The Friend Surfer, with knobs on

Wow, feedback about the Friend Surfer has been very positive with some great ideas which I’ve been working on today:

  1. “Subscribe to blog” is in. Just type the url of a blog into the textbox on the left of the page to subscribe to it and track the posts on it.
  2. If you mark your blog as non-public so it doesn’t show on listings and pages around then it won’t appear when someone adds you as a friend, but someone can still subscribe directly to that blog.
  3. If you mark your blog as private then anyone who has subscribed to it in the past will be kicked off and lose access. It goes without saying, that private blogs can’t be subscribed to in the first place, but if you’re a member of a private blog, you’ll automatically be subscribed to it.

Thanks for all the great feedback, and I hope you find the new features useful!

Later… after much discussion the Friend Surfer just got another face lift. Instead of adding users, you can only add blogs now. It makes things easier to understand because there are now just “Public Blogs” and “Private Blogs”. With knobs on indeed!

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  1. Matt

    Nice improvements. :)

  2. adam

    clever solutions, thank you.

  3. Sha

    Woohoo. Love the new features!

  4. thefly

    Nifty tool , thanks again

  5. axewielderx

    People can already subscribe to blogs, in fact, any rss feed via their browsers.I did not see much use in the friend surfer and I also do not see much use in this.While I appreciate you are working to try improve the user experience here. I have to question what is being done that is useful.

  6. Maz

    cool, I’m loving the friend surfer.

  7. engtech

    Thanks for the update. It’s much nicer this way.

    @axewielderx: there’s been request for more social/community features, and I’m sure this is one of the results.

  8. scrunchyy

    I like the improvements.
    Thank you!!

  9. foolswisdom

    axewielderx, even with it right in all the browsers, I think most people still don’t “get” feeds and feed readers. I can see this being useful though it may be too “walled garden” for some of the audience.

  10. MadMark

    WoOOO HooOOO… i like it!!! i like it!!

  11. sockrebel

    how is this any different than subscribing to the RSS feeds. I thought the point of the Friend Surfer was so that you could read their comments, too.

  12. ronnydm

    very like the improvement…..
    thanks a lot

  13. Ashish C.

    Meow!! I like!!

  14. Chittaranjan

    One downside with FS is that only WP Blogs can be subscribed to whereas RSS readers encompass the whole Gamut of the Blogs out there!

    Is there any way to add Blogs which are hosted outside of WP but still run on WP?

  15. The Rooster

    yeah I would agree in part with that. But then I am a firm believer in making RSS technology more accessible to users. This feature does that. It is seamless and users are subscribing to feeds and they don’t realise that is what they are doing.

    I will stick to using FeedDemon though. But this is a great feature that will spark peoples interest in RSS and how they can utilize it and maybe think about getting a stand alone reader or use the built in features of Firefox and IE7.

    Good job WP guys

  16. Michael Sync

    it’s better… Nice one..

  17. blayde

    More knobs to fidlle with, nice…

  18. tdinoz


  19. David Raho

    Yep, a lot more user wonderfulistic.

  20. Phil

    This lets me quickly scroll through my WordPress friends’ most recent posts to see their latest, or it lets me see if anyone’s added anything since I was here last (Day-jobs. Gotta have em I guess) ;-) Plus more I’ll probably use one day. Well-done!

    I’m likin’ this new feature! Thanks!!


  21. timethief

    Please accept my apology for wrongly identifying as a wordpress blog when it isn’t. Sorry about that. :(

  22. cap

    Thumbs up! :)

  23. Livio

    Very unuseful

  24. that girl again

    What some of the people in this thread don’t seem to get is that if you’re already using RSS feeds you’re more techy than the target audience for this feature, and in fact the target audience for in general. It’s not aimed at you. Move on.

  25. misslionheart

    Well done!

  26. percyball

    I like to surf!


  27. percyball

    And I am friendly too!

  28. NW

    Great work WP! Thank You:)

  29. بهمن

    So good ;)

  30. Nita

    It’s aimed at me alright! I am non-techy and this is just so easy. I’ve used it. But what I did was to go to a blog I liked and click the subscribe button. Hope that did it. Thanks.

  31. mosaik

    Love this. I use RSS feeds for some blogs but this is good for those blogs you occasionally want to look at and which don’t fit a blogroll on a specialised blog.
    Thank you for this!

  32. Michael

    Another winner! You guys are great.

  33. l1nn

    I don’t even get what RSS is, so this friend surfer is good.

  34. צפריר

    Just noticed you guys added a writer field to comments rss – lovely addition!

    Just so you know we also care about the little things that aren’t worth a post of their own :)

  35. LouCypher
    Domain to prevent typo-phishing? :D

  36. Vedova Donna

    I wish we had a directory of WordPress blogs, categorized and all.

  37. theithatisi

    Can we have teacups now?

  38. felixwinter

    I love the peace world.Let’s sing a song together.

  39. eas

    I think this is a swell feature (in fact I blogged about the lack of just such a feature in wordpress MU a month ago: Any plans though to make it work with external feeds too?

  40. bhooi

    Its great that WP is constantly improving for the benefit of its user, nice work, keep it up.

  41. Sopheak

    wicked !!! Awesome!

  42. martinz

    LJ has this for a long time, glad that WP has this feature too :)

  43. Ψηφιακά Οχυρωμένος

    Thanx a lot guys, for you creativity and for the hours you spend making our life easier! ;-)

  44. Rado

    Thanks again!
    This is just awesome :)

  45. diggerjones

    I use RSS but will also use this because it is easier. I’m okay with it just being for WP blogs for now because I’m subscribed to so many others in RSS! It’s elegant and clean.

    Well done!


  46. texasyacht

    got the ball rollin,cool

  47. strategicalliance

    Thanks I appreciate it…

  48. trenavin

    There should be a way for the owner of a blog to see who has added them to their friends list.

  49. macdavid

    am hooked to google reader… but nice touch guys… would be interesting if podcast functionality could be added.. have you checked out pluggd… where you can search content within a podcast? ;-)

  50. Felix Winter

    All of us are busy.However, time is flying smoothly-Xmas and A New Year.

  51. velvethammer

    Just wanted to say how much I love this feature! I do use RSS on my Pageflakes page. But adding a few of my favorite WordPress blogs with Friendsurfer just makes them all the more acessible.

    “There should be a way for the owner of a blog to see who has added them to their friends list.”

    Great idea!


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