I regularly follow somewhere around 60 blogs and many of the bloggers I follow post daily. Not all of them, but quite a few do. And some post multiple times per day. So it takes time each day to go through the Reader to see what has been recently posted by the bloggers I follow.
I also like to link to the blogs of those who comment on my posts if I’m not already following their blogs — just to see who they are and what their blogs are all about. And that takes time, as well.
I confess, though, that I don’t read every blog I follow every time the blogger posts something new. I just don’t have the time. I do have a life outside of WordPress, you know.
First, there’s my job. And then there’s…okay, then there’s WordPress. But I do have to decide which blogs I want to read, which I want to skim, and which I want to skip without reading.
When you open Reader (or what I call “Preview Reader”), you see each new post with the blog name and the title of the post. Some show an image if there is an imbedded image in the post. And below the image are a few sentences of text, followed by a link showing how many more words there are in the post. It might look like this:
To be honest, if I see that the post more than 1,000 “more words,” I am less likely to click on that link than if I see it has fewer than 1,000 more words. Of course, if the blogger is someone whose posts I always enjoy, or if the subject matter is something that is of keen interest to me, or if the title of the post piques my interest, or if the image shown intrigues me, I will go ahead and click on the post’s title regardless of the number of words.
That takes you to the “full” Reader page for that post, where you can potentially read the entire post without actually going to the blog itself. Some blogs, mine included, however, can’t be read fully in the Reader. Again, there are a few sentences of text, maybe a few more than in the “preview” Reader, but you’ll also see a message that says:
Short attention span
Maybe I have a short attention span when it comes to reading blog posts, because really, 1,500 or 2,000 words aren’t that many words. But for me, on that particular day at that particular time, it just may be too many words.
I try to keep that in mind when I’m writing my posts. I figure if I am a little less likely to read posts with a lot of words, perhaps others are too. I’m sure I’m not the only person on WordPress who is pressed for time. So I strive to keep all of my posts to 1,000 words or fewer.
I admit, I may be missing out on some great posts from truly amazing bloggers, but I have to be discriminating because I don’t have the bandwidth to read every blog I come across. And the metric I often use is word count.
I’m curious how others determine how to invest their blog reading time. Do you, like me, use word count as a factor in determining if you’re going to fully read a post? If so, how many words are too many words for you? What other factors do you use to determine which posts to read and which posts to pass up?
By the way, this post has around 650 words. But the good news is that if you’ve gotten this far, there are only… 3 more words