Ephraim of Reflective Thinking has pretty strong views on Freshly Pressed. He cites two reasons why WordPress should not have “Freshly Pressed”:
1. the process of selecting blogs which are featured in the Freshly Pressed section is deeply flawed; and
2. it encourages a culture of competition which has no place in the blogosphere.
I completely agree with Ephraim on point 1 but I have some reservations on point 2. Here’s why:
To the credit of the WordPress editors, they have issued a number of pointers already on “What makes a post Freshly Press-able.” But these were done on a piecemeal (i.e., weekly) basis and in a way that conveys that they are still trying to figure out what they like and don’t like. It’s no different to a situation where judges are still figuring out what goes into the criteria for judgment while concurrently reviewing the contest entries.
But the one thing that I find especially problematic is that blurb which says “The best of xxxx bloggers, xxxx new posts…” This is very misleading to say the least. It conveys that they have reviewed thousands of blogposts from which they have selected the cream of the crop–the 19 WordPressers who get to be featured on Freshly Pressed. The truth though is that Freshly Pressed only has a handful of staffers who can only review a limited number of blogs.
In short, I have no problems with this culture of competition that Freshly Pressed purportedly cultivates as long as the competition mechanics are clear and fair.
Here then are my suggestions for the WordPress editors:
- Compile those ‘What makes a post Freshly Press-able” write-ups into a neat primer and display this prominently in the Freshly Pressed section.
- At the minimum, the FP blurb — “The best of xxxx bloggers, xxxx new posts, xxxx comments & xxxx words posted today on WordPress.com” — should be revised for the sake of transparency. Heck, you are good at churning those impressive stats anyway so why not something like “the best of xxxx number of new posts reviewed by WordPress Editors today”?
How about you? What’s your take on WordPress’ Freshly Pressed?