Blogging in a Sound Bite World

For those people who blog daily or semi daily is there an optimal post length that keeps people reading regularly without feeling overwhelmed?

I fully admit to being a member of the short attention span generation. My life is busy enough I don’t need long introductions, set ups, or window dressing, just give me the goods and let me move on. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve watched a YouTube video and yelled to myself or out loud “get on with it already!”.

With the exception of the “search industry” most blog posts I come across are in the 200-300 word range. I’m sure this is in part due to contractual obligation, but are people only reading “sound bite” style posts because that’s what they’ve been conditioned to read or does there attention drop off on regular long posts?

From my own experience I skim the titles of all posts if it doesn’t catch my interest in subject or by author I breeze over it. If I open it and it’s too long I “star” it for later. One could argue that with personalized search and authenticated users that would be “plus” for bloggers, but let put that aside and focus on the just the end user. We know form social media that most people don’t read the story, they vote on the title and snippet, the virtual equivalent of the sound bite. Is there an advantage in sound byte style blogging? By limiting your posts to less 300 characters on average can you attract and retain a larger audience, I think so.

From a search engine perspective you could be creating problems. Your unique text to template ratio would be pretty low. You could streamline it with CSS and Javascript but I still think unless you’ve got a decent amount of trust that’s an uphill battle. However if my suspicions about being able to retain a larger audience is true you have a greater chance of getting more links. Chances are that sound byte audience is also more technically advanced and social media friendly and would help you build a Digg culture and get you those sought after links. You authority problem would be short lived once you built up critical user mass.

So for those of you who run multiple blogs, what other advantages are their to “sound bite blogging”?

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