Performancing Metrics

Rant Against Multiple Page Posts

Lorelle has taken up the cause against multiple page posts. Newspapers online have been doing this for a while. I always just click their print version button to get it all in one nice, neat package with no advertising.

Bloggers don’t give me this same option, and most of the time, I only get through page one, jump to the last page, and then leave. So if you have a six page article you put up. I doubt I will ever read more than page one and page six, unless it is amazing.

As usual, Lorelle is right on the money about the factors against multiple page posts:

Paged post links also add clutter to the page, along with the social bookmarking icons, post meta data section, advertising, and all the other clutter on a page. Why add more clutter for something that doesn’t function well in the first place?

I have been frustrated for years about the dividing up of post content and articles across multiple pages. Aren’t you tired of it? It’s old thinking in a new world.

Blogs are about communicating and interaction. They are about creating and maintaining relationships with your audience. If you are doing anything that interferes with their ability to read your blog posts and access your blog, you are just putting barriers up between your content and your readers.

If you do it, and think its a great idea, I’d love to know why. Leave a comment if you love them or hate them.

Categories: Blogging Tips

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  1. Lorelle says: 6/11/2007

    Thanks for the support for my rant. I think this is an abused tactic, especially for online versions of print magazines and publications. I HATE it in blogs as there is not a reason I have yet found.


  2. Ed says: 6/11/2007

    I’m split between pro and anti multiple page blog posts. Blog posts should at most be two pages. Afterwards, you might think how to repackage the longer piece into multiple shorter posts. We saw this in the print media in reaction to the invasion of USA Today’s briefer new stories.

    On the other hand, we shouldn’t forsake fully telling a story in order to prevent some readers from abandoning the site; if the story is written in an engaging enough manner, readers will stick around — if they can’t sit still for more than 300 words, c’est la vie.

    One tactic I’ve seen successfully employed with multi-page stories is to include up front a sort of index, breaking out hyperlinked sections so that readers can jump to the section they are most interested.


  3. Glenn Dixon says: 6/11/2007

    As a reader I hate them, but as a blogger I’ve always assumed that this tactic was used to increase page views for monetization purposes.

    But if it is divided up into a ‘series’ of posts (especially if the individual segments are actually posted on separate days) somehow it doesn’t offend me as much. *shrug*


  4. XmasB says: 6/12/2007

    I hate them, and haven’t even considered using multiple pages on my own blog. Series of post i something different altogether. Nothing wrong with series, as long as they are posted in some interval.


  5. stephentrepreneur says: 10/11/2007

    I agree. I often see this technique used on newspapers … but thankfully they usually include an option to SEE ALL or similar.
    The only time I’d see it being necessary is when a prose or story writer divides their work into chapters, or a series of articles that intertwine.
    But when one story is split up into six page each of less than 100 words, no thanks. That’s about traffic-generation and SEO and nothing more.
    PS. Longtime lurker and reader, first time comment!


  6. jim says: 11/12/2007

    a client of mine was going to sign up to those multi blogger programs , they say you search the topic or product you wish to write about .’
    it may come up 50 times on blogs you write your post and send and she goes to 50 sites this crap …love the feedback jim


  7. Mel says: 11/24/2007

    I think this is a really interesting debate and agree with Lorelle about the importance of differences between print and online paradigms.

    However, I disagree on a few points.

    Though I’ve only been blogging since 2003 (and had my blog and online presence go through several incarnations) this is a very old conversation. And one I’ve been following since I started reading and participating in discussions about blogging in early 2000.

    There are some major distinctions between usability oriented bloggers and those seeking to create a spare design space. I have respect for both orientations but they aren’t always compatible.

    One really good reason for multiple posts on a page is that it serves as a thin slice of the blogger’s content and sensibility. With the exception of high ranking bloggers, most blog traffic consists of random Google hits – largely unique visitors. If we consider the evidence of eye tracking studies (the 3 second rule) these visitors may only stick around for a few seconds. The most they’re likely to do is a quick scroll – not dedicated clicking through categories.

    That one scroll down the page provides a sample of the kinds of material this blogger posts.

    I think the real issue here is the ongoing difference between design driven blogs and usability driven blogs. What’s one person’s “clutter” is another person’s usability.

    If I were to feature simply one post on my main page I’m really limiting that thin slice and making an assumption that readers are going to navigate through my content.

    Also, I disagree about social media clutter. A lot of people are not sticking around at a blog but simply aggregating the content – bookmarking or subscribing for later use. If those features aren’t up front and available that reader will move on. These features should also have recogisable icons (this may be incompatible with the look and feel of your site but it’s very user friendly). When I visit a blog I’m not looking for a lovely aesthetic experience, I want to engage the content – quickly and specifically. I want to know where the RSS link is. I want to see their delicious links. I don’t have time to guess …

    I want social media tools right up front where I can find them. Not buried in some tucked away place. I don’t want to be presumptuous about the investment of time any reader will spend at my blog. So I give them options upfront.

    As we move into a more aggregated future our blogs will likely look more like DLAs (digital lifestyle aggregators) than the traditional reading format.


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