“Along the journey you never know where the road might surprisingly lead or where you might suddenly find yourself” (Tom Vander Well).
It’s been three days since I saw one of my favorite blog posts featured on the Freshly Pressed Section of WordPress’ homepage, yet the elation is still as intense as when I first learned about it. This explains why I’m blogging about it now in a hope for a cure to come.
I’ve been using blogging as a coping mechanism
for whatever that is since I learned to do it, especially when I feel like my tires are submerged in the deep of either trouble or joy. At this point, I need to blog to get a little detachment from this elation—the cure I was talking about.
So for those who’ve congratulated me and, at the same time, asked what’s with this freshly pressed thing when I posted it on Facebook, allow me to share with you the story behind.
Almost two years ago, I started “playing” on WordPress because the then two most popular social networking sites were already added to the blocked websites of the office. My wandering mind couldn’t stand the boredom so I tried looking for a new site to play with. It was there that I found wordpress.com. The first post, “My Rambling Fingers”, I talked up on what I felt towards the office’s decision to block Facebook and Friendster. Then it went on like this was the perfect venue for my blabbermouth to do its job and for murdering a lulling time.
After making less than 15 posts by the first quarter of 2010 to the blog name “A Tunnel For My Murmurs”, I observed that I only get very few views. When I started reading the Freshly Pressed (FP) Entries about travel stories almost every day on the same quarter, I was inspired to try my luck on it. It was there that I decided to turn this blog over a new leaf. That’s to become a travel blog where my primary purpose is to promote the beauty of the Philippines. The very moment I changed the name of this blog into “Stories Of My Wandering Feet & Mind”, now “Stories Of The Wandering Feet & Mind”, made all the difference.
The few views I used to see on my site statistics gradually increased meeting my expectations but far less than what I perceived as “standards” for getting freshly pressed. After a few months of infantile thinking that I could make it on FP and realizing that I was overdoing the effort, I decided to just simply share my travel stories. The audience, in the form of views, otherwise became secondary. I just kept on writing and sharing the pictures I thought were beautiful. Nothing more, nothing less.
Indeed, life is full of surprises. That became so true to me when I received an email last 02 September 2011 from the Editor of WordPress stating that my post, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, was promoted to Freshly Pressed. I yelled! I screamed! I shouted for joy upon reading it! But there’s more to it than just being on the homepage as I still have to deal with the aftereffect up to this moment.
Freshly Pressed, based on what I read is WordPress’ way of highlighting posts that they think others will like where each weekday, they select ten new blog posts for the Freshly Pressed section of their homepage. The select posts represent how WordPress can be used to entertain, enlighten, or inspire.
Getting promoted to Freshly Pressed truly is a major traffic win both for WordPress.com and for the blog of a particular featured post. The sudden growth of my blog which is quantified by the kind of traffic it gets (i.e. the abnormal flow of views, comments, and subscribers) is simply exhilarating. I actually got six (6) thousand views for just three days—which is, relatively speaking, something a regular blogger will gain for about four years of blogging. That’s one real, big deal!
The last thing is, there are only few Filipinos who make it to Freshly Pressed (FP). It’s interesting to note that there are actually 24 million bloggers in WordPress Universe as of July 2011 per wikipedia’s. So far, the only other Filipino Blogger that I caught getting featured on FP is one of my favorite radio personalities, Chico Garcia, of Monster Radio RX 93.1. I once thought that I need to bag what he accomplished first to gain a Freshly Pressed badge. The experience of being Freshly Pressed taught me that I just need to be me to get it. “The rest is all hard work and grindstones and luck and kismet and wishes upon falling stars—and sometimes you get what you want and it’s just what you need” (Urban Semiotic).
So thank you very much to WordPress, fellow bloggers, and non-bloggers who supported me on this endeavor. I hope you’ll push on supporting Stories of The Wandering Feet & Mind. I promise I will work out harder for what I do best here.
- Quantifying the Freshly Pressed Effect on WordPress.com and How to Get Featured (urbansemiotic.com)
- What Makes a Post Freshly Press-able: The Rise of eBooks – Evil or Essential? (dailypost.wordpress.com)
- The Four Stages of Being Freshly Pressed (brokenpenguins.wordpress.com)
- Blogger Subjected to Censorship Due to False Reports to WordPress (mentalhealthmatters2.wordpress.com)
- The Ever-Elusive Freshly Pressed Unicorn (Freshly BLESSed?) (swimminginthemud.com)
- Pressed for Words (thenarcissisticanthropologist.com)
- Freshly Pressed? Well I’ll Be Damned! (myvuze.wordpress.com)
- Freshly Pressed/Stale and Wrinkled/None of the above (imthatkay.wordpress.com)
- Wit, Intrigue and Pragmatism…the ways to WordPress’s Heart. (freepagenumbers.wordpress.com)
- Freshly Pressed, Already Wrinkled (sassandbalderdash.com)