How to be Freshly Pressed: don’t ask.

Ah, while some desperately want to get on the now-almost-endlessly-scrolling Freshly Pressed page, some couldn’t care less.

Just another button that leads you to unrelatable content, the critics say.

And so The Outlier Collective was created, Eric R.’s and Madame J. Weeble’s attempt at the time to fix the problem.  Only the so-called “beige” articles were being picked.  Or something like that.

The more I read into people’s experience on this matter, the more I got that it’s not supposed to be about the best work of the author, but a jumping-off point.

You’ll need to read Freshly Pressed: Medals For Everyone for context here.

The Automattic team picks the ‘lite’ of something that ought to be grown, not something necessarily representative of its author, but on the fly, if not the least ego-driven of work.  (And I’d think “ego-driven” would fall into trying to be Freshly Pressed, wouldn’t you?)

In a nutshell, Pressage is more about versatility than anything else.  And why not?  This is a .com site.  If you don’t encourage people to trek things they haven’t explored, your site would be a boring place, and it would go out of business for good reason.

So, something of what the team is still going for.  It’s an encouragement, not a reward.

If you can get your audience the hard way, the only post(s) they’ll Press are probably your worst in a way, and it’s is not to spite you.  Here’s the thing: who’s encouraged being presented the “best of”—a bridge too far for starters?

Your post may contain limited adult language.

Because WordPress.com is a .com site with advertisers, there are offensive language limits when it comes to picking out articles deemed worthy of the Freshly Pressed logo.

The web site, which is about to turn ten years old, used to be more restrictive.  But as with standards and practices in any media, these restrictions were and are eventually loosened when the general content (here, by users like you) becomes more balanced.

Loosened enough that they Pressed a draft that talked about the critical reviews regarding the movie Argo— a post that used the adult catch-phrase “Argo fuck yourself” for the title of the post.  (The characters gave a big toast to a successful mission.)  You may have come across the Automattically censored title: Argo F**k Yourself.

Being a 12/13+ site, you certainly don’t need to worry about ‘shit.’  Shit should be obvious when you’ve used too much offensive language— that you could’ve, should’ve used more descriptive terms instead of…easily offensive terms.  I mean, shit man.

But beyond language, there are some things that will guarantee never getting the nod.

How to deter getting on the page…

Frank sexual content for one.  And I’m not talking about things of a reproductive nature.  (“The Ongoing Saga of My Innards or Five Fun Facts about My New IUD” connected Kelly to a larger audience in a way that helped other women on contraceptives.)

I’m talking po rnography or Real Sex (HBO) stuff here.  Not only can your blog get banned from the page, it can also get your blog (or even you) suspended for violating the TOS.

Notice the “Report as xxx” button that appears, like, everywhere now?  Yeah, that is a gateway drug trip to “bannage,” for deliberate lack of better wording.

Worse, if you violate obscenity laws you could be arrested.  ’Cause even though the point behind the First Amendment in the United States came down to allowing all speech and practice short only of threats of harm, the language that survived dealt with commerce.  (You cause car crashes putting up a sexually graphic billboard, you go to jail.)

So, not going too far, say putting up strong language or nip-slips on every single one of your posts almost guarantees never being Freshly Pressed without ever being banned.

So…

I hope that all of this was useful, that you no longer are compelled to ask a question you shouldn’t even need or come to ask in the first place.

And if you still feel like asking a question… God help you— I mean, ask away!  (But still, I probably won’t be able to help you, since I don’t work for WordPress… or anyone.)

Adam out.

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