WordPress.com: From Subscribe to Follow

WordPress.com bloggers have always had a strong sense of community and many tools for social networking both within the WordPress.com community and with other bloggers have been introduced for our use.  Not to be outdone by those other sites that have click and follow buttons WordPress.com has introduced incremental changes to the former “subscribe” function. The first change occurred when “subscribe” link on the Admin bar visible to all logged in WordPress.com users changed to “follow”.

Provided we are logged into WordPress.com we  can follow (subscribe to) a blog and receive  other blogger’s posts in our Readomatic reader  by visiting their blog and clicking the “follow” button on the Admin bar.  For everything you need to know about:

  • Following a Blog
  • Unfollowing a Blog
  • Managing Delivery Methods
  • Managing Delivery Settings

visit the support documentation and read Managing Blogs I Follow.

Direct Link for WordPress.com Blog Subscriptions

If you have enabled email subscriptionson your WordPress.com blog then you have a WordPress.com blog subscriptions widget in your sidebar. But how do you get a direct link to subscribe that you can include in a copy and paste and place it at the end of your posts? This brief illustrated tutorial provides the answer.

From Subscribe to Follow

Time passed and on August 30th other changes were made.  For one, the email subscription button in the WordPress.com blog subscription widget changed to a small blue “follow” button, and gave rise to 3 days and 4 pages of reader feedback in the support forum.

Thanks for all the feedback folks. You should see the old subscription widget back in place with the new follow terminology (which you can edit if you wish).

We’ll continue to look into ways to display the follow button, but with better display and management options for you as a user.

apeatling
Staff
Sep 1, 2011, 10:43 AM

Follow button in footer

follow buttonAfter weeks of experimentation with different designs, locations and names, we’ve determined the addition of a small, cute, little button at the bottom of your blog will dramatically help pageviews and retention.

follow buttonStarting today, on all blogs, whenever someone who is not logged into WordPress.com visits, they’ll see this small little button in the bottom right corner. …

Note: 2. I don’t like it. How can I turn it off on my blog?

To find the answer and much more information read the full announcement, More traffic for your blog with the follow button.

Discussion

What is your response to these changes?

11 thoughts on “WordPress.com: From Subscribe to Follow

  1. It need translations options. I blog in Danish, so its a bit weird. But the comment field is in English to. Still waiting foot the translation there.

  2. I suppose so, with the tiny button on bottom right of blog. But honest, I seriously wonder how many readers notice.

    I didn’t even notice until I read your blog post. I’ve been distracted by alot of non-blogging personal activities in past week.

    1. It’s very small but that’s not a bad thing. It’s actually IMO a needless duplication because those who have enabled blog susbcriptions use the prominent email subscribe widget in their sidebars.

      Wait until you attempt to use your Admin section and find that there are also duplicated buttons tucked away for the sake of simplicity (cough).

    1. Hi there,
      Done. I have disabled Onswipe. I even hoped when I did that that my Admin section would “come alive” again but oh no – instead I had to click the “save” button 5 times before it responded.

      P.S. Yes I have cleared my browser cache & cookies and done the whole troubleshooting drill, logging out and rebooting so many times today that I’m bitchy! At least in comment boxes working from the front page I can type at notmal speed and not find that the text I typed evaproarted into thin air. That’s what happens when I use the editor. :(

      1. Thank you :). Not only is the layout horrible and distracting it’s mindnumingly annoying to comment on.

        You gotta login…which doesn’t happen until you reload the page…twice.

        Comments are hidden behind a menu and are slow. Just ugh >.<.

        Desktop version much better ^_^.

  3. The ‘Follow’ button that WP have introduced is certainly discreet. I find it hard to believe that anyone will see it. The bottom right is said to be the least visited part of a page.

    One thing – I can see the button at the bottom right of my blog at Light Reading (when I log out of WPress), but I cannot see it at the bottom of your page.

    Have you disabled it?

    As for the change from ‘subscribe’ to ‘follow’, I am in two minds about that.

    I suppose the motivation for the change is to emulate the word that Twitter uses – and I am all for anything that helps to act as a trigger.

    But ‘subscribe’ is pretty well ensconced in the world of blogs, so it seems like changing the word may confuse more than it helps.

    Is ‘subscribe’ too old-fashioned now?

    Does the word ‘subscribe’ imply an obligation that throws up a barrier to people such that they are disinclined to click?

    Is ‘subscribe’ too high on the Flesch–Kincaid readability scale? ;-)

    I see you have ‘Subscribe and Follow’ – a novel solution.

    I just noticed I didn’t have a subscribe by email widget at all, so I just put one at top right.

    1. Yes, I disabled it. I do not have WordPress.com email blog subscriptions enabled. I have always used Feedburner and Feedburner is portable. There’s was no hassle when it came to moving my blog onto a WordPress install and then years later moving it back to free hosting here. No subscribers were lost or in any way inconvenienced.

      “I see you have ‘Subscribe and Follow’ – a novel solution.

      I have always had that lol :D I find the whole semantics argument to be perplexing. Perhaps there are so many youthful people now online that the connotations attached to “subscribe” and “follow” have become muddy. They aren’t for me but I suppose they could be for some.

      What’s really peeving me right now is that all my test blogs are working fine. However, this my main blog Admin area has become so slow to react when I click any link that I want to SCREAM! What’s more is that the editor on this blog is not working correctly and is so tedious to use that I typed my posts in a test blog and copied and pasted them here. Aararaghh! As soon as they began mucking with the Admin bar this blog became a pig. So tomorrow I have to ask for Admin support to figure out why this is so on one blog and not on the others.

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