Thursday, February 10, 2005

Blogging Styles

Wheelson recently wrote an interesting "blogging best practices" post, in which he discussed the virtues of a short post. I have a preference for shorter posts. If a post is more than four of five paragraphs, then I generally don't have the attention span for it, unless it's something really, really interesting, like a funny anecdote or an interesting observation. Talk to me about the Mac Mini for 8 paragraphs, and I'll likely move on. Take the time to set up how you add milk to your colleague's carton every day, and I'll read it.

I like to mix things up when I write - sometimes ultra short, and sometimes a little longer. I try to keep it to about 5 paragraphs max - which can require some serious editing, Hemingway style.

What about you? What's your posting style? What's your reading preference: short or long? What topics are you likely to read, even if the post is longer than you normally like? What do you pass on right away?


At 9:18 AM, Blogger Ken Kaniff said...

I, too, would rather read two or three short entries a day than one run-on post.

What totally discourages me from reading is the lack of paragraphs. A one paragraph post almost always spells confusions.

Two more things I don't like: too large font and A cRaZEE WaY Of WrTinG.

P.S. I love 'serious editing [Vonnegut] style.'

At 6:52 PM, Blogger Kate said...

I vary the lengths of my posts, but lately I've been writing some longer ones and making links to the rest. Not quite in the way you're supposed to do it, but it works for me.
Thanks for pointing me to Wheelson's post. I started using a new computer but didn't move all of my bookmarks yet.

At 8:04 PM, Blogger Carmi said...

I seem to lean toward the longish end of things. I'm pretty verbose at the best of times, and sickeningly long-winded at the worst. I grew up on 30-page poli-sci monster papers during undergrad, so that so-called skill (ahem) seems to never have left me. I lived in fear of not having enough to say for those profs who graded by weight and length.

I'm pretty retentive about paragraphs, though. The more the merrier.

At 12:29 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Thanks for regarding my milk post as an exception to an otherwise sensible rationale for posting. I'm flattered, considering the source.

For me, the best posts focus on a specific issue or experience, and offer a unique perspective.

While I appreciate hyperlinks that lead me to interesting posts, there seems to be too much cutting and pasting without adding anything new to the topic. I can always count on you, Arthur, and Carmi to bring something new and unique to the table.

My friend "gertrude" is a new blogger that deserves attention for similar unique perspectives on her carreer change. Here's my shameless plug for her:

At 1:25 PM, Blogger Wheelson said...

I just found this related article about different kinds of blog posts.

At 9:21 PM, Blogger Diva said...

Sometimes my reading preference is based simply on available time (and how little sleep I desire that night). If it's late and one of my favorite blogs has a longer post, I will generally try to come back to it later. I don't like ultra long posts all the time but do enjoy them on occasion.

At 9:46 AM, Blogger Dean said...

I tend to like longer entries, where a subject is explored in some depth.

I tend to write that way, too. Short stories are tough for me. Novellas are easy. :) I can't cram a decent story into 2000 words. I'm much more comfortable at 5000.

I suspect that this is because I am a long-winded sumbitch.

However, I agree with you completely: paragraphing is becoming a lost art, and I stop reading blogs that don't do it properly. I have more than sufficient content vying for my attention each day, and I only read quality.

Like this blog, for example.

At 4:34 PM, Blogger sxKitten said...

I think my posts are generally mid-sized. I don't often have time for anything really long, and I have this weird guilt thing about posting only a few lines - totally irrational, but it feels like I'm cheating somehow.

As for reading preferences, I'm up for anything as long as it's well written. If I don't have time to finish a long but interesting post, I'll come back later.

Oh, and proper paragraphs are greatly appreciated.

At 10:51 AM, Blogger Trillian said...

Thanks, all for your feedback! Ken - I agree with you about the crazy fonts. Chellee - no probs! Carmi - well written long posts are better than poorly written short ones! Steve - I shall check out Gertrude's blog. Wheelson - good link. Diva - we are so like-minded. Dean - you flatter me. Keep it up! Sxkitten - I think your posts are the perfect length!

At 4:46 PM, Blogger Mark A. Rayner said...

I'm still trying to figure out my own "blogging style" -- it seems like once a week is about what I can manage, so I tend to write something a little longer.

I admire short, pithy posts that make me think. I believe it was Pascal who once wrote in a letter to a friend: "my apologies for the length of this letter. I did not have time to make it short."

(Or maybe Descartes. One of those French math dudes.)


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