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Royal Rumpus, Day Six: stopping (starting?) the presses and those pesky people you may or may not know

Happy Sunday, everyone! Whew, Saturday was BUSY. Well, I stayed up way too late into the wee hours of Saturday morning, which was my own damn fault, but when I can stay up late, I tend to overdo it. Then I slept in, which was very nice and very decadent of me. But THEN, when I got up in the morning, WHEW ALL THE RUSHING! Because Saturday was K.’s wedding shower, so I had to get all fancied-up! And go to a COUNTRY CLUB! I know, right? Me at a country club. It’s like the opposite of a diamond in the gutter. This place was NICE. We wedding showered and friend K. got many gifts and I did not win any of the prizes for the games because I was terrible at them, even bingo (WHO CANNOT WIN BINGO FOR THE LOVE OF PETE) and we had some delicious foodstuffs and then I went to the (shudder) mall.

Argh, mall. You are my nemesis.

Argh, mall. You are my nemesis.

I know. I hate the mall. With the stores and the people and the crowding and the escalators one could very likely get stuck on and then tumble to one’s death or get grinded to one’s death, take your pick. But I really, REALLY needed shoes. And was only halfway successful, because I wanted at least one pair of black shoes and one pair of brown shoes and only could find black shoes. WHY NO BROWN SHOES? Is there something you’re not telling me? Has there been a run on brown shoes? Also, there were a lot of patent leather – or at least fake leather – shoes. Shiny shoes? Really? Those get scuffed. Bad news. Who designs these things? And THEN, since I was in the mall anyway, I ran to the store for clothing and again had a little luck but not all the luck and what happened at the store is a story for another day.

WHEW! All the things. When I got home, Dumbcat was all “MOM WHEAR HAEV YOU BENE.” And I collapsed collapedly.

But! You are not here for True Tales of What Amy Did on Saturday. Well, I would assume. You are here for our daily dose of bloggiversary goodness, right? Right. Well! What will we talk about today? What have I learned that I will share with you, from the goodness of my kindly heart, hmm?

Getting Fresh

I know a lot of bloggers dream about getting Freshly Pressed. And it’s a very good dream, and, overall, it’s a very good thing. And (shockingly, still, months later) I can barely believe it happened.

So here’s what happens when you get Freshly Pressed. You write a post. Within a few days, you get an email from WordPress telling you it’s been selected to be Freshly Pressed. If you’re a normal person, you probably think, “Oh! Well! What a deserved honor that has been bestowed upon me! As I am a grand writer!” If you’re me, you start breathing funny, and you squeak like a mouse caught in a trap, then you wonder if you’re being tricked, and you think a mistake has been made.

Punk'd. Just like Justin Timberlake, baby.

Punk’d. Just like Justin Timberlake, baby.

Once your post goes up on Freshly Pressed, you have 24-48 hours where you pretty much need to turn off the notifications on your phone. Because it’s going to be going off ALL THE TIME. You’re going to get a ton of likes, and a ton of new followers, and probably a ton of comments, which, if you’re anal like me, you’re going to want to reply to. Your stats for the day or two are going to shoot through the roof. It’s exhausting, but it’s also exhilarating. Because, listen, I know it’s not nice to mention in polite society, but, well, we’re not polite society here, so I’m safe – I don’t think there are too many of us bloggers that don’t like being the center of attention. Otherwise, why are we here? I think, if given the option, even the blogger who says, “Oh, no, I’m glad I have a small readership, I’m glad no one pays that much attention to me” would immediately sell their soul for a celebrity-level readership. Because, when it all comes down to it, we’re attention whores. Some of us are just a little less shameless about it than others, is all.

You will probably get some trolls. I didn’t get too many, but I did get a few. I just deleted them. I didn’t even let them see the light of day. A lot of the people following you will not be real blogs. I checked out most of the blogs who followed me and a lot of them were placeholder blogs with nothing on them or spam blogs selling male-enhancement pills or, strangely, fake luggage and/or handbags, as if these people are selling things on the streetcorners of New York City. (Lately, this has been happening a lot – I would assume this is happening to most of you WordPress bloggers? Our followers counts are no longer reliable, because most of the followers aren’t real. WordPress knows about it, but says it’s not a problem. I find it shady, but I suppose it’s not really a problem, mostly just an annoyance. I do wish there was a way to make it stop, though. I like to know how many real people are reading my blog, not just weird fake handbag purveyors.) You will also get a lot of people who comment or like once and never come back. That’s the nature of the beast. It’s ok. Don’t beat yourself up too much. Or at all, actually. Bigger things to worry about in the world, you know?

In-between selling purses on the streetcorner, Antonio blogs most bloggily!

In-between selling purses on the streetcorner, Antonio blogs most bloggily!

After the furor of the few days dies down, things will be back to normal. You might keep some of the people you found (I still have some of those people – hi, people!) but for the most part, those people fade back into the woodwork. You were the flavor of the week. You get a sassy banner for your blog, if you put it up, and you can tell people you were Freshly Pressed, and there you have it.

Is it cool? Hell, yes. Does it change your WHOLE LIFE? Nope. It’s a couple days of awesomeness and then it’s business as usual. It’s nice to be validated. It’s nice that the people at WordPress noticed you. Is it something you should want? Yes. Is it something to be so upset you haven’t gotten? Well, no. And I’ll tell you why. WordPress is looking for something in particular, and very few blogs have it. Follow their Freshly Pressed page for a while in your reader. You’ll see the pattern. The posts are usually short, usually have some sort of pretty graphic or photo, usually are broadly relatable, usually are either something people will argue about or something people will squee over. If you are Freshly Pressed, it is probably not going to be for a post that represents what you usually write about or how you usually even write, which brings in a lot of readers who expect you to write like that all the time and are sorely disappointed. The same people do tend to get Freshly Pressed multiple times. It’s because they know what WordPress is looking for, and because they’re on WordPress’ radar. You can cry foul all you want, but it’s WordPress’ game to play as they wish.

So, yeah. It’s cool. I continue to be pleased it happened. I appreciate that it did. I am always pleased to see it happen to someone whose blog I read and whose work I love and who I care about, because I love that they got that validation. But I also see the flaws in the system, and I hate to see bloggers trying to hard to get Freshly Pressed and getting so depressed when it never seems to happen to them.

Keep writing. Keep doing your thing. If you get Freshly Pressed, awesome. If you don’t, please don’t think it’s a flaw in yourself. It most absolutely is not.

OK, let’s get down to it. So what’s the second-most read post on Lucy’s Football? What’s your guess? Ideas?

Oh, I’m not going to keep you hanging. It’s a beautiful Sunday, you probably want to go play in the sunshine or something.

Aw. Like these kids. You totally want to play like these kids.

Aw. Like these kids. You totally want to play like these kids.

My second-most popular post…in the past two years…

…with – ARE YOU READY FOR THIS INSANITY? – 1,922 hits in the past seven months, I don’t even, I DO NOT EVEN, that is TWICE AS MANY AS THE THIRD MOST POPULAR POST, is…

An Open Letter to Facebook’s “People You May Know” Feature.

This post isn’t that funny, or well-researched, or anything but me being peevish when I saw an ex pop up in my “people you may know.” There. That’s your daily glimpse at the man behind the curtain. I wrote this because I was peevish. I am often peevish. Most days I am able to tamp it down and go about my day. This day, I wasn’t.

The stats are so insane on this post because I get hundreds, literally, LIT-rally if you’re Chris Traeger, hundreds, of searches a month from people who want to know things like “how to turn off the people you may know feature” and “people you may know has disappeared” and “there are people I don’t know in the people I may know” and it is UTTER LUNACY.

Listen, I know the Facebook help section is useless. And if you ask stupid questions like this there, you’re not going to find answers. The thing is? I’m going to give you some tough love, here. YOUR QUESTIONS ARE ASININE. I will tell you ONE MORE TIME. People you may know on Facebook IS NOT GOING AWAY. It’s just THERE. IGNORE IT. I know you can do this. Put on your big-kid pants and IGNORE THAT SHIT.

IGNORE ITTTTT.

IGNORE ITTTTT.

Or, you know, just keep clicking on the post. I never said I wasn’t an attention whore.

Happy Sunday, people of the internet. One more day, and we reach the END OF BLOGGIVERSARY WEEK! Ok, well, maybe there will be a TEENY bit more the next day but I promise it won’t be as annoying. Have happy Sundays. Relax. Rest. Read. Enjoy life. *smooch*


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