2013-10-07

Long or Short? Entertaining or Cerebral?

I had a few minutes and I was contemplating writing another speed blogging post when I began to think about the merits of shorter blog posts vs. longer blog posts. So I'm going to post the benefits of both and then, if you're reading this, please let me know what kind of blog posts you'd like to see in the comments at the bottom!

Short Posts
Everybody and everything tells us that, in this day and age we are busy individuals and the quicker that someone can give us the relevant sound bite or headline the better. So brevity is a definite plus for drawing in readers, and it certainly makes it easier to write. In fact, one of the reasons I'm bringing this up at all is my startling list of blog post drafts that continue to grow despite their near zero completion rate. The pressure and writer's block associated with writing long posts is apparently greater than my desire to share them with the rest of the world.

And finally, the process of boiling down an argument to the bare essentials, stripping away all the cluttering details, is valuable unto itself, and something that is critical in sales (another post that is in the works), parenting, life, etc... And all the YouTube channels that I now admire always center around shorter videos, most under three minutes. And I feel myself drawn away from the longer TED talks and university courses as a result of this effect.

Long Posts
One of my original inspirations for blogging is the intellectual powerhouse that is Paul Graham. His series of essays going back several years is a flood of thought provoking prose on topics from highschool to entrepreneurship. His essays are usually quite long, and are more stream-of-consciousness than bullet pointed persuasion pieces.

And it seems that one of the points of a blog in the first place is to go into more depth than would be afforded with a tweet or Google+ post. And how often do we get a chance to really sit down and examine a problem in full detail in our normal lives.

Summary
To confuse things even more, I'll give three more opinions (or perhaps even meta-opinions) about this argument:

(1) So it seems like short vs long is more of a question of priorities: Do I want to attract readers who are unable to sit through a 2000 word monologue? Or do I want to develop my thinking skills and to heck with those pesky readers with their short attention span!

(2) Of course, now that I'm thinking about it, I may have it all wrong again. It's not about short or long, but how long do I need to say what I need to say? This post itself is an argument for that direction, because in the process of writing it, I have clarified my thoughts enormously on top of the jumble that I had when diving into it.

(3) And finally, perhaps it doesn't matter what I say, or how long it takes me to say it, as the key is getting in the habit of writing things down. As according to what I've read, it is the habit of writing regularly that is important, not how you write or what you write. (This thought may be a bit out of the blue, as it's unmotivated by any of the above, but I'm putting it in here anyways)

So what do you think? Did you like the rambling second half of the post, or the more structured and orderly first half? What would you like to see?