Fandango’s Provocative Question (20 July 2022)

Prompt image for the Fandango's Provocative Question prompt

Fandango Provocatively asks:

Do you have a preference with respect to the length of blog posts you read? Does the number of words in a post affect how you read it or even if you will read it? What is your average post length?

I prefer to read posts, the shorter the better. This is in part because of my eyesight. But also I don’t like to read posts which ramble.

People are taking time to read the posts I write, so the least I can do is to make them as efficient as possible. By that I mean editing, condensing, fixing typos, listening to make sure everything sounds correct etc. Anything that makes them easier to read. I’m not perfect but I will put a good deal of effort into making my posts as good as possible.

So, it’s a big turn off when other people don’t do the same.

That said, I will read longer posts, if they are engaging enough. A lot depends on the author. If they have a track record of writing good material, I will read. With a few people I will read whatever they put out, regardless of length. But if not, I’ll skip. It’s an investment of my time – I’m more likely to read if I think I’m going to get a good return.

I like prompt responses to be a minute or two, tops. Because if somebody writes a ten-minute response, say, and there are twelve responses to get through, say, does that contributor really think I want to spend 2 hours just reading responses to that one post? It seems to be assuming that I have nothing better to do, which is untrue (there are other words but this is the kindest one I can think of).

For that reason I stopped using flash to answer prompts, because a decent flash is of the order of five minutes at least, which is too long to expect people to read.

Incidentally, this response was a 2-minute read, 339 words including the spiel at the top. My average is 110.

38 comments

  1. Sure you couldn’t have shaved some time off this one? πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚. Where do you calculate your average post length? I’m amazed at all this math. I simply read the first few sentences and decide whether to finish or swipe on. Of course I Bebe redo that to your posts. πŸ˜†

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  2. Right on all counts. Ah, yes. Some folk I read regardless of length. When disappointed, it pains me not to “like” or come up with a pleasant comment but that’s how it goes. I enjoy longer posts and will begin a read if written by a reliable blogger. For unknowns on unsteady contributors, if the subject or opening – much more than a few lines – is interesting I’m in at least until they successfully make reading painful. [And so I learn, too, in the process.] As you know, my posts vary. There are times one cannot do justice to a piece in 6 or 25 or 100 or 500 words. I [and hopefully I’m not alone here] feel I’m here to read and enjoy and learn, not to tally-up how many blogs I can get through on a dally basis in the hour or so I allow myself. However, I have read flash under 500 words, Good flash. Exceptional flash. Prefer myself flashing around 1000 for the labor required to artfully compress.

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    • That sounds about right. I will generally “like” anything I attempt to read, regardless. I think of it more as “appreciate” rather than “like”, so I appreciate the effort that somebody put in to create the post. But if somebody subjects me to volumes of poor content, that will affect whether I read future posts at all.
      As for commenmts, it would be good to comment on everything I like but sometimes I struggle to say anything useful. There’s no point commenting for the sake of commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think we do what we can. To each of us, that’ll be to a different level.
      But none of us has the attitude that we don’t care about quality, that the reader has nothing better to do than to struggle through our posts. Well, some people do, but nobody I follow.
      I spotted straight away that my strength is editing rather than writing. A thousand-word flash will typically take three or four days to write (I probably only write an hour a day) after which I breathe a huge sigh of relief. Polishing is a darned site easier.
      Also on some flashes I have a writing partner. They vastly improve things before anybody even sees it. Two heads better than one, and all that.

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  3. When I first began blogging, almost three years ago, my posts were longer than they are now. Generally speaking, both poems and prose. I had many pent-up thoughts that flowed out of me. I still have plenty to write, but after reading blogs for the same amount of time, I realize how taxing that is on a reader’s time and eyes! If posts are too long, I cannot commit to a full read. That’s me. 😊

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  4. WP tells me my average word count per post is 47. I’m amazed it’s that high to be honest! 🀣

    Reagrding reading others I’m similar to you – I find shorter posts more appealing, but there are some folks I read whatever the length πŸ‘πŸ–€

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  5. This is really hard to answer because I read the content and respond sometimes off topic or engage with the comments from the post. I’m not fussy w wordage now on blogs because 1 I learn new vocabulary snd 2 it’s genuineness I like reading typos and all. To help the best posts are emotionally engaging and relatable ( ie your flash on the crazy woman flying the airplane a few months back was genius)

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    • I like tighter posts, where someone is saying something definite, and they have put some thought into how they will say it. After that… well, the comments could go anywhere.
      I don’t mind coming across new words, but I’ve come across word prompts here where they deliberately choose obscure words that nobody knows. That just seems to be highlighting people’s lack of knowledge, which I don’t like.

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      • I think writing posts requires thought process some are more succinct then others. I like new vocabulary words but many can now google them before they comment
        I avoid blogs where the blogger thinks they are elitist. Many here would give those kind of bloggers a run for his or her money 😁

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  6. I fear that many of my posts, some of which I spend a great deal of time and effort writing, are probably too long for most readers’ liking. Everyone’s pressed for time, me included, but I do my best to read through or at least skim all the blog posts I read. And unless something in the post has pissed me off, I always give them a like to let the blogger know I read their post. I only leave comments if I have something worthwhile to say or if the post, poem, or shared song really resonates with me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That sounds about right. If you write long, academmic posts then I agree, they are unlikely to be more than skimmed. But it sounds there that the enjoyment is in the writing. If few people read, how important is it?

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