I do a lot of praising about Tumblr’s great dashboard because it’s a feature that is at the heart of the blogging environment. The platform does an amazing job at delivering other people’s content to you and encouraging people to share content around and recognize it.
This is an area that WordPress.com as a platform could really improve on. It’s also the reason I choose Tumblr over WordPress when it comes to needing to create blog that’s highly interactive (such as an RP blog). However, that doesn’t mean WordPress doesn’t have tools. In fact, it has a pretty great feature, if you are on WordPress.com, called the Reader.
So, when you click that little Follow button on WordPress blogs, that actually does do something – it adds that blog to your your Followed Sites in the Reader. It creates a flowing dashboard of content for all of the blogs you follow. To access it, just click the Reader button on the top WordPress bar of your blog.
There, you’ll see a bunch of options! View your Favorites, Discover new blog content in the WordPress.com environment, see what you’ve liked before, or check out Tags.
Tags is actually a pretty cool little feature, so let’s take a look at it. Basically, when you click on Tags, you get a list of tags that you’re following.
Not following any tags? Click Add and type a topic you’re interested in. Then, when someone else writes a blog post and tags that post with a tag you’re following, you can see it by clicking that tag name in this list.
It’s pretty darn cool, and a very good reason why you should make sure you’re tagging your content when you write blog posts! Not only does it help you organize your writing, but you never know who might have saved tags you use, and will see your posts because of it.
The great thing is that WordPress has these options in the Reader. The sad thing is that I don’t know that people are aware and using it… at least nothing to the extent that they do in Twitter or Tumblr.
If more bloggers got involved, watched tags, discovered new blogs, and really put the Follow system to use, then WordPress could become much more social.
It really would benefit all bloggers who use the platform. This would lead to creators becoming readers and more exchange of comments and ideas. Other than writing a post about it, and encouraging folks to check it out if they don’t use it already, I’m not sure what else can be said.
Soooo… if you haven’t used WordPress Reader, check it out! It’s really a great snapshot at what other people are doing, and gives you a quick look at all the blogs your Following in one place.
It’s also a part of the WordPress App if you prefer mobile!