36. Scrolling or Read More link?
This post is in equal parts for fellow bloggers, plus non-blogging readers.
Uberblogger and author of standing Peter Grant, otherwise known as Bayou Renaissance Man, left this comment:
I like the new long format. Much easier to scroll down than to jump from one page to another, then back, then jump again, and so on ad nauseam.
Yep, there is that but let’s analyse it a bit more. Sure it’s good for the scrolling but it needs to have sections delineated better, as FoS does. They need perhaps header lines between numbers, maybe in bold and brighter-coloured to stand out more.
Some substantial negatives:
1. If it’s a serious post, a long, researched job, it really does not sit well in this format, it’s way too much scrolling.
Methinks I’ve hit on a solution. I might have posted, hypothetically, Weekend , with seven to ten items, variable to suit the days, [that one needs your feedback too, pretty please], and let’s say we’re up to N73.
Along comes this ‘serious’ post, so it goes up stand alone, N74, then we carry on as before in the next batch, N75, N76 etc.
2. Sounds all right but plays havoc with Readers, which are bloglists taking feeds which show an author’s latest posts without having to visit his site. So the Reader user looks or is pinged – oh, Higham has another up, let’s look or let’s ignore, click to next blog.
In my case, I hardly help the cause by ignoring SEO and putting up headings giving no clue as to the content. There’s a certain amount of ‘Fing Higham’ induced by this quirk.
Also, if nothing pings, then you might not know if N73 has any new content or not. The latest batch may well have been added to, not unlike in live blogging but I can assure readers no new items will go up in old batches. That’s set in rock.
3. There are six posts on the front page at all times. For those unfamiliar, what you’re reading now is Page 1 or the front page.
Scroll to the foot and you’ll see older pages.
Now, what happens once we get to Weekend , for example? It pushes Weekend  off the front page. Also, that’s a lot of scrolling. Yes, as Peter indicates, it’s easier to scroll … but for how bleedin’ long?
Methinks the solution is to leave the free scrolling on the five batches highest on the page but on the sixth, about to disappear to page two, I’d employ the ‘Read More’ link.
These, dear readers, are some of the vicissitudes of the blogger. Look again at Bayou Renaissance Man and you’ll see the length of posts, quite scrollable.
Every substantial blogger uses older/newer posts links, usually at the foot of the page. Personally, I like numbers but each to his or her own.
4. Seriousness again. Though I put in a lot of other material to break the monotony and report more widely, there are longterm readers of some gravitas who have to sort through the chaff to get to the gem, if there even be one, and I must not neglect my serious mission at the site.
This is hugely helped by input from known inputters here and they expect some return on the data investment. The ‘weekend’ format is not so good for that.
Advantage of the scrolling format
Far easier for the blogger to load and format with items of interest, not requiring going to the sidebar, no timeslot tyranny. Easier for storage.
Penultimately for now
The whole issue of my blogging future anyway comes up for review in early January, when I’ll be making some major behind the scenes moves [just reassuring three techies, actually four, whom I know]. More on that closer to the time.
Perhaps there needs to be some fluidity in using the Read More, some juggling. This post now is stand alone, full length on the front page. Later in the day, I’ll put in the Read More.
Also, renaming post titles is needed every so often to keep it fresh.