Input on “Possibly Related Posts”

This particular install of WordPress has a feature called “Possibly Related Posts,” in which at the end of a post I make, an automatically-generated list of presumably-related news and blog posts appears just before the comments queue. I’m pretty sure it keys off of links to news sites and other blogs in the entry itself. To check, here’s a link to a recipe for mac & cheese pancakes; presumably the “PRPs” for this entry, if they arrive, will have something to do with cheese and/or macaroni and/or pancakes.

I’m not entirely convinced these PRPs will not be intrusive or annoying, but then again maybe you all will find them interesting. So, feedback, please: Keep the “possibly related posts”? Or dump them? I crave your opinion, and also, now, mac and cheese pancakes.

Update, 6:15pm: I’ve decided they’ve annoyed me too much to keep. I’ve turned them off. Thanks, everyone, for your input.

27 thoughts on “Input on “Possibly Related Posts”

  1. John – I read your comment at 2, having just read the previous post, and thought ‘I didn’t see any PRPs’. Went back to check and, interestingly, they don’t appear (for me at least) on the front page of Whatever. When I click on the comments, the first comment appears at the top of my screen. The PRPs are above that. I would therefore have to scroll up to see the PRPs. Consequently, so far, they are not intrusive as I am likely to keep missing seeing them.

  2. When I went to individual posts, it shows up, but when I went to the main page with multiple posts showing, the PRPs aren’t there. They could be annoying, but I read your blog via Google Reader mostly, so if they don’t show up there I guess it won’t matter to me in the long run. Now if they start showing up in the comments on your AMC column, then I’ll be miffed…

  3. I find them intrusive and annoying. It might just be because of how they’re presented, or because I’m not used to them: in the first post where I saw them, I read them as other articles you were specifically linking to, carefully opened all in tabs to go check on the stuff you wanted to make sure was read along with the blog post, and then got confused because it wasn’t relevant recent blog posts and news articles from elsewhere, but old posts from this blog.

    This may say more about my poor reading comprehension than the “related posts” links.

  4. It’s the sort of thing I usually pass right by, unnoticed. On the off-chance that I really care to peruse your postings for similar topics, as with the CT announcement, then it’s handy.

    I say Keep.

  5. Having found them once I viewed the individual posts, I still do not find them intrusive. If they took up the entire monitor’s worth of page, then it would be annoying, but as they currently are, I see nothing wrong with them.

  6. I’m not keen on them either. I checked the URLs on a few, decided I didn’t want to follow them up (and will keep doing that if necessary), but the positioning between the body of the post and the comments is irritating.

  7. They actually do annoy me. I think that the annoyance is primarily because they break the flow of my internal narrative between post and comments; I frankly also dislike the title, with the inherent admission of likely irrelevance. Extra helpings of spam, anyone?

    [Were there a limit to 'possibly related Whatever posts, I think that there would be much lower annoyance.]

    On a different note: is it possible to restore Preview functionality?

  8. They actually do annoy me. I think that the annoyance is primarily because they break the flow of my internal narrative between post and comments; I frankly also dislike the title, with the inherent admission of likely irrelevance. Extra helpings of spam, anyone?

    [Were there a limit to 'possibly related Whatever' posts, I think that there would be much lower annoyance.]

    On a different note: is it possible to restore Preview functionality?

  9. meh. I don’t really pay much attention to them on other blogs and have not gotten a traffic bump on my blog from them (which is how they sold them to us wp.com users). So, whatever.

  10. I’m familiar with them from other blogs, and I don’t like them at all. In fact, I’m rather offended by their existence. I feel like they’re saying I’m too stupid to find my own reading material. If a blogger has something that they, as an author, know is related, they should link to it. Letting a php script pick some previous posts is just lame.

    There are so many fantastic wordpress themes and plugins, but people do tend to go overboard. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.

  11. I don’t know if you can configure the plugin to display posts from *your* blog that are related to the post. If so, then that might be useful, especially for newer readers, or even older ones if the posts are something that they’ve not read. If you can’t and the posts displayed are from other blogs, then dump the PRP.

    PS: The use of this feature on WordPress.com is that you get to see what other bloggers are saying (possibly) about the same topic. I get a little traffic once in a while from a “possibly related post”.

  12. Well, most related posts plugins I don’t mind, except that the one on WordPress.com isn’t relating to John’s previous posts—it’s posts from other blogs. To, y’know, encourage exploration, but it’s always been noise to me because the algorithm used is… not very smart. I’ve seen it cross-reference between knitting and sex blogs. This tends to piss off one audience or the other.

    I don’t mind related posts if they’re within the same blog, since the algorithms used are actually intelligent (if you set the scoring appropriately). No one remembers where all their posts about their bacon cat are within 3000 entries, and when search functions suck and aren’t reliable, related posts within your blog are not a bad thing to have around.

  13. I don’t see any of them now. There were some earlier, and what was annoying is that they didn’t lead anywhere remotely similar. I’ll never do that again if they return.

    I hope the site is being worked on right now because the url is http://lb.wordpress.com/ not yours, and for awhile if I tried to go back to the main page from comments it went to some wordpress signup page.

    Don’t really care for the required email either. Now I have to think up a fake one for the box.

  14. I find them mildly annoying but don’t have any objection to them per se. Perhaps move them down to the bottom, below the comments? Maybe next to the link trackbacks if you’ve still got those going.

  15. Over on Fantasy I have a plugin for related posts that puts a field in the Write Post screen that allows me to choose which posts are related. This way, if there are no posts, the area doesn’t show up. If there are related posts I choose, it will show up. And the plugin is smart enough to put a link in BOTH posts. So if I write post A and then a month later write post H, I can say “Post H is related to A” and on post H there will be a link AND on post A. I like it very much. If you’re interested in the whole related post thing I’ll let you know what the plugin is called. I find it useful on Fantasy or the obvious reasons. I don’t know that I would put it on my Tempest blog. I would put it on the ABW, if I had a choice.

  16. tABW,

    I have a different plug-in for (possibly) related posts up and running at my place. I have it set (via “Settings”) for five, of which it is rare to see any ‘recommendations’ that actually have any thing to do with the post in question.

    Not only that, but when I make a new post I find that the recommendations listed under older ones has changed to recommend the new one.

  17. Is there a way to opt out of having them show? We just created a blog this morning for a church related site, and made our first post, and then noticed this PRP section which had objectionable material linked. If they can not be set to not show, then I suggest doing away with them all together. We now have to decide if we will be able to continue using WordPress.

Comments are closed.