Sometimes, you just gotta learn the hard way. Take Blogging for example.
Heard at a class that most people like short stories, or “posts.” Anything over a certain number of words will automatically lose readership, the teacher said. I kinda felt it, too. I mean, when I’m “browsing” or simply deciding which of several stories to invest my time in reading, I look for a catchy headline, the lead sentence, and the length of the article. Two out of three may grab my attention long enough for further review. But a long story without graphics or even paragraph breaks has to be mighty interesting to keep me tethered for long.
OK. Confession time. Greeks do stupid things. I apologize. It’s been trial and error for us since the foundation of Western Civilization. I admit to many errors. Including this WordPress “slip up.”
When noticing an article was growing over 500 words, I’d look for a natural break to create two parts. Anything over 600 words generally has to be an “excellent” read to hold attention, I thought. Hence, I’d “break” the story into two, and on rare occasions, three or four parts. They looked good to me from my WordPress vantage point.
But I learned this morning, almost five months to the day after submitting my first Blog offering, that most people can’t access parts II and III. Unless, they are “published.” Those with web logs know what I’m talking about, In WordPress, it’s that little blue box with white letters stating “Publish.”
I was simply “inputting” the “Save Draft” section of 2-part stories with “continued” pages. I never used my computer mouse to “click” the Publish “command.”
Week after week, I was wondering why no one seemed to read anything at the “continued” section of a post, let alone, leave a comment. In the newspaper business, we used to call it the “jump” page, and we’d try to combine several continued articles from the “front” page to the “continued” page. A reader would have to “jump” from page 1 to the continued page to compete their reading of a story.
No one has ever read any of my “save draft” “jumps.” Until now, that is. And, if only one person takes notice, it will have been worth the effort. I hope.
I will comb through the 2-parters and publish them beginning Feb. 20, 2010. It’ll “flood the market,” so to speak. But it will also add to what Journalism 101 has been teaching young writers to do for centuries, and that is to contribute to “the market place of ideas.”
And, I’ll still keep the word count under 500. (It’s at 417, if you’re wondering about it.)