What is Freshly Pressed? It is the opinion of editors hired by WordPress. It promises that some blogs are better than others, deserve special recognition and indicates that these people know what good is and have assigned themselves the task of giving out this recognition.

YOU ARE A WINNER - 150 12X12

I believe in merit. I also believe in fairness. While some awardees have created funny, creative, original material and have earned recognition, that is far from universally true. Many other recipients are nothing special, writing stuff that has no social value and little relevance. It’s not especially funny or even interesting. But it is whatever pleases WP’s editors — and they answer only to themselves.

Freshly Pressed gets dangled in front of bloggers not only as an award, but as the opportunity to gain a broader readership. They will promote you, put your material where everyone can easily see it. For those of us who have labored long and hard, produced a lot of really good material only to have it ignored, it’s a virtual slap in the face and it hurts.

Why are the same sites recognized over and over again while others, as deserving or more so, are shut out? Some of us apparently can never meet whatever ephemeral standards are being applied. Because the judging standards are never stated, you can never object to the judgment. There are no criteria to be met, just that somebody noticed you and deems you worthy.

This kind of thing makes many people, including me, feel sad. We aren’t just blogs. We aren’t faceless corporations. We are real live people doing something for which we get no reward except the chance to have our words read, our photographs reviewed. Yes, we crave recognition. Who doesn’t? Who doesn’t want the validation of being Officially Recognized? Even if it’s by a self-appointed board of recognizers?

I’ve appointed myself an official recognizer. Allow me to present my bona fides.

I spent more than 40 years as a professional writer by which I mean I got paid to write and my work was published by the people who paid me to do it. There is nothing which screams professional more than that. I also wrote and published a book that still, to this day, actually sells a few copies here and there, though it was published originally in 2007. Just last week, Amazon notified me that I have earned $10.24 in royalties this past quarter (be still my heart)!

I am a real editor of real books and a pretty good photographer, if not the most skilled user of Photoshop. However, my skills are improving and towards that end, I have created an award. It’s the “I deserve an award,” award. You don’t have to pass it along to any specific number of people. You don’t have to reveal 12 inner secrets you’ve never revealed before. You can send it to people you think would like to have it and deserve it. Display it on your site and maybe this thing will catch on.

Have fun. Remember, guys and gals: We do not need validation or approval from WordPress. Their opinions as to what constitutes quality are no better than mine or yours. It is merely their opinion. If people like you, read you, visit your site, look at your pictures, comment on how they appreciate what you do? That is validation. That is approval. That means something. Don’t let a lack of “official” recognition sour you. Don’t stop having fun doing what you do!

This badge is 375 pixels square and should fit comfortably into a column or footer. I’ve put one on my front page so you can see if that’s the size you want. If you want a badge in a different (smaller or larger) size, I can fix it for you. Let me know what you want.

YOU ARE A WINNER - 180 275px sq

I’m going to pass this to a few of you and leave it to you to pass it to others. Use discrimination and give it to sites that do quality work, help others, rescue dogs, provide important medical information that can be hard to find. Give it to those whose pictures make you say WOW, whose posts make you laugh and cry and think.

I’m picking a few of you to get the ball rolling, but many more of you deserve it. I am just flu-ridden and too tired to pick through the many worthy bloggers I know. I’m not ignoring anyone, honest. I have the kind of chest cold that makes me feel a poke in the eye with a sharp stick might be more fun. You know, wheezing, coughing, can’t breathe, eyes running headache, fever and even more body aches than usual? I’ve gotten this far, but I can’t go another inch. I’m done and used up. Love you all!!

You don’t have to do anything with this if you don’t want to. And anyone reading this is welcome to join in and pass this to others who you believe have been unfairly overlooked. It is entirely up to you.

Let’s encourage each other. Be strong and blog on!

ENCHANTED SEASHELLS: Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife

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136 replies

  1. Good one. Thank you. I also came by to say I love your new photo, of course being dog crazy and all but I was hoping it’s a current photo and you look nice and healthy. I was concerned about the pneumonia bout.

    Wishing you and yours Happy Thanksgiving. 🙂


  2. HI, Marilyn. Thanks for the shout-out. Love your new gravatar. Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving! Bette


  3. Holy Moly you get a lot of comments! That’s amazing! Thank you for liking my Embracing the Gray post on Lala Land. Funny, I was just pondering the mysteries of things like, cross posting, and BlogHer, and Freshly Pressed. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one thirsty for recognition!


    • If we didn’t want recognition, we probably wouldn’t blog. What would be the point 🙂 I don’t need a statue in the park, but a nice little badge for my website would be pretty cool. A big check would be nice too.


  4. WordPress does reveal some clues to the mystery of why they pick who they pick to be Freshly Pressed. It’s in the Support section of WordPress:

    Also, blogger Vanessa Chapman did a detailed analysis of Freshly Pressed characteristics.

    I love your wonderful idea of giving recognition to non-Freshly Pressed bloggers. There are many bloggers worldwide that richly deserve the honor.

    As far as my own analysis goes, they seem to pick a mixture: some posts related to the season, others to the human experience, others for humor and still others for beauty.


    • In other words, what the particular person felt like picking at the time. It’s random. And the reason the same people get picked over and over again? Even though there are better people who’ve never been picked?

      How about basic laziness? Why go searching when you can just repeat the same stuff again. You know, all of this blather — have you actually READ some of this crap? There’s good stuff … but there’s a lot of blather. Empty writing with neither heart nor art. Analyze it to death, and you still get a bunch of people who just pick whoever they feel like to meet their quotas. Sometimes it’s someone worthy. More often, it’s not.


  5. I’m sorry you are feeling so rough and hope you feel much better very soon. I’m going to have a look at Tugboat and others!


  6. What a fab idea, thanks for giving everyone so much encouragement. I agree with all you said & Ive often wondered why some people get so much attention for doing very little. Ive seen some just put a photo & quote on, (not even their own work) and they get hundreds of likes! Personally I couldn’t put out anything that wasn’t of my own creation, but all the same, I’d love to know what the magic formula is and get a little recognition for my efforts. 🙂


    • One of the things I most dislike is that whatever the formula is — and I am not convinced there actually are standards or a formula — they don’t reveal it. They have no accountabilty, take no responsibility and never have to justify their choices, however dubious. When “judges” give out “prizes” based on personal taste, a lot of people feel discounted and dismissed. It’s not fair and it’s unkind.


    • I agree! All my own work (with a very few exceptions) is my code too. 🙂


  7. Hi Marilyn, Wow this not so freshly pressed thing is catching on like wild fire, I love all the responses, I was web surfing today and I came across this gem, it was perfect timing, I thought you would get a kick out of it, so I am sharing the link, there seems to be lot’s of us proud and unpressed out there! Enjoy!!


  8. I appreciate your linking to my post! So glad to find you and connect with someone else who believes in the power of doing good work just because we *want* to and finding our validation in that joy all by itself! Being an artist of any sort is not for the faint-hearted. I’m delighted to meet any wordsmith who puts together words that move me and does so without worry about whether the effort’s getting flashy notice. Still, we all *do* relish sharing the adventure, or we wouldn’t press Publish at all. Delighted to find your wonderful posts and dive into them now. Cheers!


    • There are so many reasons we do what we do … and sometimes, they seem so contradictory. I think, in the end, being any kind of artist — painter, poet, writer, photographer, whatever — we need to be seen, read, appreciated. No matter how much we protest that we love art for its own sake — and we do — we also need to share it, need other eyes on it. I get a huge boost from the relationships I form on the Internet. I live in a very small town, so this gives me a window and a door into a much bigger world. VERY glad to meet you 🙂


  9. O.K. so I just got nominated for a sunshine award. Would you be glad or annoyed if I passed one on to you? ( I was thrilled, but their a lot of work.)


    • Glad, but I won’t do all the work involved, just an acknowledgement and a big thank you. I appreciate the thought and the generosity, but I think I’ve got at least two of everything other than FP. Actually, with the way these are set up like chain letters (which is why I didn’t want mine to require anyone to to anything specific except be joyous in the receipt thereof), eventually everyone will have many of everything. I actually like the sunshine award. I like sunflowers 🙂 More sunflowers are good.


  10. Enjoyed reading your blog and found it through Enchanted Seashells. We were complaining together. I have been blogging for the last 6 years on here. Never been Freshly Pressed either but I post because I love doing it. I use to take the time to look at Freshly Pressed back when you saw it right away when you logged in. Hope that you feel better soon!


    • Thank you and thank you again. I’ve been a writer my entire life. A working (as in paid to do it) writer, so it’s easier for me to self-validate than for those who’ve never published in the larger world. I have insecurities about many things, but I know I can write. And take pictures. I’m more upset by the obvious unfairness of it than not being chosen. So much of what they do choose is blah, boring, or worse. Meanwhile, their infrastructure is wibbly wobbly and I have a feeling not being FP’d is going to be nothing when their servers start to go down. Nice to meet you!!


  11. New to, was not even sure what the fresh-pressed section was, took a gander around and was not impressed much anyway!


    • It’s been getting increasingly underwhelming as time passes. I think it’s not malice. I think its (a) laziness – they pick the same blogs over and over again because it’s easier than sifting through a million sites (b) understaffed – they don’t really have the resources to do it right, and (c) they’re a bunch of kids with sometimes questionable tast.


  12. I’d say this post is way more popular than fressly impressed. WP Happiness Engineers are making a lot of people unhappy. Considering that when a glitz happens and they delete hours of posts from the reader, or delete someone’s followers, or erase all the likes put on bloggers posts, they consistently have said, “We are just a hand full of staff overseeing over a million blogs” ( and then they add, “the problem(s) aren’t on our end!) I think it is so magically impressive that this hand full of staff can read over a million blogs and then decide which are most meritorious!! WOW Magic!! I’m fressly unimpressed~


    • I think you nailed it. That’s why they choose the same sites over and over again. They don’t have the person power to actually read that many bloggers, so they go to the ones they know and find something and feature it. If you are lucky enough to get picked once, you’re virtually guaranteed to get picked again and probably again. They also don’t have quite the fabulous customer service they advertise. It’s free, so what should I expect? Their servers are overloaded and the problem is getting worse. They’ve had some massive crash and burns in England and Europe. I suspect we are next.


  13. I think it’s a charming idea. I’m pretty new, just a couple of weeks in to just my second stint of blogging. I was a livejournaler for a long, long time… It’s just already I’ve read a few stories like this one and just wanted to say, don’t let them get you down. I’m not sure if it really is such a big deal – I don’t know. I’m sure you should just let your writing do the talking. Which I really like by the way. I have many opinions of how we should value our own work – but I certainly wouldn’t presume to just blurt it out unsolicited. Just keep on rocking your readers’ world! ‘Cause you clearly do…


  14. I wish I could Freshly Press people, ha! But seriously, a reader’s choice spot would be handy– or even having a blogger’s panel would be great for just one spot on the board. You know I’d FP you in an instance… I’ve even recommended a few of your posts via twitter. I read posts like this and I get so, so sad that I wear the badge — but like I just told Rosebud, I also respond to the bullying aspect of a few of the notes I’ve received and I think “There’s no way in hell I’m taking down that badge and making you think it’s because you bullied me.” – La. It’s a conundrum. Definitely one of those issues where I wish I was still a kid and could just ask my parents what I should do.


    • There are those who have earned their badge. You and some others. And a great many who seem to wind up there because those who are doing the choosing stay within the safe zone … picking the same people over and over again out of what I suspect is laziness. A lot of the new batches are not very good. I’m baffled as to what makes them worthy of any award.

      But I’m too sick at the moment to get into this. I feel lousy and am going back to sleep. It will all have to wait until I can breathe.


      • I hope you feel better soon. *hugs*


        • Thank you. I’m working on it. I sent you some notes about nah nah nano poblano because I’m still unclear on what I’m doing. I know I sound like a dunderhead, but I haven’t gotten a grip on it yet. I’m sure it’s not all that complicated, though right now, thinking is complicated. About anything. At all.


          • Okay, links went up at BlogHer and YeahWrite– did I clear it up any? 🙂


            • As soon as I stop sneezing and coughing, I’ll look. It’s lucky you really CAN’T catch a virus on the internet. I’d have infected half the world by now.


            • Some, but I still can’t get the link back to work. I’m doing something wrong.


              • 🙂 I think it’s working… I see you on the YeahWrite grid. 😀


                • Oh, good. Maybe it just took a while for the links to find each other in the vastness of cyberspace.

                  I’m still weak on the technical side of this. I’m posting on my site and linking to them? Or posting there, linking to me? Posting on both and cross-linking? Are all of us posting every day or are we rotating? I post every day (and more than once) anyhow. And when do we start?

                  As you can tell, I’m still befuddled. But at least the link is working.


                  • Everyone is posting every day on their own blog. The BlogHer and YeahWrite grids are just to connect us to other bloggers doing the same and to garner a little bit more traffic. Now that you’re linked up on both places, that’s all the link ups you have to do all month.

                    If you *want* to link to any other Poblanos within your post, though, of course… that would be nice. I’m going to try to link to those who have posted by the time I post each day, and hope that eventually everyone gets linked out to.

                    And if you *want* to go to YeahWrite and BlogHer (the same pages where we went to link up), you can visit other bloggers and stop by to support, read or say hey.

                    But really, other than the daily blogging– which I know you already do– you’re all set up. 🙂


  15. What a fantastic blog!
    Your witty post really does get the point across!


  16. What a fantastic blog!
    You’re very witty post really does deliver the message!



  17. Reblogged this on joannebest and commented:
    this is awesome!


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