I admit that I stopped regularly reading Freshly Pressed a long time ago. Partially as a time-saving measure, partially because I have so many fabulous blogs to follow that I barely have enough time to read them all, and partially because of a few too many Freshly Pressed posts that I personally thought were poorly written and uninteresting.
Yet that page still dangles before me.
I had managed to push Freshly Pressed out of my line of sight, focusing on writing posts I could be proud of and trying to keep up with all the fabulous posts I want to read each day, while (hopefully) contributing comments that helped me grow as a writer and a member of the community. While my blog hasn’t grown hugely, a few new friends join me every once in a while, and I have found some wonderful new blogs to follow myself. Once in a while an FP headline jumps out at me, and I wander over for a look, but for the most part I have been content with my quiet little circle of WordPress universe.
However, recent events have brought Freshly Pressed back into focus.
Perhaps it started when Jim Chaney, over at the Wordslinger had his (I believe third) Freshly Pressed post picked, called “Stop! In the Name Of . . . Terrible Baby Names”. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think Jim’s post was fabulously funny, and all the posts that he has written that went on to Freshly Pressed fame were wonderful. But, if (as I thought) FP is selected somewhat randomly, why then do some bloggers get an overabundance, and others get zilch, nada, zip–including posts that really should have their moment to shine?
A couple of days ago I wrote a post about the success of a program I started last spring, and linked to one of my original posts about the program. The fabulous Kathryn McCullough, who loved the original post from the beginning, wrote this:
That led to a Facebook discussion with another blogger about some of the (possible) secrets of Freshly Pressed. I will not go into details here.
I pushed the question into the back of my mind for a while, until I read Kathy’s fabulous post yesterday called, “Top 10 Reasons to Join the Bloggy Blast”. Kathryn has written numerous posts that should be read by millions of readers. This one was timely, as I sink into questioning “why bother” and wondering where all this writing and blogging is even taking me. Her post reminded me of the unexpected rewards of joining and maintaining a blogging community. At the same time, she brought into clear focus the ever-present shadow of Freshly Pressed, by writing
“It used to be that writers and artists gathered at literal locations like the Algonquin Round Table during the 1920s. Today bloggers gather at a place likeFreshly Pressed—present the best of their work and hone their craft. I may have felt honored to have my work featured on Freshly Pressed, but more importantly, a forum like Freshly Pressed offers examples of excellent work that other bloggers can strive to emulate. It demonstrates what works. It shows us how to be better writers, stronger photographers, more daring and accomplished artists.”
Freshly Pressed came back to my radar.
So I wrote an e-mail. I made a suggestion. Here is an excerpt of what I wrote:
. . . I began wondering if there was a way to make FP more representative of the true quality of work out there. Many times I have read posts that deserve a broader audience, either for the quality of writing, the beauty of the images, or the importance of the message (or some combination of the three). Yet those posts rarely get recognition (although I have indeed called it a few times). Would it be possible to add a NOMINATE FOR FRESHLY PRESSED BUTTON to all posts, with guidelines like: You can only nominate 1 post a day; you cannot nominate yourself (otherwise you will be inundated with bloggers who just want attention); posts must contain original images or appropriate accreditation of sources; and so on (you know best).
I know that doing this would mean you would have tons of posts to sort through, but it would also give some attention to bloggers who are really creating work worthy of their fifteen minutes of fame and fortune (Ha! Ha!). I also think it would strengthen FP and the WordPress Community.
And here is the response:
“Thanks so much for taking the time to share your suggestion with us — it’s a fantastic idea! The idea has come up before, and although it isn’t currently on our to-do list, it’s certainly on our radar.
In the mean time, feel free to pass on nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org“
WordPress.com | Automattic
So let’s do it. Let’s start sending her nominations for those stories that we feel truly should reach broader audiences. I’m not talking about our own egos here, where we claim our own writing is the most glorious thing in the universe and dangle even the most mediocre piece in front of her eyes. NO! I mean, let’s be thoughtful and nominate posts we read that we think deserve a little moment in the light of the wider blogging universe.
Of course, there should be some sort of criteria. Some of the things that make a post stand out for me, and make me wish others would read it too, include:
- quality writing and/or images
- a message that speaks to a wide audience
- a message that needs to be heard
- a post that makes you think or feel, whether that feeling is laughter or tears
- truth and honesty
- a post that doesn’t try too hard
- . . .
What about you? What are your criteria for a post that you think should be Freshly Pressed?
I am not saying inundate them with nominations, but lets be thoughtful and really try to promote each other’s best work. I nominated someone today. I won’t tell you who unless my nomination turns into success.
Anyone want to join me in taking over Freshly Pressed?
It works!!!! The blog I nominated was Kathy’s wonderful post which got Freshly Pressed today (April 17) !!! They even sent me an e-mail to let me know. Can I have a WOO HOO!