping you can give me some perspective on blogging. Everyone says there is so much community and that it is great to find people with similar interests, but I seem stuck on my own blog. How do I go about discovering other quality blogs? How would random bloggers go about finding mine? Aren’t there thousands of bloggers with thousands of new posts every day? Looking forward to understanding more in the weeks to come…for now creating my page and posting has been pretty fun!

    • Hi, search the tags for “running” or whatever your interests are and leave comments. It’s not such a strong community as you think, and if you write about anything controversial you’ll get hate mail. I’m finding myself sort of disillusioned with it at the moment. I’m all about discussion, but many bloggers just want praise. There’s an enormous amount of “me me me.” Good luck.

  21. First off, congratulations on getting Freshly Pressed! But your tale is definitely a cautionary one, especially for someone like me who does book reviews. I love thoughtful comments from fellow readers on my reviews, but sometimes it’s obvious they’re just trying to get me to check out their blog. I still approve these comments because my blog is fairly new and I’ve gotten very few comments, but I commend you for not approving the comments from people who didn’t even read your post. Would you still say getting Freshly Pressed is a worthwhile goal?

    • Hi Carrie, no, I don’t see it as a goal at all. It was a complete surprise for me, I wasn’t expecting it. I think it may have happened because it was a tame, noncontroversial post with lots of pictures, which is what they seem to look for. Look at the Freshly Pressed page when you log in—not very interesting stuff, at least not to me. Lots of food and travel posts—meh. Blogs are built by commenting on other blogs. If they don’t answer I don’t go back. It’s a lot of work to find likeminded folks. Good luck and keep at it.

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