I’m Blue – WordPress Sucks the Joy Out of Blogging

Actually, the Photo Challenge this week is simply the word Blue, but I’m feeling Blue so that is what today’s post will be about.

It has been one of those weeks. Nothing bad happened, but a series of little things coincided with a shift in the ‘feel fine’ chemical brew that keeps me on an even keel. The result is, and always has been, several days of living with a black cloud hanging right over my head.

Not an awesomely beautiful black cloud like the ones I sometimes see in the blue morning sky over the hay field. No, a dismal, dull black cloud that wants to suck the life out of everything.  (If you are into Harry Potter, think dementors, only not quite as evil as that.) But bad enough that a small feast of chocolate does nothing to lift me out of morose. (And it didn’t help my mood at all to watch the season finale of NCIS last night, either. It looks like Ducky has met his demise. Trust television to kill off a senior.)

I had hoped this morning would see the clouds lift, and it might have if I had not logged into WordPress.com to write this post.  I shouldn’t have read their latest weblog called ‘Stay in the Conversation’  because it didn’t brighten things up at all. In their infinite wisdom, the WordPress team has decided that by default, everyone who comments on a WordPress blog post will now be subscribed to all the comments for that post. That means you get an email in your inbox every time someone else comments on that post. If you do not want a full inbox, and you have a WordPress account, you can turn this feature off, (go to your WordPress Reader and click ‘Manage Email Delivery Settings. Or you can manage it on a post by post basis by unchecking the appropriate box under the comment you make). If you do not have a WordPress account, and you want to turn this feature off, they suggest you open a WordPress account. (I could remove the requirement that you must leave your name and email address when you leave a comment on my blog. If WordPress doesn’t have your email address, then they can’t send you comments you don’t want. But for now, I will remove the option to subscribe to comments at all.)

(PS:  The very next day, WordPress withdrew this feature with the following announcement:

Update (May 17): Since this feature went live we’ve had a bunch of feedback and it looks like following comments by default is not a good fit for a lot of bloggers (and their readers) after all. We looked at a few different options, but for now we’ve just changed things back to how they were before. To follow a conversation, make sure you check the box when you post a comment.)

I hate this ‘Opt Out’ mentality. If you want out, push this button. Well, I do want out, and it is for that reason I’m going to take a blogging break. I’ll still post, but less frequently. I’ll read others blogs, but not as often. I need to step away from the WordPress rat race for a while. I’m letting it suck the joy out of blogging.

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37 comments

  1. Oh, please don’t opt out. I love your posts and your comments. I agree with you entirely about the aggravation of the follow up comments thing – YUK. But today I am making myself UNCHECK the nasty little box every time. The dark cloud is lifting as I develop this new “unchecking” habit. It’s kinda like quitting smoking! Feels great! Chin up! Be happy! Don’t let ’em get the best of you.

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  2. Hi,
    Yes I also read the WP message, and was amazed. I have been following the complaints in the forums and there are hundreds of them about this stupid change to comments. For them to say that people like it is not true as far as I am concerned,

    I love your photo, and taking a bit of a break sounds like a good idea, relax and enjoy. 🙂

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    • Hi Mags – I posted a comment on the blog that announced this new feature. I said “I think this feature should be opt in, not opt out. Why do you presume that the majority of your blogging customers and their readers want an inbox full of comments just because they took a few moments to leave a comment on a blog? This seems, to me, like email spam, pure and simple.”

      My comment is still “waiting moderation” and has not been allowed. I suppose I shouldn’t voice my opinion when I am feeling snarky.

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  3. I so hate it that you are down in the dumps, Margie. If stepping away from this blogging business will help in some small way, then by all means do it and come back to us refreshed. I had no idea that was why I was getting all those comments in my inbox all of a sudden. Thanks for the info on how to correct that!

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    • Thanks for caring! You are right, I need to step away from the blog until I can find a better perspective.

      Yes, that is why your inbox is full. It is a relatively easy thing to fix for WordPress bloggers, but not so easy for those who don’t have WordPress accounts. Another fix I will consider is to turn off the option to subscribe to comments on my blog.

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  4. I thank you for voicing the frustration I am feeling as well so eloquently. It is too bad when others make decisions for us. Good for you, making choices on your own and thanks for the tip on how to turn off the automatic comments!

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    • Yes, it is frustrating when the selections you make for your blog are arbitrarily reversed. Personally, I don’t think WordPress thinks these changes through before they force them onto 35 million or so blogs and 345 million readers.

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  5. Here’s hoping that the clouds lift soon and you’ll be back. So many social media outlets make these blanket decisions, usually annoying to me – I usually chalk it up to my being a dinosaur, then make whatever setting changes I can to keep me content… ;-0

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    • Yes, blanket decisions, without much consideration of the impact. WordPress says there are 400,000 comments made per day on WordPress blogs. If each of those comments is now emailed to every one of the other bloggers who left comments on a particular post, well, the number of new emails that are generated is staggering.
      When I opened my email this afternoon, there were 17 emails in my inbox because of one comment I made at WordPress.com News (the comment that is being held in moderation.) If I had left comments at the other blogs I normally comment at, I would probably have had at least a hundred unasked for emails in my inbox (before I figured out what was going on!)

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  6. I hear you, Margie, and feel the same way. I’ve noticed less activity on my blog. I think people are burned out and I’m feeling burned out, too. WordPress shot itself in the foot on this one. But other factors maybe be afoot here, too. Who knows?

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    • You are right Lorna – I don’t think we are alone in thinking that the captains of the WordPress ship have lost sight of what their goal once was. I suppose big time growth and success does that. Their dictatorial actions of late have resulted in some long time supporters abandoning the help they once so freely gave in the forums.

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  7. You spoke for many, and you spoke eloquently.

    I’m no stranger to that dark cloud. It makes an appearance sometimes, and refuses to be dislodged. Even by chocolate (a very bad sign).

    It will pass eventually. Hang tough, and know your fans are pulling for you.

    There are times when one has to step away. No explanation required. Like so many things, blogging has its joyful peaks. At other times, an entirely different picture comes into painfully sharp focus: just another rat race– and to what purpose??

    Time for a break, rest up, and as soon as it stops snowing, get out there and let the sun shine on your face! : )

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  8. Sorry to hear you are in a funk. I’m sure the cabin will help immensely – we arrived at ours this past weekend and I have to say that even with the weather a little on the cool side, it is wonderful to be here! Enjoy your break from writing – it will be a pleasant surprise to find you in my e-mail when you get back at it!

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  9. I could relate so much to this post…I had that kind of week too! The chemical brew of my well-being gets out of whack so easily…too little sleep, too much or not enough work, my diet, it all affects me. Feel better soon; love your blog.

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  10. I’ve been in a bit of a ‘blue mood’ myself this past week – maybe it’s the change in weather?!?!?! I only post once a week and sometimes I have to force myself to do my ‘Sunday duty’; I don’ t know quite how people like yourself post several times a week (but good for you). Take your well-deserved rest and come back refreshed (oh, and David McCallum has renewed his contract with NCIS for 2013 so Ducky survives. YAY! Far too many shows are suffering from ‘Who Shot J.R.?’ cliffhanger syndrome – just finish on a high note and let us look forward to the new season without worrying about who will survive and/or disappear each season – PLEASE!) Enjoy your respite and I’ll look forward to your return!

    Margo

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    • Hi Margo – you’ve made my day – NCIS would not be right without Ducky!
      I enjoy blogging, but it is taking up a lot of time – time to pull back for a while and spend time in the yard, at the cabin, and doing a few other things!

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