Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Long and the Short of It

How long should my posts be? I've been pondering this since I decided to try my hand at blogging. I'll have to admit that I am behind the technology curve that has the trend of shortening everything. I don't regularly text. I tried to open a Twitter account, but kept having problems with my password. I usually use complete words in emails. In other words, it's easy to tell that I'm over thirty. I remember when I was in college, I was introduced to the book,  "CDB" by William Steig. I thought it was very clever. The entire book was just line-drawings and letters that sounded out words.( “CDB=See the bee.”) Who knew years later, that this style of writing would be commonplace.

I looked around a little* and found that different kinds of blogs, on average, have different lengths. Gossip blogs are usually the shortest (~100 words) and reference blogs are the longest (~1500 words.) Most blog entries are 100-500 words. Also, the average person spends about 1 ½ minutes reading a blog post. As an experiment, I asked Ward, Wally, and Theodore to read a well-written long blog post (not mine) for 1 ½ minutes and see how far they got. Theodore read 500 words, Ward read 371 words, and I read 411 words during our 90 second experiments. Wally said he was busy with an online meeting. It seems, from this totally nonscientific project, that bloggers have figured out how long they have an audience and write a length to match this.

What does this mean? I'm not sure except Theodore says that writing about your blog in a blog is odd. That's the short of it.