Categories and News Departments
Have you seen the WordPress.com front page lately? Everyone gets to see the updated design but English readers get a special treat: News Departments. Learn how we decide which posts to feature and how you can get your link and your pretty face on the front page.
The links on the old front page are based on our blog popularity rankings, which you can browse in dozens of languages at Blogs of the Day. Using the same system to rank the posts found in certain categories, we now keep lists of the hottest posts in these departments:
Honestly, the lists are still quite weak because although many of you write about these topics, you probably have your own system of categories. For now, we haphazardly grab posts from related categories to try to fill out the lists. That’s why you can see posts in the Sports department that didn’t get posted in the Sports category, for example. We may phase out this logic when more bloggers post directly into these departments.
To get featured, you must:
- upload an avatar if you haven’t already,
- use the categories above when you blog on relevant topics, and
- attract lots of readers to your posts.
Please do not:
- use inappropriate titles or avatars,
- post gratuitous profanity or nudity,
- put a post in irrelevant categories, or
- put a post in a lot of categories (ten is a lot)
…unless you want to be excluded from the News Departments. We aren’t about to censor what you publish but we will decide what not to feature on the front page. If you do want to be excluded, please just ask us. It’s no problem.
Lots of people have posted screenshots of the front page and their traffic graphs the first time they see themselves featured. That’s a nice trophy but the best part about being on the front page is that you can attract even more readers who might be interested in your blog. All they will see is your avatar and your post title. Before you upload a new avatar or write a post title, consider you audience and what will attract them.
We have plans to do a lot more than just prettying up the English front page. Other languages will follow. New departments may appear. A lot of work has already gone into the construction of a new place where you can browse fresh, hot content in any department you like but we need your help. We need more posts in each department to make it really work. So remember these global categories.
There’s one more thing. Soon we will publish longer lists of posts with excerpts much like BOTD Top Posts. We have been grabbing excerpts from the post content but we would prefer to let you write your own teasers. You will find an Optional Excerpt field below the Content area on the post writing page. We will use up to 40 words or 200 characters from your Optional Excerpt. No formatting or HTML tags will be allowed so just try to attract readers with a sentence or two. If you leave it blank we’ll use the post content instead. Good luck!