The Zombies Ate My Brains

Rescuing what might remain of the grey matter.

If you are Reading This. And a Request.

memoIf you are reading this in WordPress Reader, then I wish you a good day. If you are not reading this in Reader, and you should be because you have elected to read my blog in Reader… then… um… hmm. That’s a problem, isn’t it?

I have come to the conclusion that every now and again I must take some time to work through the list of bloggers that I follow to make sure that I am indeed following them. Since last week I’ve noticed that a dozen of my favourite writers no longer appear in my feed.


So, it’s tedious work, but it’s important work and I will go through the list of blogs that I follow and make sure that I am subscribed by email.

Which is not something I do lightly, this email subscription thing. I get stressed if there are more than a half-dozen items waiting to be read. I use the inbox as my “to do” list.

  • Pay this bill.
  • Write letter to Aunt Betty.
  • Go to the dentist.
  • Pick up the book at the library.
  • Read this blog.
  • Read this blog.
  • Read this blog.
  • Read this blog.
  • Read this blog.
  • Read this blog.

You get the idea.

I think that some subscriptions in my reader fall away because bloggers tweak their sites or change platforms. But that is not the case in all of the dropouts. I also think that some drop away when WordPress does a major overhaul, such as the one that was announced a couple of weeks ago. Just about the time that I lost touch with my followees.

Either way, if you haven’t heard from me, that’s why. I didn’t get the memo.

Here’s my request. If you haven’t done so, please add the “follow by email” widget to your home page, if that is something that you want to do. I sure would like it, because I cannot count on Reader to keep us in touch.

follow blog

From the Dashboard, select Appearance, and then select “Follow blog”


Categories: Blog Blog Blog

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65 replies

  1. Each tweak seems to throw up countless problems, Maggie. I, too, go through phases when blog posts disappear into the Cyber equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle, never to be seen again. Annoying, very. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I discovered some time ago that I have to periodically check the Reader and verify email subscriptions. I prefer the email route because I’m lazy and I want the post to come to me rather than me having to go look for it.

    I have a new irritation with email though. Since I was away on vacation, my mailbox exploded. I simply wasn’t able to keep up. Now I’m backlogged by several hundred. Every day I slip a little further behind.

    I would like to sort my mailbox by blog rather than by date but I haven’t figured out how to do that – or if it’s even possible.


  3. Good morning! Well, I am reading this in the WordPress reader so I guess we are okay? I find all of this sort of confusing and I used to consider myself slightly above average in intelligence (just slightly, mind you.) WordPress has humbled me!!


    • Yay, one for the good guys! LOL, I know what you mean about humbling. I prefer to think it has more to do with unmet expectations, but I’m prepared to admit to, um, a slight decline in grey matter! Great to hear from you.


  4. I haven’t discovered any blogs that have been dropped (yet) but a few people have discovered that somehow mine has been dropped from their Reader. WP can be odd at times.


  5. That happens to me from time to time so I use the email subscription as a back up. I usually go through my reader first then I can just delete the emails announcing a new post. I love Word Press (it is free mostly) but it does wonky stuff now and then. A few weeks back I couldn’t get to my statistics from the circled W. Now I can’t get to Freshly Pressed that way. Something is always different. Keeps us on our toes (and wondering if we’re missing something).


  6. It’s all deeply mysterious to me. Mostly I cross my fingers and hope.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m reading you from the reader. I do subscribe by some with email, and I bookmark others. However, if you didn’t post for a few days, I’d be over here wondering if I missed somethin!
    I’ve noticed the tinkering when people use another platform as well.


  8. I am reading it in reader, but I also get the emails. A lot of them. I have no idea how to add a “follow me” widget to my blog and don’t even remember which theme I switched to last. Course, the lack of new glasses is part of the problem, a huge part. It would help if I could see this, clearly. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Your blog comes up under “Blogs I Follow” so…
    I am not well versed in all of this unfortunately. I barely understand my stats although their low numbers are shockingly clear. Lol.


  10. I’m reading you via the Reader. My concern is my list of number of readers hasn’t budged in a very long time. I’ve gotten quite a few new readers lately, many who are on WordPress. However, the number of Reader followers and the number of email followers hasn’t changed. I find it hard to believe that all of them are typing in my URL to reach my blog.


  11. I subscribed via email a long time ago (in blog time). I don’t want you to get buried in the reader pile.


    • Well, thanks, Dan. I know what you mean about the reader pile. On my desktop, I want to scroll only so far back. On my tablet, it’s not as easy to manage. Which makes me think… have I heard from you lately? Hm. I better double check.


  12. Just surprise. Yesterday was the first I learned, from M-R, about this WordPress “undocumented feature”–as we then-computer-geeks used to call such things in order to get our users to laugh, rather than throttle us. I was mildly irked yesterday, but am more so reading your remarks today.

    How long has it been known that this sporadically occurs? Why is WP even offering the Reader feature instead of email only, if the product has such a significant bug which affects only the Reader? Why isn’t WordPress notifying its users about this known bug, so that we may decide in a fully-informed way to include the standard (Reader) Follow button, or to instead offer only the email Follow?

    I would think that those WP users who have monetized blogs would have a… well, let me not be the one to go there.

    Good luck with your detective work, Maggie.


    • You are exactly right: what about the folks that count on the fraction of a penny for every impression? All very good questions. For which I have no answer.

      You and I are of similar “vintage” and, I assume, you and I have a similar experience of “customer service.” I think, therefore, that your and my expectations of what we “should” receive in terms of customer service are not jiving with what we get. Which is little to nothing.

      WordPress is not the first website where I have encountered what I would consider poor handling of the clientele. Another site, that shall remain nameless, is astonishingly poor in terms of response to queries and concerns. The owner of the site takes great pleasure in diminishing what he considers petty or unimportant requests. He falls short of sticking out his tongue and declaring “neener-neener”.

      It boils down to the personality at the top.

      Goofy me: I came to WP with the sense that it is a world class site with world class infrastructure. Like a new relationship with a boyfriend, after the initial bloom is off the rose, the thorns begin to prick.

      As for detective work, I won’t pursue this issue any further than finding the best way to make the existing format work for me. I’m not motivated enough to do anything more.


      • I have so many frustrating unfruitful-thus-far battles of my own, nor will I take this one on, but: Now I know why some who choose to monetize their blogs leave WP.

        I, too, have thought of leaving, but because of the long-ago inadvertent parallel hit-testing I did with Blogger vs. WP, where my unattended Blogger versions of the identical posts had continued to get hugely-higher hits–esp. internationally. I’ve read conflicting arguments and research supposedly supporting each platform, but I saw the proof in my own blog, both on hits and where posts came up on searches: Google’s search engine clearly gives much higher priority to its own product.

        Just from a programming internals standpoint, puts a deeper layer between your blog and the web than does and Blogger–at least the way I understand their workings.

        Just shot off on a tangent there again, didn’t I?


        • Tangent or not, this is indeed an eye-opening discussion, OB.

          Now that you mention it, it makes perfect sense that a Google-based blog would have better traffic. I started on Blogger, but found the interface cumbersome. I had also heard from one or two people in social media that the WP “framework” is easier. So, I jumped ship.

          I expect, one day down the road, Google will gobble up WP and the whole issue will be moot.


  13. Note I included, also. Here’s a link I only just sniffed at, but it and the theme it references (I peeked at that vendor’s site, as well) look interesting. Think I’ll return when I have some time, if that happens.

    You are probably right about the great googly moogly and it’s ultimate far-reaching designs (bwah-ah-ah!).


  14. G’day Maggie,
    Well thanks to this entry I have discovered the reader and it’s function, , I am still exploring all the different hidden corners of WordPress ,albeit very tentatively since doubling up on one page and accidentally deleting another. hahahaha


    • Well, then, I consider this post worthwhile!

      Tentative is good. Sorry to hear about the deletion.I spent a couple hours uploading a dozen photos to a gallery, edited and titled them and in in one faulty click of a button – poof – vanished. C’est la vie.


  15. I have to say, I love the title of your blog! I am not just witlessafterfifty, I have stories of my great grandparents, my grandparents and other things that strike my ‘fancy.’ I have over 14,000 emails sitting there in my email. I apparently have no clue how to filter comments and other wordpress things. I was able to delete 2000 yesterday. Wow! Yikes! I go to the library and only blog for the amount of time I am given, sometimes when no one is waiting I can use 180 minutes. Mainly, I get about an hour. So, I head to wordpress, post a story and read my comments and go to the people’s blogs that comment on my blog first, then I go to my reader. I love the way you write just like I do, from your heart and plainly, clearly, too! Hope to keep in touch! Smiles, Robin


  16. ‘I’ve embedded the link in your message’ means not a clue to me, Maggie. To my totally non-tech mind you might have said, “I went to the store to buy celery and came home with butter.” Your blog comes in my email. I fire that baby up each morning before work and when I get home and them I am done. I cannot even hyperlink so widgets really confound me. I need a glass of wine…

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I rarely read blogs via the Reader. I do get you via e-mail. So “hi” Maggie. 😉


  18. Maggie in the Reader. Check.
    Fun read. Check.
    Short comment because I’m supposed to be working. Check.


  19. This must be the umpteenth reason for my NOT using the (ugh !) Reader, Maggie. And it has nought to do with the overhaul you mention (how did you know about that, btw ?); because around six months ago when I tried to use the damned thing instead of email advices, I nearly went mad !!! I found it completely impossible to know where I was up to, as it arbitrarily repeated posts I’d already read.
    Words fail me about the (ugh !) Reader. Now, that is …


  20. Getting you in the Reader but I know you haven’t gotten me (ha ha) from time to time and to go hunt me down and read me. 🙂 I added the widget.


  21. I’m still following just mainly because I love seeing those lovely pics of rocks. (sorry if you call them something else) oh and because i like what you write…. xx


  22. Hi Maggie – you are in my reader and I get the emails, I’m not missing out on reading your posts! Good to see the discussion this has created. 🙂


  23. I am still receiving your posts in my Reader. I don’t know what it is about the so-called upgrades which often end up being downgrades.


  24. Argh. I’ll look for the widget, because you’re right. I never see the blogs I allegedly follow via WordPress.


  25. I just started following you after finding you today through Linda’s One-Liner Wednesday and got to this post because it is listed as one of your “Great posts worth seeing” on an email I got because you visited my blog and liked a post. I do find that I only follow a subset of blogs by email – the ones that I am most interested in keeping up with. I receive a ton of emails from being on various environmental and social justice lists, so I can’t follow all my blogs by email or I would never get through my inbox.

    I do edit my preferences to get emails from the blogs I follow, usually opting for daily emails rather than immediate. There are a couple that don’t post often that I follow with weekly email. I’ve had a “follow by email” widget on my blog for a while. It is especially helpful when people who don’t have wordpress blogs want to follow me. It’s how my parents, who are in their 80s, follow my blog!


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