Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

This blog at a month active and a formatting update

Posted in blogs and marketing by Timothy Platt on October 13, 2009

Writing and maintaining this blog has definitely been a learning experience. I want to start this posting by thanking people from across a wide range of time zones for sharing some very helpful feedback with me as to how this is going. As of now, I seem to have some 20 readers who come back to see that next posting pretty much every day. Thank you for your patience and persistence. I also have readers, judging from the rhythmic spikes and troughs in my site visitor statistics graph, who come back ever other day or every few days to see what I have added, plus the infrequent and single time visitors. It is now about 1 PM Eastern Time and I see a count of 19 so far, but experience would suggest that will probably double for the entire day. So it seems some of what I am writing and sharing is resonating with other people and proving to be of interest and perhaps even help.

That said, I add that some of the feedback I have gotten is that while my posts are good for content, they are too long and can be a bit difficult for that. I guess I had a lot to say that I have been thinking about and have wanted to get out in blog format, and I probably have not paced myself very effectively in doing so. Mia culpa – I tend to think things through in detail and in relatively big chunks and I tend to write that way. But if blog content is supposed to connect with other people and not simply be an expression of a writer’s ego it should meet their reading needs too. So I am going to try an experiment of sorts and re-define my standard posting sizes down. This is now a full-sized, 1X length posting and if necessary I will post two on the same thread in a day in rapid succession to try and limit postings to this. Please feel free to share your thoughts on this with me by email or as blog comments and thanks for your feedback so far.

5 Responses

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  1. Bobby said, on October 15, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    Shorter is better. Use bullet points to do some of the heavy lifting. Simplify.

    • Tim Platt said, on October 15, 2009 at 6:01 pm

      Good point — I have recently moved to shorter postings and will probably make more use of bullet points, etc. So far I have used them and numbered lists but only sparingly. The main issue here is in making it easy to read these postings and making them more interesting and involving while doing that. Any style change that significantly improves readability and clarity is worth trying.

  2. Bobby said, on October 24, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    I haven’t read the most recent eye-tracking/Internet studies, but the amount of time you have to engage your readers before they move on is vanishingly small.

    • Tim Platt said, on October 24, 2009 at 4:06 pm

      Hi Bobby and thank you for bringing up a very interesting set of points. Eye tracking studies can be used to map out where the valuable real estate is on a web page. When you match that to web analytics data on:

      • Where people clicked in from to get to that page (which might be from the outside your site or from another page on your site),
      • Where they click to when moving on from that web page, and
      • How long they are there, you get the materials for an important story.

      How much content is too much and how much is just enough? When I was webmaster at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society we set the maximum word count per page quite high and particularly for content directed towards informing patients and their families who were at a stage where they wanted the details and at length. I have also worked with online businesses where brief and fast was good and briefer and faster was better.

      I made a conscious editorial decision to focus on depth and detail in my postings, and with a goal of sharing sufficient information so that what I write could be effectively applied. Noting that, I acknowledge that boring and didactic is at least as bad if not worse than too-little, to-diced-up and therefore too-disorganized.

      I have not set my overall editorial and writing parameters in stone and do not plan on doing so, but I also know that this is not the type of blog that would or will become a top-of-the-charts must-see every day for big crowds. Would I like to see more people reading and commenting on my postings? Of Course! That, however, is not my highest priority. I am trying to create and share real value that people can benefit from in their personal networking and in their businesses. You raise very important issues and I have tried to pick up on them here in this comment, by highlighting a few planning and analysis details that every blogger or prospective blogger should consider – your points definitely included.

      Thanks, Tim (at a big 353 words – sorry)

  3. Bobby said, on November 9, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Wow, Tim, you’re putting much thought into this–fantastic to see the passion. Being fluid with your target word counts sounds like a great idea.

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