I often try to keep weekend posts lighter. This time I complain about my readers and WordPress.
Recently I have had complaints about my blog layout (Lily), and my personality (brightstormyday – Mandy xD becomes Mandy >:( ) I have received unfavorable hints about my writing and spelling (SDaedalus).
With my readers giving me grief, it is sad that WordPress also adds to my woes. Unlike my complaining readers the WordPress annoyance affects all blogs without regard to layout*, personality, writing, or spelling.
As with most blogs, I created categories for the posts that I wrote. The sensible idea is to group posts with similar themes or topics together. The idea is that if a reader likes one particular post, he might like others on that theme.
Most themes will show this “meta data” at the end of a post. It will show the categories a post was filed under, and provide a link to others in the same category. If the reader likes this post and wants to read similar posts by the same blogger, they just click the category link to view a list of those posts.
The only problem is that is not what happens. Common to most WordPress hosted blogs, clicking on the meta data links at the bottom of a post will take you to a global search of all blogs that use that name as a category or tag. To me this is annoying and not what I expected or wanted. I am speaking here as a reader as much as a blogger. When clicking on such category links, I expect (and wish) to see what the current blogger has written on the subject.
It is not just my blog: go to Roissy and click on one of the categories beneath his latest post (e.g., “The Pleasure Principle”) and you will be taken to a list of blog entries across the web that use the same category or tag. In the Roissy example you will get listings about Gary Numan (an 80s electronic musician who made an album called “The Pleasure Principle”). What you will not see is a list of Roissy posts under that category.
[I am sure his posts will be included in the list. . . somewhere]
I have seen this on other blogs and wondered why the blogger set it up that way. I now see that it is a WordPress.com setting and not under individual blogger control. In my example, if I had wanted to search for Gary Numan, I would have searched for “Gary Numan Pleasure Principle.” What I expected, and wanted, was a list of Roissy posts under the category “The Pleasure Principle”.
If you have a WordPress.com hosted blog, this function will most likely work in the same way. I generally like WordPress.com (both as blogger and reader) but find this design feature annoying.
* It may not be all blogs. Some themes may allow you alter the display of these links. However, most will work as I outlined.[back]
This only counts for WordPress.com hosted blogs. Self hosted versions of WordPress blogging software should work as expected.
WordPress support has a thread where they explain that it really is a feature and not a bug.
The category links in the sidebar (if active) should still work as expected.
The only way to have those links skip the global search, is to block search engines (second option under “Privacy”) or set your blog to private (third option under “Privacy”). The last means only designated users can read your blog. The second means you will not show up in search engines, although anyone can access your blog.
The first paragraph was for fun, the rest is more serious.