When I woke up December 1st, yawning and trying to wake to a level of functionality, I logged onto my phone and looked at my views groggily. I couldn’t understand why I suddenly had 231 of them. My thought pattern was; “huh… 231…cool… Wait. 231? What did I write about last night? NaNoWriMo? Guess that must be more popular than I thought, I suppose everyone is finishing theirs right about now and checking to see how everybody went. Must be that….” Then I looked at my notifications and realised that while my regular readers were liking / commenting on my NaNoWriMo wrap up post, other people were suddenly commenting on ‘The Wild Thornberrys Revisited’. Which was confusing, again. I wrote that on the 14th of November. Why were people back on it? Then it dawned on me. I knew what had happened before I checked.
Clicking onto Freshly Pressed and seeing it at the top made me break out in a huge smile, yell ‘yippee’ (actually said yippee, never yelled it before now) and roll onto my boyfriend’s head while chanting “hey. hey. hey. wake up. guess what. hey. Freshly Pressed. Me. Yeah.” I was surprised, but happy. I long ago believed that I would never be chosen for it, (not in a dramatic blood oath and sacrifices kind of way) and so never wrote with the intention of it happening.
That day marks the highest view count I’ve ever (and probably will ever, oh) have. And they come from everywhere! I think I filled in a few new countries orange with Freshly Pressed. 99.9% of people were lovely in their comments, or clicked a quick ‘like’, and there were a few Facebook shares. Plus, I now have about 60 new followers – nice to meet you all, I’ll check out some of you soon It was a good experience, simply. Every now and then I stopped to smile and say “I was Freshly Pressed…”
You know what they don’t tell you about being Freshly Pressed? How much spam blog sites appear in your ‘referrers’ box. Apparently, a lot of sites were referring people over to me – only I couldn’t see any of them as they had been deleted by WP for ‘violation of the use of terms and services’. Eh! This is no biggie.
Something – or someone – that did try to be a biggie however was an anonymous person under a new blog who was very upset and angry over WordPress’ FP choices. They commented on mine, “i don’t get it. a cartoon is worthy of freshly pressed?” To which I reply with ‘Yes. I guess it is. My apologies that I hijacked the WordPress headquarters, put a gun to the editor’s head and screamed “PUBLISH IT BITCH. I’M GONNA PISS THE SHIT OUT OF THIS RANDOM PERSON, AND IT’S GOING TO BE BEAUTIFUL.” Because that’s how it happened. Honest. No, actually, what happened was that I wrote a post spur-of-the-moment hoping some of my followers would have a laugh. They did, that was that, I forgot about it. Then one morning I woke up, saw I was inexplicably up there, got an impersonal email from an editor of WordPress telling me I’d been Freshly Pressed, and I smiled and went about my day. That’s it. No conspiracy, no personal favoritism, one of the pickers just liked it. Maybe yeah, for some reason they did think it would be something that would get attention etc etc, but you know, I’m allowed to think that they just liked it. And you’re not allowed to make me believe otherwise. So I don’t.
The angry anonymous blogger sounds like somebody who has been repeatedly over looked by the FP scouting team despite their best efforts: they argue that you’re supposed to be ‘creative’ and ‘engaging’ while writing in a ‘unique style’, say that they’ve been told to tag correctly but it’s never worked for them and that the choosers only pick what they like. Also that they don’t see how one blogger could have multiple blogging awards.
Well, 1. I do see all those qualities up there on FP, not in every post I read because you can’t like everything, but most.
2. My tags are probably not the most popular ones, and since I wrote it weeks ago the chooser would have to have scrolled for a long time to find my post through a tag anyway, but no, I have no idea how they found my blog or that post, so I can’t help you there.
3. the chooser’s probably do pick what they like or see as popular – they wouldn’t finish a post they hated so wouldn’t publish it and they probably do want to keep up with the times. Though, The Wild Thornberrys isn’t exactly recent.
4. the blogger awards aren’t from WordPress itself but from your followers who received one from their follower, who received one from their follower and so on. When you get one, you nominate anywhere from 2 – 20 people so it snowballs quite fast. I’m lucky enough to have awesome followers who nominated me. The thing about them too, is that they only mean something here on WordPress – we don’t put them on our CV’s: they’re just a fun, good-natured gesture that says hey, blogger friend, I like your shit, have a Reader Appreciation Award.
I’m not mad at this person, I just want to say that I don’t think it’s fair to try and poop all over the parade of somebody’s WordPress happiness. Yell at the pickers if they’re who you’re mad at, not the blogger who didn’t expect the selection. I hope you’re not as upset today, and see that it’s not supposed to be a source of conflict. Besides, before it happened to me I believed someone when they told me it was all a game of knowing someone who gets to choose. Now that I’ve been chosen, I can promise you that for me (at the very least and I’m sure thousands of others) we don’t know the selection panel, nor do we expect to be selected.
Maybe they did choose me with a hidden agenda. But since I have no idea what that would be, maybe I should be allowed to think that they just thought it was an enjoyable, light-hearted post. You asked whether a cartoon was worthy of being Freshly Pressed, and I think I see what you want from FP. You want seriousness? You want heartfelt, deep, thought-provoking posts? Something that really means something? Something that’s written as if by the hand of Dickens, or Dahl? Well, I see that when I look at Freshly Pressed. I see the darker, harder, creative, interesting posts written by voices I haven’t heard before. They’re there. And they’re there because life is dark, hard, beautiful, a path of learning, a multitude of cultures and opinions. But you know what else life is? Light. Silly. Cartoons. Childhood innocence. A break from the complex.
You can’t have one without the other, so you know what? I’m happy I provided the less-than-meaningful check point this time. Someone has to if we’re going to read deeper posts as well. What you expect to happen with Freshly Pressed often won’t – all you can do is read the ones you like, write as best you can, cross your fingers that they might notice you one day too (it’ll happen when you least expect it, no doubt) and try to not tear down other bloggers who didn’t even know they were doing something wrong by you.
That’s it, I now have a Freshly Pressed experience. I’m pretty happy with it! Thank you to everyone who liked / commented / followed or just read, I appreciate it! And of course, big thank you’s to whoever it was that did indeed pick my post, I’m very grateful, and can’t believe that you did. As it all quietens down now, I’m settling back in to my usual view counts, ready to read some new Freshly Pressed posts. Also, shit I like how that badge looks on my blog; blue is my favourite colour.