February 4th, 2007

balcony

Im'media'te Gratification


Every week the good folks at Sitemeter send me an email with "eyeclicks" data for this very website. It mostly looks like this:

              The Beginning Of My Ascendance                

                    -- Site Summary ---                     
          Visits

            Total ........................ 1,085            
            Average per Day .................. 2            
            Average Visit Length .......... 0:03            
            This Week ....................... 16            

          Page Views

            Total ........................ 1,217            
            Average per Day .................. 2            
            Average per Visit .............. 1.1            
            This Week ....................... 17
Needless to say, the 0:03 visit length, which I've always assumed was in seconds, is not very inspiring.

Hmm...I've just realized that the entire purpose of this post, which was to bemoan the 3-second visits (sounds like the Armoire's love life!), has now been made moot as it's now clear to me that it's probably 3 minutes and that's not so bad (though if you punched through the recent stocks and video game updates in under three minutes, you're just skimming). This has been happening to me frequently lately, both here and in real life (ie, the office). I invest a bunch of time in writing a post or email only to realize it's totally unnecessary halfway through. I then waste even more time trying to figure out if I can still use what I've written because despite my years of half-hearted economics training, I'm still bedeviled by a reluctance to abandon sunk costs. Often the answer is no. Sometimes I still make a go of it, and you're forced to waste 10 seconds of your 3-minute visit reading this last paragraph.

Three minutes is actually higher than usual - mostly it's just one. Presumably because Sitemeter doesn't have the heart to say, "you're not posting very often, when you do, your writing is trite and unamusing, and people wouldn't visit at all if they didn't keep making typos when entering urls" and instead rounds up by about 59 seconds a visit.

All that being said - in general, do you find that you enjoy shorter posts more than long? Remember, this is only "in general" - my posts aren't going to change based on the whims of a fickle audience so there's no point in telling me how they're all the perfect size (sounds like the Armoire's love life!) The media would have us believe that our attention spans are shortening, and I can only presume that blogs and their bite-sized portions are contributing to it, but I know my readers are of above average intelligence and education, so I want to know their opinion.

In fact, the original idea behind this post was a quickie (sounds like the Armoire's love life!) - one line asking, "Do short posts get more responses than long ones?" but I seem incapable of self-control (sounds like the...oh you get the point) in my writing. Unless, of course, I'm drunk.
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    Jean Knight - "Mr. Big Stuff"