Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics

Does the length of blog posts matter?

Posted by shannonclark on February 10, 2010

Last week I hosted a small dinner party for a bunch of friends who were in town before a conference a mutual friend was organizing. An annual event which I have attended in the past but which due to financial reasons this year I was unable to attend. But I was able to host folks for a nice potluck dinner.

During our wide ranging and diverse set of conversations one comment from a friend stood out for me – she noted that my blog posts tend to be very long – and that even though I am a friend this means that she rarely if ever reads my posts. She suggested that instead of writing long, complex posts with many different points and ideas inside of them that I try to write short, 400 word or less posts with a single idea or observation.

I am resiting this suggestion – though I understand the point and recognize that I tend to write too much (and often could benefit from an editor – even if only myself after a few hours away from a post) I also strongly personally prefer blog posts and articles which are long enough – which are not just some short pithy comment or snarky remark but which make a reasoned argument, which tell a story.

So hence this post and this question does the length of a blog post matter?

(this post, btw is less than 250 words)

4 Responses to “Does the length of blog posts matter?”

  1. Serafina said

    If it’s a topic I’m interested in, I’ll read the full post regardless of length. If it’s a post I’m only slightly interested in, I’ll only read the post if it’s not too long. That said, it’s your blog – do what you want. If you want short and pithy, that’s what twitter’s for. That said, there’s a lot of room between “some short pithy comment or snarky remark” and a 3pg long essay. 😉

  2. Yes, it matters. Long posts from just about anyone are difficult to read all the way through. If you must – and you are the kind of guy who writes long (and generally well) – make sure the lead paragraph tells us what the topic is and why it is interesting. Then I can decide to read or not without having to think about wading through several paragraphs before I get it.

    • Good advice – I will keep this in mind as I write future posts – will try to make sure my first paragraph sums up what I’m writing about for anyone who then has to decide whether to read the full post or not. Google Buzz is another good spark for this as they appear to be displaying just the first few sentences of a blog post and then a link to “expand the post”

  3. max said

    I prefer shorter posts or long posts with unnecessary sentences trimmed to the minimum. Well, but sometimes I do 2000-word blog posts, people read actually read them and comment more on those, dunno why.

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