Exploring the Reader: Find Your Fans and Follow Your Faves
When you become a part of WordPress.com, you’re actually getting two awesome services for the price of none: your blog plus your Reader, which brings every WordPress.com blog together in one easy-to-search place. Your blog is where your ideas come to life, and your Reader is where you connect with other WordPressers, our community hub. It’s the place to find bloggers who inspire you, teach you, tug your heartstrings, and make you laugh — and who just may be your next biggest fans.
When you log in to WordPress.com and go to the actual http://wordpress.com — as opposed to going directly to your blog — you’ll land in your Reader. It looks a little something like this — familiar?
With several ways to discover content that speaks to you, it’s a powerful tool not only for finding great reads, but for making connections. We call it “your” Reader on purpose. It’s not just a place to find what we think is worth finding; it’s a place you make your own and tailor around things you love, so every time you log in you find something you can’t wait to read.
Not sure how to use the Reader to navigate the wide world of WordPress.com? Here are a few to-dos for the next time you log in:
Find your friends
If you’re new to WordPress, dip your toes into the water by finding and following friends who are already here. (You’ll plunge in all the way soon enough!)
Our Friend Finder will scour Twitter, Facebook, and Gmail and let you know who’s already
talking about you writing on WordPress.com. Start following their sites and your Reader will be bursting with fresh content in no time. Click “Connect,” give WordPress.com permission to access your contacts, and watch the posts roll in.
(None of your friends here yet? Maybe it’s time to give ‘em a nudge.)
Check out Recommended Blogs
Along with daily Freshly Pressed picks, we hand-pick blogs that consistently publish great content for inclusion on our Recommended Blogs lists. Whether you want to read about sports, parenting, crafting, or cars, we’ve got fantastic bloggers with vibrant communities lined up for you. Explore one topic or ten — we’re sure you’ll find yourself caught up in conversation before you know it.
Pick the topics you’re interested in, then scroll down and click “Show Me the Blogs!” Just make sure you have a few hours of free time on your hands.
Browse the topics
The topic listings let you sort all the posts published on WordPress.com according to their tags, so you can hone in on what most interests you. We’ve pre-populated it with some of the more popular topics along with things we think you’ll like, but you can add and delete topics at will to create custom filters for yourself. Click the “X” to the right of any topic to nix it, or scroll to the bottom of the list and add your own.
Get creative with your topic searches — we’ve found great science blogs searching for “Schrödinger’s Cat” and hilarious personal stories under more amorphous topics liks “Frustration.” You control the topics you see, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
This is a snippet of what my Reader looks like. Well, for today, anyway. It changes constantly as I use it to stay on top of trends, news, and new interests.
Follow your favorites
When you find a site that’s up your alley, follow it by clicking “Follow” in the toolbar running across the top of your screen:
You can also follow blogs from within the Reader itself; each post excerpt has a “Follow” link under it. Heck, you can even follow non-WordPress.com blogs, just to make it easier to do all your reading in one place: head to the “Blogs I Follow” tab in the Reader and click the “edit” button to add your favorite self-hosted WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, or whatever-service-that’s-not-WordPress.com blog.
When you do, new posts from that blogger will show up under the “Blogs I Follow” tab in your Reader; you can then click through to the blog, or reblog or Like the post from within the Reader itself. We encourage you to visit the blog and comment, though — everyone loves feedback, and Likes alone do not a community make!
There’s no limit to the number of blogs you can add, and using the Reader to follow your favorite bloggers lets you avoid inbox overload and browse on your own time. (If you’re already suffering from inbox overload, mosey over to your settings page to adjust or reduce the number of blog notifications you get via email.)
If you usually go straight to your blog’s dashboard to publish, take a minute the next time you log on to visit the Reader — just visit WordPress.com when logged in.
If you’re already a Reader regular, we’d love to hear how you use it? What are your tips and tricks for finding the hidden gems?
The Reader will continue to evolve to make it even easier for you to find, manage, and connect with blogs you love — and we’ll make sure you can take full advantage of the updates. Stay tuned!