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Discover: The Best Content Across WordPress

How excited are we about our new space for editors’ picks, recommended sites, and more? Let us count the ways!

Bloggers do incredible things on their sites: they share powerful stories, poems, and essays. They amaze us with their photography, illustration, and other creative projects. Sometimes they just speak directly to us, the readers, in a way that is so moving that their voices stay with us for days (if not more).

Since 2009, we on the WordPress.com team have highlighted the strongest posts we could find on Freshly Pressed, a showcase of the very best of the blogosphere. Six years — and almost 15,000 posts — later, we couldn’t be prouder of the community of bloggers and readers that has formed around it.

Many of you have followed Freshly Pressed for years, and we’re grateful for your readership! This week, we’re retiring Freshly Pressed, with Discover replacing this tab in your Reader.

Just like the slickest theme from 2009 might start to show its age by 2015, though, so did Freshly Pressed. Which is why we’re thrilled to unveil Discover. It’s our new destination for the best content from across WordPress — and a real labor of love for everyone who’s worked on it these past few months.

Discover-Screenshot

Discover… I like the sound of it. Tell me more.

You might read our features on a desktop computer or check us out on your smartphone. Maybe you follow our latest posts in the WordPress.com Reader, or visit our website. No matter your preference, at Discover you can expect to find the best writing, photography, art, and more. And all of it is by bloggers, online zines, and major publications that have chosen WordPress for their home on the web.

Don’t take our word for it — give our homepage a try for the day’s selection of editors’ picks, recommended sites, and features. Browse our extensive (and growing) archive. Or look up posts on the topics that matter to you, from writing and travel to history and music.

Like Freshly Pressed before it, Discover is all about celebrating the talents and achievements of members of this community. So if you’re curious about being featured, or would like to recommend someone else to us — don’t be shy!

We can’t wait to welcome you at Discover.

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  1. I’m excited to see what Discover has to offer. Freshly Pressed definitely helped me to find bloggers out there who inspire me, help me, make me laugh, and want to keep on blogging and writing. Recently I started to get disappointed with Freshly Pressed. It seemed like you all just wanted to find hot button issues and throw them up into the main “blogosphere” to start arguments. I feel this takes away from some of the other posts out there. A good mix is always welcome, but it just started to become lopsided. Thanks for always looking for improvements. I’ve been blogging off and on for a few years now and have loved watching the growth and evolution that is WordPress.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Thanks for the comment! Discover offers us, as editors, a lot more freedom to surface great posts from our archives, and I hope one of the side effects this has it to make our content feel less hot-button-focused (though we would definitely still want to tap into current conversations as they unfold — it’s part of what makes blogging so interesting, after all).

      From the reader’s perspective, the biggest advantage of our new space is that you can look up posts on the topic(s) of your choice, so you no longer depend on the current mix of featured posts. If our daily picks were heavy on politics, and you didn’t feel like diving into that, you could just browse the archives of our many other topics.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. This is quickly becoming my favorite part – I’ve always wanted a better way to search through topics. This is it! I’m currently perusing through these posts and have already added a few to follow – thanks! I do think that when it comes to the blogging world, bloggers take more time to respond and critically think about hot-button topics, compared to a news sources comments section. This is where I’d go if I want a discussion on today’s issues. Thanks!

        Liked by 5 people

    1. We expect the majority of the content on Discover to originate in WordPress.com, which is the network of bloggers and publications that we, as a team, are most closely tapped into.

      But we’ll definitely also want to highlight some of the great stuff being published on self-hosted and Jetpack-connected sites. It feels like a shame not to, when 25 percent (!) of the internet is powered by WordPress.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I’m really happy to hear this too. I started my blogging home at wordpress.com, but eventually moved to being self-hosted. While I like it, I did (and still do) miss the sense of community I found using wp.com. Jetpack has been a great help to me in staying connected however, as have participating in the blogging university courses. I’m looking forward to using discover, and I’m glad to hear that some self-hosted and jetpack powered content may be considered as well.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. @Ben
        Are you kidding me?

        Why should we wordpress.COM hosted bloggers have to compete for traffic with posts on any self-hosted wordpress.ORG installs that are not hosted here? That’s not fair at all.

        I sincerely hope that notion will be tossed where it belongs ie. directly into the rubbish bin.

        I also sincerely hope that we wordpress.COM hosted bloggers won’t also be faced with having the posts from self hosted wordpress.ORG installs appearing on the wordpress.COM Category and Tags pages either because that wouldn’t be fair either.

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      3. Thank you for airing your concerns in a respectful, thoughtful manner, @timethief. I appreciate it.

        While I see where you’re coming from, I tend to disagree with some of the points you make here. Let me explain.

        • The way I see it (I speak for myself, but I suspect many of my colleagues might agree with me here), each and every blogger — regardless of their platform of choice — is already competing for readers’ attention. Not just against other blogs and blogging platforms, but also with Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, and any number of other content streams. Discover is a space that’s more inviting, more conducive to exploration, and easier to tailor to your own interests than Freshly Pressed. It’s all about attracting more (and more engaged) readers to the great stuff bloggers here produce, and giving our bloggers a headstart in their effort to find a larger audience. Now, you’re correct that we’ll be featuring a number of WordPress.org sites and posts, which wasn’t the case with Freshly Pressed. As I stated above, however, the vast majority of Discover content is still from WordPress.com, and it’ll benefit from what we hope is a far larger pie in terms of readership and attention.
        • Given the 1,000,000+ new posts published every day on WordPress.com, the odds of being featured (we’ve showcased 2-4 posts a day on Freshly Pressed in recent years) were always incredibly low. Do they actually become lower with the inclusion of some self-hosted content? Perhaps. I’d like to think, though, that being featured on Discover would now mean a great deal more for those posts and sites we select: they’ll have one of the most beautiful showcases anywhere on the web as a backdrop, and they’ll be featured alongside the best writing, photography, art, etc. not just of our own hosted platform, but of the 25 percent of the web that is powered by the WordPress software.
        • One of our hopes for Discover is to become a destination that appeals to significantly more readers than Freshly Pressed — including from beyond WordPress.com. We passionately believe that bloggers here produce things that deserve the attention of people around the web. So we may include posts that originate elsewhere, but we also want to see many more non-WordPress.com visitors exposed to the richness of our community.
        • Regarding your last point, I don’t know of any concrete plans to integrate self-hosted sites into our Reader’s tag searches. That said, the Reader is already a platform-agnostic space: you can use it to follow any site that has an RSS feed, whether or not it’s on WordPress.com.

        My reply got quite lengthy; all of this is to say that while bloggers clearly have an uphill battle when it comes to finding an audience, that has always been the case, and I suspect it will continue to be the case in the future. By creating a dedicated place for readers to find the best content out there, we don’t aim to make it harder; on the contrary, our goal is to make sure that the best stuff we find is seen and enjoyed by as many people as possible, even if that means that a small portion of the content we feature uses WordPress, but isn’t hosted here at WordPress.com.

        I hope you visit Discover soon and poke around — as a person whose opinions are carefully thought out I don’t expect you to be a fast convert, but I hope that it would at least give you a better idea of what we’re trying to do with this transition.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I like the look & feel of Discover. I’m new to blogging & intrigued by the change. The search by topic feature is a tool I will use daily & I can’t wait to dig in & find both new & archived posts. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Hi Ben that’s great! I loved Freshly Pressed, I am really excited and curious to see what Discover is all about! I am a creative soul an Artist and I would love one day for my Blog to be on Discover that would be surely awesome!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. First observation I made from checking out the search by topic is that some have more choices than others. I write a music and photography blog so obviously I keyed in on those. I see several pages worth of ‘Discover’ Photography blogs, but only 1 page + 1 post on a second page. Not sure if that is just a rollout glitch but shouldn’t there be some sort of parity between topics? I realize photography is one of the more popular subjects but I would hope that there are more than 16 interesting posts across all of WordPress in the music category to deem being Discovered.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. HI Robert — thank you for the feedback. You make an excellent point, and you’re correct that not all topics currently offer the same level of depth, which is something we’ll try to address in the coming days and weeks.

      We’ll be zooming in on more of the great posts we’ve found in the past and add them to the Discover archives. But we’ll also want to spread our curatorial efforts more broadly and equally among topics. I really hope that members of the blogging community will also help us with that by submitting their favorites for consideration (as described in the link I added to the bottom of the post). The more eyes out there, the better.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Awesome Ben, thanks for the response. I can appreciate the work that goes into this and realize, like with Cheri’s reply that it takes time. My own focus as a writer is specific but as a reader I choose from many of the topics. I do like the idea of more eyes out there. Appreciate the response Ben!

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m delighted to hear about Discover and I look forward to using it. Even before the Internet age, libraries were so full of great books and periodicals that it was not easy to find what you needed. Now, with millions of great blogs and other Web sites, information overwhelms us.

    Google provides a great service by indexing the Web, but for practical purposes most users can browse only the first page of search results. I have little confidence in Google algorithms to shake out the best posts. I’m afraid that small blogs with relatively light readership are almost totally overlooked by Google and other search engines.

    That’s why organizations such as WordPress are so important to make the Internet a welcoming and relevant experience. That’s why Freshly Pressed was so wildly popular in the early years of WordPress. Now the growth of the blogosphere has nearly overwhelmed us all. Efforts like Discover can preserve the human, community spirit of the blogosphere. I welcome subjective selection of blog posts by human editors. It’s a huge job, and it never ends, but I trust the WordPress staff can do it, if anyone can. I wish you great success.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for these kind words!

      We have great hopes for Discover, and all of them really boil down to what you describe so beautifully: preserving “the human, community spirit of the blogosphere.” Our team truly believes that there’s a real, distinct value to actual people — with their own quirks, tastes, and passions — looking for the best stuff they can find in the endless expanse of the web.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. What I miss now is the ability to use a favourite keyword tag and I would get the live firehose of blog posts on cycling (bicycling). That’s how I disovered stuff unexpectedly related to my favourite keyword.

    How can one mimic that in Discover?

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    1. The ability to see all the (recent) posts written in a given tag hasn’t been removed — it’s still available in the Reader. Scroll the left sidebar all the way down, and you’ll see the tag search box. Enter your desired tag, and you’ll see all the results as before.

      An alternative is to just paste this URL into your browser: https://wordpress.com/tag/cycling

      You can switch “cycling” with any tag you wish; the result will be the same “firehose” of posts.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. You can look up posts in any tag by scrolling to the bottom of the Reader’s left sidebar and entering your desired tag into the box there.

      Alternatively, you can look up any tag by modifying the word that comes after “tag” in this URL:
      https://wordpress.com/tag/thanksgiving

      The above will return all the recent posts tagged Thanksgiving; just change it to any other tag to look up posts using that tag. (In case you’re looking for multiple-word tags, the words will be separated by a dash, as in: https://wordpress.com/tag/pumpkin-pie)

      I hope this helps!

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  7. I cannot seem to find the ‘explore topics/tags button anymore, when I open ‘reader,’ as I sign into my account. Can you please tell me where it’s now located. It will otherwise be impossible to read other people’s posts or like them etc. like I used to, up until few days ago, when the button disappeared.

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    1. You can look up posts in any tag by scrolling to the bottom of the Reader’s left sidebar and entering your desired tag into the box there.

      Alternatively, you can look up any tag by modifying the word that comes after “tag” in this URL:
      https://wordpress.com/tag/thanksgiving

      The above will return all the recent posts tagged Thanksgiving; just change it to any other tag to look up posts using that tag. (In case you’re looking for multiple-word tags, the words will be separated by a dash, as in: https://wordpress.com/tag/pumpkin-pie)

      I hope this helps!

      Like

  8. I really want to improve my blog sites, I really look forward to what Discover will offer in terms of helping me to refresh my blogs. Reading the interview with the author of the ‘Raising a Rainbow’ has already given me ideas to do a make over of at least one of my sites.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I enjoy Discovery and there are some really interesting posts. There is something I can’t figure out yet. When I go to my reader on my smartphone, I can’t view the entire post. I have to go to the reader on my laptop to find the link to a post. For example, in one of today’s entry by Cheri Lucas Rowlands, in my phone I can see the first paragraph. There isn’t a link to the blog being referenced. But in my laptop, there’s a link “visit the Domestic Man”. I don’t know if this a glitch on my phone or a setting I need to change.

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    1. Hello! If you’re using the WordPress app, you only need to tap on any part of the story you wish to read and it’ll open immediately — there’s no specific link, but the whole visible area of the post is tappable like that.

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      1. I tried that before and it didn’t do anything. Odd. This morning, I went to the Menu on the App on my phone, selected Discover and went back to the reader and I was able to see the whole entry and the link. So I’m happy. Maybe there’s a bit of a glitch when I followed it from my laptop instead of the app on my phone.

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      2. There shouldn’t be a difference whether you follow from your laptop or mobile device, but either way, I’m glad to hear you can now visit and read Discover posts on your phone.

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  10. I just “discovered” this! I LOVE it! Your introductions prologuing the reblogs are very helpful. I also really like your “Recommendations” although I would like to refresh the list or delete the ones I’ve checked out and am not interested in following to make room for new blogs. 🙂

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    1. That’s an interesting idea — thanks for suggesting it. At the moment all our suggestions and recommendations are hand-picked, so their number is finite, but as our archives grow having a mechanism for marking which blogs you’d already visited could become very useful indeed.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I like your new Discover page and I very much like the long list of topics waiting to be explored. Some of my favorite blogs are very different from my own blog. I appreciate the opportunity to find interesting bloggers new to me.

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