Monthly Archives: October 2007

To “Read More” or Not To “Read More”?

Mouse Click

By that, I mean the use of the More tag that truncates your blog post and in place put a “Read More” link for your readers to click to read the rest.

Is that a good practice? for you? for your readers?

I have been thinking about this ever since I started blogging, then today I found some fellow WordPress.com bloggers were discussing this very topic in WordPress forum. Some of my feelings were echoed there. Some were not. I decided instead of posting in the forum I will write down my thoughts in a post here.

There are two types of readers: those who have been reading your site and those who’s come here for the first time. Among those who’ve been reading, some of them read from an RSS reader and some visit the website every time. New visitors, obviously, are always reading at your website when they come for the first time.

  • Regular feed readers
    They don’t like the Read More link as it requires them to wait and load the web page to read. If all your readers are feed readers then you don’t want to use More tag at all. Getting the whole post right in front of their eyes makes them more likely to read the whole thing. It increases the readership, even if it means one less hit to your web site.
  • Regular web readers
    You don’t want to use the More tag on them either. Similar to the feed readers, they are already regularly visiting and they most of the time are just looking for new posts at the top. You want to make things easier for them, so they will read as much as possible. One less click is a couple seconds less wait time. Treat your regular readers well.
  • First-time web visitors
    This is where the issue becomes interesting. Do you get more readership out of a visitor when he has to hit page down 5 times just to see the next headline (then lose the patience after 10 keystrokes)? or do you get more when he sees 1-2 headlines per page, quickly finishes scanning all of your headlines on the front page before picking the ones he likes to click on?

    Ask yourself. When you are a visitor to a website for the first time, do you hit page down to scan the headlines first to see what this site has in store? I do and I think most people do too. I scan the headline quickly then decide which one, if any, to read. I hate having to scroll down and down and down and still can’t see the next headline. Sometimes I just lose the patience and don’t want to scroll any more.

With all those being said, they are not the deciding factors (they are considerations).

The deciding factor should be, in my opinion, based on what your last 10 posts are as of the moment, what portions of each one do you choose to be on the front page?

  • If a post has a very compelling first paragraphs, cut at the best place, even if it’s not particularly long. Do it especially if the rest of post might not be as grabbing as the beginning. Don’t deter visitors with the length. People are more likely to read when it looks short.
  • If a post don’t happen to have a compelling beginning, but gets to the best part midway or in the end, then leave the whole post on (unless it’s miles and miles long). Maximize the likelyhood of engaging your readers per square feet of your real estate. :)
  • If a post is about a niche topic that draws only a certain crowd (like my Dancing with the Stars posts), try not to put the whole post on. People who don’t watch the show have no use for them. You should make it easy for them to skip and move on to things that have a better chance capturing their attention.

Do these make sense to you?

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DWTS Week 6 Results: The Bizarre

I almost decided to skip tonight’s post. This is the most bizarre night I’ve ever seen. Is Halloween around the corner?

It went like this: Jane was safe. Surprise. Marie was safe. Another surprise. Sabrina in bottom two. Couldn’t believe it.

Then boom!

Sabrina was done.

It was so shocking that even Tom Bergeron lost his wit and couldn’t find anything better to say than “I’ve picked you in the finals”. When he said something that lame you knew it was bad.

I’m at loss for words too. See you next week.

Continue reading

DWTS Week 6: Mel B

The Surprises

I can’t believe I’m saying this: I have just seen the best Rumba by a celebrity on Dancing with the Stars ever! It caught my attention right from the beginning move. It was so authentic. The dance was much better than their Samba last week because it was so technically sound. I’m really impressed by Mel B now. Continue reading

New Domain: WalkingBetween.com!

Please change your bookmark/feed URL for this blog to

http://walkingbetween.com

http://feeds.feedburner.com/walkingbetween

Thank You.

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Ever since I started blogging two and half month ago, I’ve heard here and there this golden advice from experienced bloggers that the early you get your own domain name, the better. “The time to buy a domain name is when you first start blogging“, said engtech at InternetDuctTape.com in his excellent article “The Biggest Mistake a Blog Can Make is Not Owning Its Own Name“. If you have a blog and want to know why this is, read that article.

I think to me the most appealing aspect of having my own domain name is the ability to move my blog anywhere I want while keeping the same address (not that I want to leave the wonderful WordPress.com now ;-). Besides having an easy-to-remember address is quite neat too.

Continue reading

Nightmare in Flushing

It may be hard to believe, but in all these years we’ve lived in the U.S., I have never been a victim of a crime, i.e., have never been robbed or stolen or anything of the sort. Actually, I have never even witnessed any crime in front of my eyes.

Largely this is due to the fact that almost all the places I have lived or worked, Stony Brook, Princeton, Jersey City port side, White Plains, Midtown Manhattan, are all among some of the safest places in the tri-state area.

So when somebody broke in our car and stole all the stuff in it last Saturday in a parking lot at Flushing, Queens, you can imagine it came as quite a shock to me.

Continue reading

DWTS Week 5 Results: Ratings

Not much to write about tonight. In my post yesterday I initially wrote in my prediction that “Jane could be in bottom two”, then I edited it out. Just shows you one should always trust her first instinct. Never second guess.

Mark Cuban’s journey is over. My best wishes to him.  

Why did they keep replaying the Marie fainting moment over and over again? I know why. The producers wanted to capitalize on the dramatic, so more people would come watch the show. Did you read the news this morning? The Marie-fainting-on-DWTS story was all over the place (it was even on CNN’s Most Popular Stories). I’m sure lots of curious people who didn’t know about Dancing with the Stars or wasn’t watching the show before would tune in just to see what went on. The producers just took advantage of it and decided to play the drama card to the max, “look, what a dramatic, you-never-know-whats-gonna-happen, LIVE show this is!”. 

Ratings. Everything is about ratings. Continue reading

Something Money Can’t Buy

I’ve said in my previous DWTS posts that I didn’t really understand why Mark Cuban, a billionaire entrepreneur, decided to participate so soon after his hip replacement surgery. Someone posted this on ABC’s DWTS forum and I have found the answer. From Mark’s blog post on Sep 7th, 2007:

“I’m the first to admit that I’m the luckiest guy in the world. I can honestly say I wake up every morning with a smile knowing what a wonderful family, friends and life I have. It’s the exact same way I felt when I was broke.

Money makes so many things in life easier, but it can’t buy you a positive outlook on life. Fortunately, how any of us approaches each of our days is completely up to us. It’s not something you can buy or sell. It’s not hard to put a smile on your face every day, but for some reason some people find it impossible to do. Not me.

The opportunity to do something unique that makes me smile is something I try not to pass up, Dancing with the Stars is just that.

It’s not about how well I can dance. It’s about the opportunity to compete at something I enjoy. It’s about doing something that makes me smile every minute I’m doing it or even thinking about it.

Since I started blogging sometimes I wonder which type of blogs I like to read more, a personal journal with random thoughts on everything in daily life or a blog about a specific subject. I always pick personal journal, and posts like this are the exact reason why. There is nothing like getting inspiration from real people from all walks of life and people you’ve never met before.

Truly, there is something money can’t buy.

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