That’s too much, WordPress!

I have been on wordpress for more than 6 months. And I made many friends during this short interval of time. I have witnessed many changes and updates during this period. Some major changes were

1. Gallery Carousel View.

2. Stats Shifted to WordPress Homepage

3. Infinite Scroll

and many of other tiny changes which were strongly opposed by the users. But WordPress staff didn’t took down their decision despite of opposition from users.

Recently WordPress engineers did the worst of those changes. The two forums, Off Topic and Showcase are closed by them without any warning. And announced in a sticky post http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/forums-housekeeping?replies=1.

Macmanx said:

As WordPress.com continues to grow, so does usage of the forums. This growth has necessitated a bit of housekeeping to keep everything running smoothly and to put the emphasis back on support.

First, we’ll be removing the Off Topic and Showcase forums. Many of the posts in Off Topic could have been blog posts. In place of that forum we’d encourage everyone to write posts, follow your friends, and carry on the conversation through comments.

Those two forums were a major source to find your friends, promote your blog, follow some like minded blogs and to discuss useful things as well as to relax spending your time in interesting things. Some of the posts there should not be there as you claim. Yes they worth deleting. But there were still many interesting threads there. For example the thread Word Association Game which was continuously been visited by Happiness Engineer. Among them there was most useful thread, Test your Avatar here has also been closed. This was a major blunder.

They said:
1. It was done to put emphasis back on support.

All the support questions were answered by the volunteers reluctantly before and after this blunder. It had no apparent affect on support.

2. Many of the posts there could have been blog posts.

There are some posts which should not be there I agree. But we can not post ‘three words story’ type threads to our blog. Besides some people post such threads because those threads include information worth discussing that do not match their blog’s subject. After all it had always been a constructive discussion and mostly smooth.

3. Write post in place of that forum.

We should blog more is a sensible thing but we should always blog and blog and blog without being noticed by anyone is totally a mess. And what if a movie reviewer blogger wants to post something about weather? Or a blogging tips blogger wants to ask people’s opinion about Olympics? One cant not run a hundred blog for every single topic nor can post about hundred topics in a single blog. That’s what Off Topic forum was.

4. Follow friends.

Yes a good thing it is to follow friends or like minded bloggers or favorite blogs. But the question is how to find them? We had a good niche there in the forums where you could easily find a friends blog. You suggest “Reader” for this purpose but the “reader” is an headache. People tag and categorize their blogs poorly and it is almost impossible to find the blog/post you’re searching for.

5. Instead of Showcase Forum there are other means to promote blog.

And the link (other ways to promote your blog) refers to an article which has some stupid means of promoting your blog i.e Pay for traffic to your site and other points are just common sense. Some people don’t want to share their blogs to social media because they don’t wan’t to tell anything about their blog to the real friends. I have a huge following/friends on social media but they all (90%) belong to the same region/area. Then how can I promote my blog worldwide?

Besides Raincoaster said:

It’s also a loss of SEO. Think about this: Every post in the What I Posted Today thread counted as a direct Follow link to your blog. The loss is not insignificant.

6. Merge in the Support and Question forum

And their merge in the support forums has never been increased. My thread Adding domain has been tagged “modlook” for a week and I’m still awaiting staff attention.

All this was claimed to be done to suppressed trolls, spammers and other rude people. But they can, in fact will do all this spamming, trolling in the support forum causing a big trouble for volunteers and other help seekers. How could this be a smooth measure?

A real Main Forum’s screenshot full of spams. 6 August

Timethief said that staff time is wasted in the moderation of those threads with spammers, trolls and other rude or ill mannered people’s comments. But this is exactly what Moderators are for.

Staff could have deleted all those unneeded threads from Off Topic forum instead of closing the entire one. There are some threads created way back and closed since 5 or 6 years. There is no point to keep them.

I have been on Blogger for years but WordPress was superior to Blogger because of its community and social relations between the members. But it seems wordpress has decided to destroy its social community. Imagine a world where people can not contact anyone, no interaction at all and no one can predict what’s going on in the world.

To summarize all this:

Reactivate at least Off  Topic  Forum.

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29 Comments on “That’s too much, WordPress!”

  1. chsaad1 says:

    How much impact does it brings to wordpress in indeed a question but that was not fair at all. Spam catch up work there. Well!. But I dont think they people shall ever do activate it again. I will miss those forums. What will the other option if they don’t undo close it? Nice write up BTW.

    Like

    • Hamza says:

      This is a huge loss for the members here. It will definitely put much impact to the WordPress users. If they are not willing to reactivate the closed forums, we have many other options. I’m looking to move my blog to somewhere else. There are many other services which seems better than wordpress. Of coarse why to live in a place where users are not valued and are always discouraged and irritated by new updates so frequently. BTW thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Like

  2. majii007 says:

    Hi bro. I m missing forums and i want them to back. I did not often posted in them but i read some coments of you and other people. =) i join the protest.

    Like

  3. tabeerkanwal says:

    Reactivate at least Off Topic Forum.

    We want our showcase forum back. Please return it to us. I reach here searching for anyone talking about it and I find so many posts about it. I was out of the forums for while and when I return i see the is closed. WTF This is not a significant thing to do. WordPress people always makes the ridiculous updates but i dont think they will ever open the forums again.

    Like

    • Hamza says:

      Yes there are many folks talking about it. I know this will not catch the attention of the staff and they will not reactivate the forums so easily but the posts like this one will make them feel that this was not a good decision and users are not happy with it. If they would not do activate them then we have many other options.
      Thanks for your thoughts.

      Like

  4. arisbutt says:

    I am very disappoint to see coments of timethief the post http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/showcase-forum-down?replies=101. She is an experience blogger and she is opposing the rights of new bloggers to meet u at a place and discuss somethings. Showcase was good place and only place for peoples to share theirs blog. Yaaaaar! In wordpress waloon ki Maa ki….

    Like

    • Hamza says:

      Hi Aris!
      I’m seeing you after a LONG time. Where were you?
      Yes TT’s shouldn’t have opposed the protest against the update. The other senior members were also non serious about it. As you can see the comments from TSP and Jennifer. This new update don’t bothered them at all because they have a community on their blogs. This was an headache for new comers who are seeking community and looking for other like minded people to interact with them. This is surely a loss for us. Hope they will soon do something to relief us.
      Thanks for your comment.
      Ghusa na ker meri jaan.

      Like

      • arisbutt says:

        I had went to my parents home too spent summer holidays. I am back after too long time and shocked to see forums are closed. It means i will no longer able to find good people like you. Will we create a forum for ourself. I mean we teen blogers of same region. But still that where no new people will come. How sad this is when you are addicted to something, you are waiting to see it after loong time and when you try to find it. it is not there. WTF!

        Like

        • Hamza says:

          I’m very sorry you think like that but this is a tragedy and all this is inevitable on wordpress. In Richard’s words

          This is not a democracy

          .

          The idea for a forum sounds good but we can not create a forum within our wordpress.com blogs.

          Like

    • Val says:

      If you’d looked further on, you’d have seen this comment from Timethief:
      http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/showcase-forum-down/page/3?replies=101#post-964474

      Everyone’s entitled to change their mind, and she did – and said so.

      Like

  5. Sadz says:

    I’m really very sorry to hear about this. I visited the forums rarely but it was always been a relaxation. I’m the Validator of Urdu Language in Glotpress. Whenever I was bored of a huge work there I visited OT forrum to see some interesting posts. I am against the decision for sure. Best wishes to all of you here. Nice post Hamza.

    Like

  6. punkie529 says:

    I was really sad to see off topic go as well. I gained a lot of followers and traffic from there. I also found a lot of great blogs to follow.

    Like

  7. amnagillani says:

    I came here seeing the link in the forum post. I join this tiny protest. 🙂

    Like

  8. Val says:

    I mostly agree with you, Hamza. I also miss the off-topic forum and I’d just started to publicise my blog on the Showcase forum. However, when you first came to wordpress did you come to blog or to use the forums? Most people come to blog first and then discover the forums when they have a problem and they then started using the off-topic forum.

    WordPress.com are all about changes. This isn’t a place to blog if you can’t take change. I’m constantly having difficulty with it for a different reason from yours – I’m not of the computer/techno age and with each sudden change, it affects me badly. That said, I’ve adapted my current blog to cope with most of it. Also I’m putting a heck of a lot of effort – even more than I did with my last blog and that’s saying something – into increasing my readership. This means blogging regularly, responding to comments, surfing into the blogs of my commenters and commenting on their posts, and surfing into the blogs of their commenters, etc. It’s time and energy consuming but it works.

    I miss the publicity that I had in the forums, but people do still come from there when I help as a volunteer – though that is not my motivation for trying to help there, it’s just a side effect.

    As for not being able to have a forum on your blog, there are two ways you can do that. One is to use the ugly but functional P2 theme which has commenting enabled on the front page. The other is to get a forum from elsewhere and link to it in your blog.

    This thread has some suggestions about how to find forums that you can run yourself:
    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/how-do-you-create-a-forum-for-your-site?replies=8
    and a search will turn up more such threads. I hope that helps. 🙂

    Otherwise, a great post. Thanks for writing it.

    Like

    • Hamza says:

      Thanks Val for your detailed post.
      Thanks for suggesting the theme but I don’t want to show the comments on my front page. Of coarse not when they are gigantic like this one.

      when you first came to wordpress did you come to blog or to use the forums?

      I almost went to the forums first, I didn’t create this blog but was invited here as a co admin by Sadz. In fact I didn’t come here for the blog as I had bunch of blogs on other hosts. But the thing that impressed me was the forums and a friendly community. That’s why it hurt me a lot.
      I’m looking into some other means to promote the blog and thanks for your suggestion. I mean to comment on the readers’ blog. BTW I already have gone through that thread :). http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/how-do-you-create-a-forum-for-your-site?replies=8

      Like

  9. Hi Hamza.
    Another one just voicing support for your views and expressing appreciation for a good post.
    You were a regular contributor to off topic, and I enjoyed reading your posts. I certainly miss that forum and the friendly interesting exchange of views.

    Like

    • Hamza says:

      Hi Roughseasinthemed!
      Thanks for your words. We all are missing the off topic forum as we can not have a cool conversation now. Yes I regularly visited the forums even more than I visited my blog. Hope we will soon find an alternative way to find such a lovely community back again. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Like

  10. I was shell shocked when they closed the two forums. I cannot for the life of me see how this will benefit WP. Nice post Hnsaifi and I agree with every word you say.

    Like

    • Hamza says:

      Thanks my friend Jessie. I was also shocked when I had found the announcement thread. I’ll definitely miss the company of the friends like you and the conversation we had there in the forums. Such a lovely place we have to gather. I thought the forums like the movie avatar the man sleeps and go the other fantasy paradise of Martians. This will have a long lasting impact on me. BTW Thanks for your appreciation and your thoughts.

      Like

  11. Matt Conlon says:

    There are other blog networking forums out there. 🙂
    But I agree, I don’t think the change will have the intended impact..

    Like


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