sting

Hurrah! We have a new moderator/secret staff member who is still in thrall to the commonsensical notion that categories are local and tags are global, and has as yet no clue about tags and categories actually work here.

Ah well. They’ll learn.

Still on the tagegory hobbyhorse: in which universe does catapulting your readers away from your blog and into wordpress.com’s global tag system without warning constitute ‘easy navigation’?

Easy navigation would be if you told them where they were actually going before they clicked on the link. Easy navigation would be if the same link text didn’t take you to entirely different destinations depending on the location of the text. You must be using the word ‘navigation’ in a different sense to designers and usability experts. Or maybe you’re just redefining the word ‘easy’.

At least they sold a few more CSS upgrades and gifted themselves another couple of thousand tag page links. Ad revenue must be suffering in the credit crunch for them to do this now. It’s only a matter of time before all non-logged-in users start seeing ads on wordpress.com, if they don’t already.

Oh, and anyone else notice that Matt’s pet designer has been hauled out of the chilly waters of freelancing? Anyone else not surprised? I suppose it significantly lessens the pain of having to hire somebody outside your company if you transform all your subcontractors into employees sooner or later. Not to mention suddenly being able to claim that Monotone was designed entirely by Automattic. Still being beaten hollow by Tarski and Dum-Dum in the download wars, though, despite the front-page screenshot. That must sting.

22 Comments »

  1. We’ve received a lot of user feedback about this change and we’re considering it.

    You know that’s the first time they’ve acknowledged that folks have complained about the setup. Every other time, it’s been Matt’s standard lines of “Oh, folks love getting traffic from the global tags pages” and “We’ve never received any complaints about the traffic they receive from the tag pages” while ignoring those threads in the forums.

    What’s really sad is that it’s a two line fix in the code to display both Categories and Tags as local while providing a link directly afterwards to a sitewide setup. At least that’s how ours are setup.

  2. Dave said

    What’s really sad is that it’s a two line fix in the code to display both Categories and Tags as local while providing a link directly afterwards to a sitewide setup.

    And if they really believed in usability, that’s what they’d do.

  3. options said

    it appears your blog got matured! ::rofl::

    google’s cache says that “we don’t have any posts here with that tag” since Jul, 31.

    I don’t get why ads are/was on hiatus and the meaning of the credit crunch thing (in this context), though.

  4. I don’t think it’s been matured, actually. I think it’s been timethiefed.

    They’ve done this sneaky thing where if I look at the tags when I’m logged in, my posts appear as normal; it’s only acting like a mature blog to other users and people who are logged out. A lot like the ‘bozo’ setting in bbpress, where they conceal from the user that their posts are being censored; they can see their posts even though nobody else can, and can carry on posting in blissful ignorance that everything they say is heading straight into the void.

    There’s something disappointingly sly and petty about this. It’s not so much that they’re censoring me — we all know Automattic is a business with a reputation to protect, and I think we all knew this was going to happen eventually — but that they’re lamely trying to hide from me the fact that I’m being censored. If you must 404 my tagegories for mysterious purposes of your own, at least have the balls to show me what you’re doing and don’t leave me dependent on my readers to tell me what’s happening on my blog.

  5. options said

    I suppose that’s how all ‘mature’ are set up now. probably, in order to reduce support requests and amused posts in the fora.

    ironically, that post on the news blog you linked to is titled ‘Tags for all’. by the coincidence it’s been posted on July, 31st.

    that damned insidious ‘bozo’ thing is really disgusting. (it used to be a capability of a ‘keymaster’ role only, not sure how it’s set up now, though)

    I can tell that as one who has been bozoed even twice. this thread won’t display you the reply with a correct selector name (July 8th, 2008 at 3:40pm). back then I sent a feedback request asking ‘why’, but, funny, no reply yet.

    and the OP’s blog layout is still not centered, btw. apparently, they don’t give a shit.

    We’ve received a lot of user feedback about this change and we’re considering it.

    BS! here’s an unofficial stance (so no sources, sorry):

    …basically global tags are important to the WordPress.com model. They help to drive traffic to individual blogs as well as WordPress.com as a whole.

    Tightly linking blogs together like this is good search engine voodoo.

    Allowing people to opt-out could dilute the model’s potency. I don’t think you’ll see this change any time soon.

  6. options said

    tga, would you please fix that unclosed blockquote mess for me. ta!

  7. I suppose that’s how all ‘mature’ are set up now.

    Would be good to hear from someone with a mature blog to see whether this is in fact the case. Anyone with forum access prepared to ask around and risk bannination?

  8. options said

    no, it seems my assumption was wrong. and your case must be the special one.

    I’ve just successfully* self-reported my (test) blog. and it behaves like a normal for wp.com mature blog. that is, its tagegories send me to the empty spaces (‘we don’t have any posts here with that tag’) regardless of whether I’m logged in or not.

    oh, and thanks a lot for the fixing!


    *) just from the second attempt. but, apparently, I should have known the drill better than I actually did…

  9. I wonder if we’ll get another victim, um, I mean Automattic employee over here telling us that we’re just imagining it all and how they aren’t censoring.

  10. Well, they have a couple yet to be sent for their baptism of fire, but dispatching a rookie to defend the indefensible wouldn’t be fair on anyone. I’m betting they will studiously ignore both this thread and the ‘bug report’ I’m planning to send tomorrow.😦

  11. Richard said

    Interestingly I’m logged in and can’t find this post in wank or in forums.

  12. options said

    > I’m logged in and can’t find this post in wank or in forums.

    which one, Richard?

  13. options said

    also,

    > It’s always been that way here at wordpress.com. #

    no, that’s incorrect. when I signed at .com (and for several months later) categories still were true Categories, not Tagegories. i.e. they were all local.

    yes, it’s a feature from the POV of MattCo’s ‘business sense’. but, no, it is a bug from the POV of common sense.

  14. options said

    hmm… from the closed thread:

    > I can see the tags appearing when I’m logged in, but when I log off my blog doesn’t show.

    so it seems to be a special case… should it be called ‘super mature’ then?

  15. No way in hell can a penguin blog be regarded as ‘super mature’🙄

    I sent in a support ticket this afternoon, no reply as yet. So much for 24/7. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt since the behaviour is easily stupid and broken enough to be a genuine bug, but if they persist in ignoring my support emails I’m going to have to start taking steps to move on. It’s bad enough being denied forum support, but being denied support entirely would make it difficult to keep blogging here, far more so than the tagegory brokenness. (It wouldn’t be so essential if this were stable software, but, well, it’s not, so it is.)

  16. The penguin also says that support have been ignoring their emails, which doesn’t bode well. Wouldn’t surprise me if they had a filter in place to block support requests from any blogs marked as ‘spam’ or ‘users we don’t like’, which seems to me a more descriptive label than ‘super mature’😦

    Or I could just be being paranoid again. It could still be a bug.

  17. options said

    from my experience support requests usually get fielded in a fairly quick manner.

    although responses are not always exceptionally useful. unless request is an actual bug (404s and alike) basically they boil down to the two preconceived templates:

    * “There is nothing to announce regarding anything at this time” and/or

    * “Thanks for your suggestion. I have added this to our user suggestion list which is reviewed on a regular basis.”

    for instance my request for an automated CC email of initial request was simply denied.

    although such thing as ‘users we don’t like’ does exist. I don’t think your request was filtered as spam, guess it rather failed beyond these templates and it is something that can’t be resolved by the support people. so it’s been escalated up to the one and only who takes all decisions in the company.

    since the ‘bozo global tags’, ‘bozo fora user’, ‘hideous ads’, ‘mature global tags’ linking to the dead end. all these are his brilliant business ideas, so nobody but him can reply.

    and he must be pretty busy; is everyone aware that Matt’s email should be used only for the interview invitations? (e.g. issues with the stolen translations of WP/bb UI on the official localised .org subdomain should go elsewhere)

    still I’d like to hear something from Lloyd (although I do understand complexity of the position he’s situated in):

    Regarding “leading to pages that expressly do not contain their own posts”, is a good point, and also relates to a person being able to identify that their blog has been marked mature.

    I will look into it, and find out if it is reasonable to have the categories/tags links stay local, and by able to see that you are on a mature blog, but based on intense previous discussions, some members of the team aren’t interested in solving challenges related to mature blogging at this time.

  18. for instance my request for an automated CC email of initial request was simply denied.

    I brought that up many times. Was told that there was no need since someone would always be getting back to the person.

    some members of the team aren’t interested in solving challenges related to mature blogging at this time.

    That was brought up as well when that Lesbian blog got marked as mature against the wishes of the blog owner.

  19. noel said

    Oh, and anyone else notice that Matt’s pet designer has been hauled out of the chilly waters of freelancing?

    You say chilly, I say warm. Freelance was great. Being able to work with the Automattic team is an opportunity I didn’t want to pass up. Pure and simple.

    Not to mention suddenly being able to claim that Monotone was designed entirely by Automattic.

    Actually, I’ve never heard that claim being made (ever). In fact, I’m giving a presentation on how I designed Monotone at WordCamp.

    Still being beaten hollow by Tarski and Dum-Dum in the download wars, though, despite the front-page screenshot. That must sting.

    Not at all. Monotone is great for certain people – those that want a “photoblog”. I would have never thought that it would win any theme contest. Nor did I ever have aspirations for it to. The front-page screenshot is there, because it’s one of the only themes focused solely on photoblogging.

  20. Nice to hear from you Noel; any comment on the sudden brokenness of my global tagegories or the fact that I have still to hear anything from support? Or do they not make people do support when they first join anymore?

  21. options said

    there are plenty o’… staff on #wordpress.com. those include: matt, mark, lloyd, sam, hanni, noel, marianne and heather. also there are ryan and donncha on #wordpress.com-staff.

    yet mark and hanni are doing a support of the paying customers only nowadays (and ‘they get less complaints, in fact almost none, from them than from those like us’). still I can attest that Mark was very responsive (when I managed to put my issue so that he could get it😉. he’s usually there up to 00:00UTC.

    so, may be let’s have a… support session out there? I’ve never been banned from irc yet.

    email or send me a message via gtalk (alternatively, you can use my contact form here) when you’ll get ready so that I join (I’ll send you a confirmation of whether I’ll be able to take part or not).

  22. No need — Lloyd responded about an hour after my last comment to say it had been fixed (thanks Lloyd!). But thanks for the info, it may be useful in future.

    I took a look at my stats for the first time in ages and the temporary exclusion didn’t have any visible effect on traffic, but then I wouldn’t expect it to; all my tagegories are either unique or ridiculously generic. So my only real worry about getting ‘matured’ is the (further) breakage of the links. If mature blogs behaved in an intuitive manner with local tagegories only, I’d write a post full of swearwords and report myself😉

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