05/02/2008

Read Less

One of the less annoying shortcomings of the blogger software is that it does not allow you to hide a part of the post below the fold - you know, those where you have to click on "Read More" or something similar to see the whole thing. I can think of three good reasons to put something below the fold.

1. The post is immensely long and you want to allow people not interested in it to get to the next (previous) one without having to scroll until their fingers are bleeding.

2. The post contains a spoiler of some sort.

3. The post contains something NSFW, disturbing, etc.

But generally, of course, the "Read More" feature is a nuisance. Who wants to click and wait?

The New York Times blog software seems to automatically hide a part of the post once it exceeds a certain moderate length. This is the one single reason I don't read TierneyLab regularly. Similarly, I was an avid reader of Jeremy Freese's blog, but he now writes at Scatterplot, where the policy seems to be to hide pretty much everything that exceeds five lines or so. I'm not becoming a regular there, and that's not due to content.

Seriously, I'm at a loss here. Why do people do this? Or is my being annoyed a minority reaction?

6 comments:

jeremy said...

I know, I know. I wish we could syndicate our blog without jumps--this should be an easy thing for WordPress to allow. I've thought about trying to figure out ways to have a simulblog that doesn't have jumps.

The main reason we have jumps is that a apparently immutable feature of our template is that the author name is at the bottom, and readers like to know who has written a post before they start reading. So we try to use a jump for anything for which seeing the bottom of the post requires scrolling on a laptop. It's also the case that there is less of a top-post focus when you use jumps, which is more attractive when you are doing a team blog. But, you are absolutely right, there is no reason for jumps for people who read via RSS, and I would really like to figure out a method for having it both ways.

jeremy said...

BTW, another reason that some commercial sites use jumps is the same as one reason the NYT breaks its news stories into multiple pages -- you get to tell advertisers how many people follow a story all the way to its end.

LemmusLemmus said...

Jeremy,

I see. I don't read via RSS; my point was that I have to click and wait if I read it in the regular mode.

It's weird that a service that makes you pay would force you to have the name at the bottom - the software I use is crap, but I can hardly complain given that it's free. Ever contemplated writing a customer e-mail and single-handedly doing away with that problem?

Until then, a simulblog would be awesome.

Thanks about the bit about clicking through. I've always wondered about that.

By the way, your dissertation was a great read. Yes, I've read the whole thing.

patrick said...
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jeremy said...

Yeah, it's weird. There are wordpress.com templates with one's name above the post, but they aren't the hypercustomizable one, which doesn't let you customize that. I think it's a problem deep within how WP.com style sheets sit on top of WP templates, it's very different from how my template in Blogger (granted, I never upgaded to Blogger beta) worked.

Thanks for the kind words about my dissertation! As you can imagine, it's a matter of much ambivalence that I never turned it into a book.

LemmusLemmus said...

"As you can imagine, it's a matter of much ambivalence that I never turned it into a book."

Is it too late? It doesn't seem outdated at all (although I believe there is some new literature on the cheater-detection thing).