What’s in a Name? The Blog Post vs Articles Confab
Are Your Posts Superficial? Jakob Nielsen Thinks So
You say apples and I say oranges. Mr. Usability (Jakob Nielsen) has started another uproar in the blogosphere. Some are saying that he is full of sh__, while others say maybe he has a point.
This is what Jakob said:
“Blog postings will always be commodity content: there’s a limit to the value you can provide with a short comment on somebody else’s work. Such postings are good for generating controversy and short-term traffic, and they’re definitely easy to write. But they don’t build sustainable value. Think of how disappointing it feels when you’re searching for something and get directed to short postings in the middle of a debate that occurred years before, and is thus irrelevant.”
Jakob goes on to say that bloggers should focus on writing more detailed and original “articles” instead of shorter, superficial posts:
I’ve heard some say that posts shouldn’t be longer than 500 words. (Maybe because they think that all blogger’s suffer from ADHD). Heck, I know of some a-listers that rarely write beyond two sentences (is Scoble listening… twit, twit :). Whereas, some lawyer bloggers that I’ve read couldn’t describe the weather with anything less than a 5000 word essay.
Speaking of lawyers, I have many a fond memory of verbose attorneys droning on and on in court. I remember a judge once looking over at me in despair. I just shrugged my shoulders and the judge concurred, immediately interrupting Mr. run-off-at-the-mouth. It’s no wonder I won most of my cases because even though I was thorough I always cut to the chase, and the judges loved me for it because it meant that they got out to the golf course earlier.
I attended a pre-trial conference when the judge said (before even sitting down) “I’m busy so I want to hear your case in five minutes or less”. Thank goodness I was prepared (like I always was) and I think I finished my summation in about three minutes. That was no easy feat considering that the file was thick enough to choke a horse. Needless to say I was on the judge’s good side after that.
What does the Bloke think about the articles vs. posts nonsense? Obviously I’m a firm believer of getting to the point. You won’t find a lot of fluff in my posts. Even my longish tutorials are chock full of meat with little (or no) pablum. (And speaking of tutorials, if it is getting too long in the tooth then why not split it into a series of two or more posts.)
Less noise and more signal is my motto.
As far as originality goes I’m all for that, and in fact is one of my pet peeves. Don’t worry, I won’t go off on a tangent except to say you should read this post entitled “So You’re a Successful Blogger” to see where I stand on that.
So it doesn’t really matter what name you want to call it or how many words your
post article post is (to a point of course). Just make sure that your content is up to snuff without any of the fluff. And if you are going to link bait with catchy titles like Copyblogger will tell you (or if you use SEO tricks), please make certain that your readers won’t be disappointed when they click on your link.
Because one pissed off reader will become one less repeat visitor or subscriber. For sure.