More on Teaser Blogs

| Sun Jan. 4, 2009 3:39 PM EST

MORE ON TEASER BLOGS....Dave Munger responds to my annoyance with "teaser" blogs, which routinely make you click "continue" to read an entire blog post:

This really depends. I mean, if you've got a three-paragraph post, and you're asking people to click through to read one more paragraph, I agree. But what if you've got a post that's 8 or 10 paragraphs long? Or what if you're embedding some bandwidth-heavy content? Most people aren't going to click through, so this can save a lot of bandwidth. Yes, I'm biased, because that's what CogDaily does, but at least you know now why we do it.

FWIW, I don't have a problem with this. My problem is mostly with blogs that do this routinely and for no very good reason. I already mentioned Felix Salmon's blog, and others in the original thread called out Josh Marshall and the Firedoglake crew. Basically, it's a real pain in the butt to have to click "continue" constantly just to finish up a blog post, and there's no question that it reduces my reading of blogs that do this.

But I don't have any problem with doing it for a reason. Occasional long posts, especially ones that have a limited audience, are fine candidates for this treatment. Putting spoilers below the fold is fine. I'm not quite sure what kind of content would be so bandwidth heavy that this would be a good excuse, but I suppose this works too. And doing what CogDaily often does, which is to summarize a new piece of research in enough detail to let you know if you might be interested in reading the gory details, and then putting said details below the fold — that's fine too.

But my plea is to use some discretion here. Actually, use a lot of discretion. 600 words isn't that much, and there's no need to cut a post that long in half. Spoilers are uncommon unless you're running a movie review site. And scrolling past a post you aren't interested in only takes one or two seconds. So please: do this sparingly. The world will be a better place for it.