Let’s Take Over Freshly Pressed

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 editor@wordpress.com

Happy blogging,

Erica
Story Wrangler
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?

UPDATE

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!

51 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dan Bain
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 08:10:59

    Good idea!

    Reply

  2. CMSmith
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 08:19:18

    It’s good to know there is a way to bring a good post to the attention of the editors, Lisa. Thanks for that.

    I, for one, am not necessarily in favor of a voting type method being employed. Do you ever watch Dancing with the Stars? Too many times I’ve had to watch talented dancers with high judges scores get kicked off the show because someone very popular, Bristol Palin comes to mind, has the fan votes. Then I have to bear watching them for nearly the duration of the show. I’m not trying to be cruel, just pointing out a feature of human nature to support someone they like regardless of relative quality.

    I rarely even visit the FP page. I concentrate on putting out something readers might enjoy, might search for, or might want to pass along. I also am neck deep in bloggers’ posts who I try, and want,, to continue to follow. That’s where I spend my time.

    I’ve grateful when I’ve had the honor of being FP. It’s always been a surprise and feels a little like winning the lottery.

    Reply

    • Lisa Wields Words
      Apr 13, 2012 @ 08:53:50

      I am not suggesting a voting for most popular by any means, as I completely agree with you. I just think there should be a way of nominating, or bringing quality posts, to the attention to the decision makers as too many never get noticed. You so often have posts that the world should read.

      I really am not focused on FP, it was just on my mind this morning.

      Reply

  3. Stuart Nager
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 08:21:04

    I have looked at FP maybe three or four times in the one year plus I’ve been blogging. Never really entered my conciousness. Hope this works for you, Lisa. I’ll support you how I can.

    Reply

    • Lisa Wields Words
      Apr 13, 2012 @ 08:52:02

      I hope this didn’t come off as a plea to nominate me for FP. I am really trying to work on not looking for accolades, but doing my best for myself and the readers who I enjoy (you included). I just dislike the randomness of it, if FP is supposed to represent the best quality.

      Reply

  4. Victoria-writes
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 08:33:06

    I think that’s a great idea Lisa and I will definitely email a nomination when one grabs me. I read so many great posts and wonder why they’re not chosen. I had to smile at you picking out the baby names one as I wrote one on that subject but alas was not picked for FP 😉 I blame my unlucky gene! I would jump for joy to see you up there.

    Reply

    • Lisa Wields Words
      Apr 13, 2012 @ 08:50:44

      The key, I think,is to wait for something to really grab you. I really don’t care if I ever get FP, I am just tired of good posts by others being ignored. I’m not holding my breath, and this was not a plea to nominate me.

      Reply

  5. madelinelaughs
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 08:40:38

    That is a fantastic suggestion and I like your idea for submitting our favorites too. I read the rules for being considered a long while ago and had to just give up ever being on Freshly Pressed. In our blog we drop the F bomb and that is not allowed.

    Reply

  6. creatingreciprocity
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 08:49:49

    That is a great idea and may make the system more representative.

    Reply

  7. lisaspiral
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 08:57:00

    I have also noted that Freshly Pressed does not seem to have a consistency of quality of posts. For awhile I wondered if it was just that I wasn’t interested in some of the topics, but no that’s not it. I also wondered how they get chosen. Thanks for the insight.

    Reply

    • Lisa Wields Words
      Apr 13, 2012 @ 08:59:04

      I am still not quite sure how they are chosen, but I think if we make a statement saying we want it to be truly representative of the good work out there, we can make a difference.

      Reply

  8. sportsjim81
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 09:30:13

    Lisa,
    First, thanks for mentioning my post. I’m glad you enjoyed it, along with the others I’ve had land on FP. Now about your idea…LOVE IT!

    When my last post landed on FP, it seemed to do exactly what I had hoped, generate a lot of fun back and forth regarding funny baby names. It wasn’t meant to be full of deep thoughts or earth shattering prose, just a fun way for folks to interact. And interact they did, to the tune of 1300 or so comments. Anyway, my point is that while I thought that post was deserving for its ability to generate conversation, I agree that some posts (including my own past pieces) aren’t really the “best of WordPress”. I’ll be the first to admit that the majority of my work is directed to the readers that follow me and I don’t expect to get the FP nod, but as you said, some blogs that I read hit the nail on the head every time and yet have never landed on the front page.

    I’m glad you brought this to the attention of the “Story Wrangler” and that you got a response that is at least a step in the right direction. I’d be glad to nominate any number of your posts for the honor by the way, as you always find a way to engage me with your writing. Great post, great ideas, and so happy to be on board with you!

    Jim aka The Wordslinger

    Reply

    • Lisa Wields Words
      Apr 13, 2012 @ 13:23:16

      I hope you know this wasn’t a plea for nomination. I actually am quite happy with where my blog is at the moment, and would not be able to handle 1300 comments (which is very cool by the way) But I know some bloggers who really feel down by their inability to get the golden ring. I guess I question the purpose of FP if it doesn’t either spark conversation (like yours did, obviously) or represent quality. Sometimes it does, but not always.

      Lisa

      Reply

      • sportsjim81
        Apr 13, 2012 @ 13:29:02

        I completely agree. There have been many times where I click on a post, and find a mere 200 words of poor grammar, incomplete thoughts, and completely un-engaging writing. I also have a little bit of an issue with the amount of photography blogs that seem to show up there. Sometimes there will be 4 or 5 on the same day. There definitely needs to be a better way to showcase talent, not sure what that way is, but we should work on it!

        Reply

  9. thelifeofjamie
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 10:05:31

    That’s a good idea! I’m in.

    Reply

  10. Life in the Boomer Lane
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 10:09:09

    You present some great ideas. I love the idea of a Freshly Pressed button. Or will that be like American Idol voting? I have been Freshly Pressed 635 times, but I tell the powers that be to hide my post. I don’t want others to feel bad.

    Reply

    • Lisa Wields Words
      Apr 13, 2012 @ 13:11:49

      I would hate it if is was like American Idol voting. I just think it would be nice to say,” hey you editors who decide who to put on Freshly Pressed, look at this post!” but I wouldn’t want it to be a popularity contest or a way for the egos to promote only themselves.

      Now, seriously?! 635 times! That’s amazing, and well-deserved as your posts are always wonderful. But it also points to a flaw in the system. Obviously one of the powers loves you and follows you, but that means that the pool is limited to those people that someone in power actually reads.

      Reply

  11. Andra Watkins
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 11:11:53

    I’m glad they responded receptively, Lisa. I’m always happy to nominate anyone I read, and I’ll start doing that.

    Reply

  12. speccy
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 13:43:42

    Excellent idea, Lisa. I’m often baffled by what makes it to FP when so many fabulous things don’t. I’ll start to nominate too.

    Reply

  13. Piglet in Portugal
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 15:45:07

    Hi Lisa, I can’t understand why some posts are freshly pressed, either. However, if someone has been FP three times I can only say they better be doing the lottery if they are that lucky. However, I NEVER look at the FP page now purely because I follow a lot of blogs and comment regulary.

    However, I think your idea is great and it will be nice to have the option of nominating a post. 🙂

    Reply

  14. thepetalpusher
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 18:16:27

    While I have seen photos of excellent quality, I have also seen mediocre ones. You can only imagine my disappointment when this happens. I stopped reading FP for that reason. Once I did read one of the photographer’s writing and, as an English teacher, was appalled! Good idea, Lisa. I do like it.

    Reply

    • Lisa Wields Words
      Apr 13, 2012 @ 22:21:58

      I know, sometimes the writing makes me cringe. And, if a photograph (on a photo blog) doesn’t make me think, I wish I could take that picture, then I wonder why that blog was picked.

      Reply

  15. Sparks In Shadow
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 22:21:31

    I like the idea of different types of posts being gathered together for the FP page. The rise in redundant or uninteresting photography posts there shows some laziness on the part of whoever’s doing the choosing. At least that’s what I think.

    I definitely believe that ideas should be there, too. Not just well-written, illuminating political ones, but on my own I’ve come across great entertainment ideas for blogs that I think are only gone now because the writer didn’t have many readers and couldn’t see the value of spending that much time on them on in this economy. I’ve been waiting patiently for a couple of people to write some new posts, but I’m afraid they never will.

    If you watch TV programs like the morning shows, you might notice that if anything freshly pressed has entertainment ‘legs’, they talk about it. I thought that was what it was for until I realized how many awfully-written or even yawn inspiring posts get pressed.

    Mainly, this subject just confuses me.

    Reply

    • Lisa Wields Words
      Apr 13, 2012 @ 22:24:32

      Ideas are important, and as long as the idea is interesting I can handle it not being the most brilliant writing. Too often, however, there is a combination of dull ideas with poor writing, and that just seems wrong to me if the post is being given extra notice.

      Reply

  16. benzeknees
    Apr 14, 2012 @ 02:39:03

    I love the way your mind works Lisa! I rarely go to the FP page unless someone I know gets nominated. I love the people I follow & in turn when they have recommended someone as a good writer, I go check them out & if I agree I follow the other writer as well. There are times when I come across something wonderfully written (& I do think some of your posts would qualify, especially the one where you enjoined women to stand up for themselves) & have thought “How did this not make FP?” Now I know I can nominate someone & I like the idea of having a say, even if nothing ever comes of it. Thanks for the research Lisa!

    Reply

    • Lisa Wields Words
      Apr 14, 2012 @ 08:31:18

      It is kind of empowering, isn’t it? I have to say, “Today I Speak for Women” is the one post of mine that I wish had reached a wider audience, not because of what I wrote (I am my harshest critic) but because of the importance of the message.

      Reply

  17. 4amWriter
    Apr 14, 2012 @ 06:13:28

    I think this is a cool idea. When I first started blogging, I had no idea who to follow or how to get followers. I happened to see a FP post with the Writing tag, so I thought ‘okay, I’ll read it as I probably can relate’ and ended up following this particular blogger. She followed me back and we’ve stayed in touch since.

    I have only followed one other blogger who has been FP’d since that first one. And I think it’s like you say–many of the posts that are FP’d don’t really entice me. I’ll peruse FP once in a while, and if I see a post that is writing-related (which is my main reason I blog) then I’ll read the post.

    But I don’t just automatically follow that blog simply b/c of one great post. I read past posts made by these FP’d bloggers to see if they are consistently interesting, compelling, written with quality, etc.

    Sadly, they usually aren’t. So, I don’t follow them. It becomes a popularity contest once someone is FP’d and I was never one of the popular girls in school so I don’t play those reindeer games. 🙂

    However. That being said–I would totally be up for nominating a post that I personally thought was stellar, but I will have to say that I’d only do it if I thought the post would be far-reaching and meaningful to a wide audience. Not just me.

    Reply

    • Lisa Wields Words
      Apr 14, 2012 @ 08:29:37

      I think I found a few people on FP, but only a few. Most of the people I follow I found through other people’s recommendations. Sometimes I find people through their comments on my posts, or because they followed me (although I don’t automatically follow someone if they follow me, I simply don’t have the time for that).

      I agree, I think that an FP post should be an FP post because it has a more global appeal, because it needs to be read/heard/seen by a wider audience. i think too often the posts that end up there are, for some reason, just about trying to raise someone’s numbers, not about the work.

      Reply

  18. Kathryn McCullough
    Apr 14, 2012 @ 06:59:12

    Oh, Lisa, this is a great idea! I totally love it. And thanks so much for the shout-out! Frankly, I’m shocked they didn’t add such a button for a long time. Great to know also that we can nominate at that email address. Love it!
    Hugs,
    Kathy

    Reply

  19. tuesday2
    Apr 14, 2012 @ 12:23:42

    Here’s to ‘power in numbers’ 😀

    Reply

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  21. whatimeant2say
    Apr 14, 2012 @ 18:57:02

    Love this idea. At the very least, there could be a Reader’s Choice Page or something of the sort!

    Reply

  22. Janis Justis HSP
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 02:21:08

    Fantastic! I nominate this piece and will do so asap 🙂 Love the idea. So much talent out there. Not all cookie cutter mainstream either but that’s why I love it all so much in this blogging community. We dare to be different. Thank you so much for coming up with this concept!

    Reply

  23. Dana
    Apr 16, 2012 @ 23:50:05

    I think this is a marvelous idea, Lisa. Like Christine mentioned above, it would lose its appeal really quickly if it became like an American Idol-style popularity contest, but it would be nice to highlight really interesting posts to the WP editors with a simple click of a button.

    I used to read FP fairly regularly (mostly when I was looking for new blogs to follow, aka when I was new to blogging and didn’t know how to find anybody else’s blog except for close friends in real life). Now I’m having a hard enough time keeping up with the blogs I follow *already*– I don’t need FP to tell me who else to follow. It seems really random to me… 🙂

    Reply

    • Lisa Wields Words
      Apr 17, 2012 @ 08:33:27

      Thanks, Dana. The funny thing is, since I wrote this post I care even less about FP. I just know too many people who have set that as a goal, and it seems like they shouldn’t if it only represents randomness.

      Reply

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  25. nrhatch
    May 23, 2012 @ 14:49:39

    You might be interested in the new nomination forms:
    http://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/dont-wait-to-be-freshly-pressed/

    Reply

  26. Bronwyn Lea
    Jul 23, 2013 @ 01:56:19

    I found your post because I was looking for a way to nominate a great post… Thank you! Great idea!

    Reply

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