Sunday, February 13, 2005

Expandable Posts

Following the clear and simple instructions at No Fancy Name, I've added 'expandable post' functionality to my blog. What's especially good about this hack (compared to others I've seen) is that the 'continue reading' link only appears if there really is more to read.

So now when I write a hideously long and boring post, I can make it so that only the first couple paragraphs (or whatever) clutter my main page, with the rest of it hidden away on the individual post page.

Then again, some people might prefer being able to read the whole thing from the main page without having to bother clicking through at all. Hmmm. Well, I'll do a quick poll: Who prefers long posts to be represented on the main page by a brief excerpt only, and who prefers the whole thing to appear?

Update: I've gone ahead and excerpted my longer posts, so now I can fit twice as many entries on the main page. For those who prefer to read several full posts together on one big page, just use the monthly archives (e.g. here) instead.

7 comments:

  1. I prefer the short "header" post with the longer post clicked to. That way you can have a couple of weeks worth of posts on the front.

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  2. Yeah, I was thinking that would be one advantage. And people have to click through to view the comments anyway, so it's no great inconvenience...

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  3. I've fought with this issue myself, since I often write long posts too. My answer (for now) is that people read my blog precisely for its in-depth thinking. If they didn't like long posts, they would not be there. Big blocks of text frighten the morons.

    Your work is much the same, although in both our cases there is something to be said for having a lot of long essays available on the same screen if the reader wants them.

    Now if the "jump" to the full page automatically loads the comments, this would be a big plus in its favor. On the other hand, if you always have to include a jump tag, even when you write a short post, then this is pure annoyance.

    Practically, I read blogs of both types, and neither one particularly bothers me. You certainly won't lose me as a reader, no matter what format changes you implement. Just don't go using the blink tag, and you'll be fine.

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  4. I quite like this specific hack because the default is just to include the full post as usual - no special code or tags required. And if I want some of the post to be hidden from the main page, I just include a single pair of 'span' tags around the appropriate text. So it's easy enough on my end, at least.

    What are "blink" tags?

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  5. I don't usually bother reading your longer posts. I like hearing quick reviews of new things you've come across, or snippets of your opinion. You have a good mind, and can be very clear about what you mean, and defend it. However, I don't really get a lot of interest from broad-scale introduction/overviews. I appreciate the links to the source of your idea when you are talking about an article or an idea, but for me as a reader, it is better to cut to the chase rather than try to cover all the angles.

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  6. I like long posts and I like to see them whole on the front page. Less clicks - the better. Not every time I see "continue reading under the fold" I actually do so...

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  7. Hi - Glad the "read more" thing worked out for you!

    Blink tags were a terrible bit of HTML from back in the olden days (1996-ish) which caused whatever text they contained to blink on and off. Very annoying, and "web designers" who used it were ridiculed mightily.

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