The Online Photographer

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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Blog Notes: More, or Less?

I'd like to ask for some feedback. When I started this blog, one of my intentions was to have new content every day, so that people could "check in" on a daily basis if they want to.

However, another of my intentions was to keep the daily entries brief. I know most people are very busy and have lots to read every day.

On a couple of days recently, there have been multiple posts, some of them long. If you are someone who has been visiting this blog fairly regularly, what's best for you? Do you like or dislike posts that are long, like "T.O.P. Ten, #10" or "How Canon Names Cameras"? Do you mind multiple posts bombarding you on the same day, or is more better in your opinion?



Anonymous Daniel Garcia said...

I'm fond of both the long and the short posts. I use an RSS reader to follow your site, and I only check it a couple times a day, so posting frequency doesn't bother me.

(I tend not to comment often on what I read though, personally speaking)

7:25 PM  
Anonymous Donald Angus-Morrison said...

Same here, so long as the content is interesting (which it invariably is) neither the length nor frequency are a problem.

8:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i read all that u type... blog as much as u want! :) Sabawa

8:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I particularly enjoy the frequency of posts. The wide range of topics and subject matter is refreshing. With the longer posts I sometimes just wait till I have the time to read them and allocate appropriate attention. I would love to know where the RSS feed is for your site. 'more is better' would summarise my feelings on the matter.

Leonard Metcalf

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Igor I. said...

I enjoy all kinds of postings and use an RSS reader (Bloglines).

A minor annoyance: in Bloglines, sometimes the same posting comes up as new several times in a row. I don't know who is the culprit, and I notice that other feeds occasionally have the same problem.

8:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Long, short, whenever. It's all good.

8:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blog away, Mike. Just don't post for posting's sake.

Roger Suppona

8:55 PM  
Anonymous ankit said...

I agree with the other posters. As long as the content is interesting, the more the better :)

On a similar note, consider switching to alternate blogging softwares (movabletype, wordpress etc.) that offer greater flexibility and control than blogger.

9:07 PM  
Blogger expiring_frog said...

Hear, hear :).

We love your writing Mike, that's the long and the short of it!

I'm sick of the scores of pixel-peeping websites that seem to deal only with colour rendition and test charts and 100% crops. Have been reading your online columns for a long time now and they're all good.

And yes, daily posts are a great idea. It's good to check back here every day and find something new. I think your current mix of shortish posts with occasional long ones works very well.

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been enjoying the post these last few days. I use RSS too and so these messages just pop up in the reader.

I really enjoy the mix of subjects you bring up and have been promoting your blog on some of the Yahoo email lists that I'm on.


9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mike
Well I am the kind who likes what fits on to the screen.

But like someone said above do it for quality not quantity.

subscriber of your newsletter

9:23 PM  
Blogger DonovanCO said...

I have liked the longer posts - they are more in keeping with your old "weekend photographer" stuff. But the keep the short ones when they best fit the subject and where just a quick comment is appropriate.

9:26 PM  
Blogger chas3stix said...

Hi Mike,
This is the perfect venue for expressing your opinions long or short.....luv 'em all!

9:29 PM  
Blogger Kieth said...

I read lots of blogs every day including yours so tend to skip the longer posts unless they catch my eye.

9:34 PM  
Blogger PJ Saine said...

Enjoy reading on a non-daily basis: so the scroll button does come in handy at times. If you are worried about long posts - set a link to the complete post part way down the text and people who want to read the whole can jump over.

Enjoy the variety -


10:01 PM  
Blogger Earl said...

yes, blog as much as you want - it's your blog who cares what we think. I've enjoyed reading all the posts.

10:29 PM  
Blogger Richard Sintchak said...

What expiring frog sentiments exactly. Don't change a thing, just keep on doing whatcha''s great.

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Make 'em long as you want. I waste too much time on Dpreviews forums - your writing is a breath of fresh air.

10:44 PM  
Anonymous Steve White said...

It's very easy to link or scroll to what interests me, so long or multiple posting are just fine.

So far, I've read every post, but that tends to vary directly with "time available". The archived blog is very helpful for "catching up" when necessary.

12:03 AM  
Blogger Fazal Majid said...

Since you write in a straightforward manner, I assume you want real feedback, so forgive me if I am going to be a little blunt.

The answer to that question depends on whether you expect most users to read your blog in a browser, or by subscribing via a RSS reader.

If they come through the web, you need to refresh the content regularly to keep them engaged. If they come using a feed reader, what you want to do is to post less often, but with higher quality postings, to increase the signal to noise ratio (SNR, the ratio of interesting articles to total articles). My feedreader is set up to report the SNR of the feeds I read. Yours runs at 8%, compared with 41% for DPReview, 18% for PhotographyBLOG or 4% for the Leica forum, and an average of 9% for the 188 feeds I still subscribe to.

Filler postings or meta postings like discussions about how many hits your blog gets, are not all that relevant for most of your readers. One compromise would be to leave them in the Web version but remove them from the RSS feed, but I realize Blogger may not give you that level of control. You may have other means of highlighting the more substantial articles.

It's not a question of long vs. short, by the way, more one of how insightful the posts are. People have to cope with information overload, and if a feed's yield of gold nuggets falls below a certain threshold, they will just unsubscribe. It's definitely Darwinian out there in the attention economy.

1:16 AM  
Anonymous colinj said...

Post when YOU think YOU have something to say.

If you start posting to meet your perception of our wants then a) it will seem like work to you and you will stop doing it and b) it will lose its freshness.

1:22 AM  
Anonymous Jean-Claude said...

I am checking in twice a day in average and I must say I love reading your and your guests articles! There is definitely not too much for me! I prefer the long posts. I also prefer multiple posts.. so there is always something to read when I check in! Go on like this.

1:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like you to identify when the post is not your writing! Just a note to reference to the original author would be fine. Long or short doesn't matter, just quality. And, for quality, that is something you are not short of. As many good posts as you are capable of. Your blog is the only blog I read daily.


1:31 AM  
Anonymous Mike F said...

For mine, I like things as they are. Keep up the good work!

1:45 AM  
Anonymous Erik Plaggenmarsch said...

Hi Mike,

It's perfect the way it is, just get me at least one post a day so I'll have a good start each morning :)
I especially like the variaty of articles and yes, do continue your top10; I read your blog for your ideas/comments so personal top 10's fit in great!

1:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would prefer new content on a daily basis. Regarding the length of the post in general I would like 70% of shoirt medium posts, and 30% longer posts ... this would be a nice balance.

Some posts may just link and suggest other reading material in the web.

So, maybe a couple of long posts a week and the other 5 days short medium posts (1-3 min read).

I like a lot this site and your writing in general. Keep doing it and you will get a long list of followers.

And if you are brave and have the time ... what about one podcast per week?

Best regards and thanks for sharing your thinking.

Miguel Garcia-Guzman

2:26 AM  
Anonymous Arnaud said...

Well, I'm going to repeat what pretty much everybody say: as long as there is quality...
I also use RSS so no need to come back to check the site by myself.

(Igor: things come back as new in Bloglines when they are updated)

2:26 AM  
Blogger JeffH said...

Mike, I echo many of the previous comments. Multiple posts don't bother me. I check in usually twice a day, so new content in the morning and evening is a good thing. Length is not an issue either as long as the content interests me. Your tangents are quite interesting. Keep up the great work.

Jeff Henderson

2:29 AM  
Blogger eolake said...

I agree. Conciseness is good, but some subjects are bigger, and as long as it is as well written as your blog is, there are no problems.

Talking about your writing, what happened to The Emperical Photographer? I ordered it almost a year ago now...

4:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just keep going. As before in your
prior-to-the-blog Sunday Morning
Photographer Series; your writings
are always interesting and reflect
your feelings and wishes.

5:16 AM  
Anonymous Ron Gafny said...

I enjoy reading your posts very much, long and short posts. I have made your blog my home page.

Thank you

5:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I check out the Online Photograher at least once a day and enjoy it throughly, be the posts long or short; quality is all that matters to me.

Thanks for a great diversion from the gear crazed madness of most sites (I particularly like posts that feature images).

6:12 AM  
Blogger John B said...

Less, with a link to longer pieces.

6:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TOP is now the first site I check when I log on, the 'tone' set here is a superb mix of facts, industry highlights and opinion. The opinion is the best, knowledgeable but not so somber and dry as to be boring, not so high brow as to be snobbish. Long posts are delightful and I heartily encourage all you and your contributors to ignore the short post sentiment. Readers/surfers who want short posts can skip the long ones, or read the first and last paragraphs, whatever suits them.

Your site has quickly become a special place online. You can see evidence of this by the steady increase in your traffic. The commercial sites and review sites are fine but there are very few places where compromises have not been struck to cater to companies for advertising or review samples, with review conclusions always leaning toward the positive, where how-to articles always slip in recommendations for branded products, etc...

I used to read the Duke of Digital blog by Scott Bourne. In case you're interested and haven't seen this effort it is a good example of what not to do. He has posted a few interesting things but mostly he is subtley (and blatantly) plugging his workshops and books, selling personal gear and talking about himself, what event he'll be attending next. There's no reason to go to this blog except maybe once a month to skim.

My advice: keep being opinionated, take risks, maintain your integrity. An eclectic mix is your strength, don't become too concerned about who you are reaching. People are fickle, do what pleases you and I predict your hit rates will continue to move upward indefinitely.

Derek Hendsbee

6:53 AM  
Anonymous photocapecod said...

Let the good times roll.

7:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think your blogs are just fine, don't change a thing. I don't mind the length either way, as long as the content is interesting and worth the time, which in this rare case, it is. There are way too many photography blogs out there just plugging products, services, or rehashing the same news everyine else already has. Please keep up the good work. This site, and are my favorites.

7:07 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

I like a blend as long as they are well writen (which they have been). Keep up the geat work! In Racine, Mike

7:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

more relavent listings are better . . . blogs which have no postings for a week or more go to the bottom of the list & are eventually forgotten

7:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Entertaining, amusing and informative.

The more the better!


7:23 AM  
Blogger BillieS said...

Just keep on doing what you are doing. It is fine with me.

7:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you have content you think might be of interest, please give it too us and don't be concerned that each and every post might not be relevant to each of us.

7:30 AM  
Anonymous hoffel said...

The more, the merrier!

7:33 AM  
Anonymous 01af said...

I have not seen a post on this blog that was too long ... but a few that were too short in my opinion. I also like several post per day, as long as it's not dozens (or hundreds) of them. I'd say anything between one and ten per day is okay (among them a few longish ones whenever appropriate).

> ... what you want to do is to
> post less often, but with higher
> quality postings, to increase the
> signal to noise ratio (SNR, the
> ratio of interesting articles to
> total articles).
> [...] an average of 9 % for the
> 188 feeds I still subscribe to.

188 feeds? Wow! No wonder your SNR is so low. Mike's blog is the only one that I currently care to read on a regular basis (as you say: less but quality ;-) --- and consequently my felt SNR is pretty close to 100 %.

7:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep it coming. Subjects and titles are important. If I don't care, I don't read it. If I'm interested, I want some meat to it.

7:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Say what you want-the length is never a problem. Your stuff reads nicely in either form - long or short.

8:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm anonymous! I'm little worse than someone who does not use their real name! So what I say carries no weight!

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perfectly ok as it is. Keep going, Mike. You go to my head...

8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


long or short, they are all fabulous!
If i dont have time to read a longer post, i can just skip it :-)
So Far, I`ve read it all anyway.

matthias engelien

8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Say what you need to say the best way you can. If this means 1 paragraph or 10, 1 entry or 5 - so be it.

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm fine with the blog as it has been done thus far. However, if it is keeping you from completing the next newsletter, definitely make a change. I always enjoy the lengthier commentary in the newsletter format and we haven't seen one of those for nearly 6 months.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Ibarionex R. Perello said...

I like the mix of long and short posts. Unlike some other sites, I don't feel that the long posts are excessive in length. I love the blog. Keep up the good work.


10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More, more, more! Bring it on!

10:50 AM  
Blogger Jim Scolman said...

Hi Mike, I read your site almost every day and enjoy it very much. I am a working photographer and like to hear other points of view and interests. Some lead to solutions and ideas. If a post does not interest me I just skip it. Keep up the good work and thanks.
Jim Scolman

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Wilhelm said...

You're batting 1000 so far.

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Svein-Frode said...

Horizontal or vertical? Digital or film? Square or panorama? No more retorical questions please! Whatever does the subject justice!

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Up to you, of course, but I'd rather have high quality insight, such as that in your SMP, and other "meanders", posted here, however long it takes you to gather the ideas.
Keep posting, anyway.

1:24 PM  
Anonymous nanuk said...

I find your site very amusing and I think your writing is worthwhile reading no matter how long. Thank you.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, its supposed to go HERE.
The more the better, I like reading other perspectives on the photography world, it's good to read brief and in depth thoughts and comments (helps kill stodgy afternoons at work), so keep them coming, and the more the better.

2:23 PM  
Blogger Williams Landing said...

I have a voracious appetite for the sort of thing you do, so long or short, frequent or not, all all good by be.

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like it as it is - the more the merrier!

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please don't change. We like you the way you are.
Blog on!

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I love tis blog but my employer has blocked all blog sites so I have to wait until I get home.
BUT, I'm also a subscriber to the 37th Frame and would also like to get one of those once in a while(tongue-in-cheek)

7:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just keep them coming :)

7:59 PM  
Anonymous victor said...

I like reading your stuff. The more the merrier, and long is fine.

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always check at least twice a day - the more the merrier I say. Love your work...

David Robinson

3:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only consider content, not length. So far, I've always enjoyed my daily stops here.


7:37 PM  
Anonymous Buttle said...

The lenght is not any problem to me, I like both, short and long posts, but when there is more than one a day, I skip some of them, for it looks like a lot to make up for, well English is not my mother's tongue.

7:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If we're talking about a writer as good as you are, please go on and on as long as you can...

1:11 PM  

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