Speed Reading


Andrew Sullivan points to an interesting mini-survey of blog reading habits over at Living Room.

Key finding: The average reader spends 96 seconds reading the average blog.

NEXT: Zog Zag

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  1. The data also do take into account that on many blogs if one clicks a link in a story, one leaves that site to go to the link. So in my reading habits I’m likely to read a ‘graph, follow the link, come back, read a graph or two, follow the link, etc…

  2. he says:
    “But my own stats monitor shows my readers hang out for on average 2 – 3 minutes. Maybe I write more. Or maybe they read more slowly.”

    people probably take longer because of his template. i get a headache trying to decipher that blog, the posts run together like food on a plate at Luby’s.

    RSS aggregator is the way to go to avoid that kinda gunk.

  3. That was me at 1:49. little more to add.

    I don’t trust anyone with a blog that doesn’t give readers the capability to comment. Without comments blogs are just rapid fire pretentious diarrhea.

  4. Without comments blogs are just rapid fire pretentious diarrhea.

    E.g., Instapundit.

    Wonder when Glenn Reynolds will figure out that blogs aren’t going to change the world, and thus he’s not nearly as powerful as he fancies himself to be. Too bad we have to go to other people’s sites to express such thoughts — Reynolds won’t install a comments system at Instapundit. (He’ll claim it has something to do with the amount of traffic, or not wanting to “police” the dialogue, or some other excuse.)

  5. Tom:

    funny you said that. that line was actually a duplication of a comment i wrote over at theagitator.com about instapundit a couple of days ago. good to hear i’m not alone in thinking this way.

    i think the exact original was:

    “I don’t trust anyone with a blog that doesn’t have the balls to give readers the capability to comment. Without comments blogs are just rapid fire pretentious diarrhea.”

    don’t know why i forgot the balls this time.

  6. Without comments blogs are just rapid fire pretentious diarrhea.

    In fairness, there are comments threads that are more diarrheac than any blog could hope to be.

  7. “Key finding: The average reader spends 96 seconds reading the average blog.”

    That is approximately 89.7 seconds too long! Bloggers need to follow the Reason blog model (with the exception of Mr Sullum and the windy Mr Walker!) of keeping their blogs brief, concise, and to the point. With so much information to digest on a daily basis during short 10 minute breaks in the office, it is essential that this blog model is followed. Exceptions can be made for blogs on the war on drugs, pornography censorship, and RIAA bashing. In return, readers and responders, such as myself, will reply with uninformed opinions, knee-jerk reactionary rhetoric, and useless personal experiences.

  8. It’s not that we want to spend only 96 seconds on a given blog, it’s that the evil Patriot Act is controlling our minds and limiting the amou

  9. Coild the reason people only spend 96 seconds reading blogs is that the blogger probably spent half that amount of time in thought before posting?

    Or is is that such a vast number of blog entries contain links to other sites encouraging readers to move on?

  10. No comment = website.
    Comments = Blog

    It’s true.

  11. Of course it COULD be that many bloggers spend less that 3 seconds proof reading their lousy typing!

  12. “What is written without effort is generally read without pleasure,” said Dr. J.

  13. Or it could just be StMack’s repeated pitiful attempts to use H&R to drive traffic to his own blog!

  14. If the “average” here is a mean, this is going to be badly skewed by people skimming the page to see if there’s something new and, if there isn’t, moving on after about 3 seconds. I’d be interested to see what happened if you dropped out people who spent less than, say, 10 seconds on the page.

  15. …Or spilled their coffee in the process of reading said blog!

  16. Plus, he’s using Sitemeter to judge. Sitemeter can only time visitors that have clicked multiple pages at one site, or pressed “refresh.” Otherwise the time listed is a goose egg.

    The mode rather than the mean or median is more appropriate for this kind of thing.(Although, the reason I don’t know if he did that is because I only skimmed his post.)

  17. Without icing, a cookie is just a cracker.

  18. No wonder… I bet a ton of people go to the page, and then almost immediately click “refresh” to make sure they’ve got the most recent version of the page. If they then actually read the page, they’re not likely to hit “refresh” again, and probably don’t visit any other pages on the same site.

  19. D Lusional,

    I’ve spent more than 96 seconds reading Hold the Mayo and enjoyed it so it doesn’t bother me if StMack pugs his blog here.

  20. thanks for the link here – the results I posted were never supposed to be ‘airtight’ – as is pointed out here they are limited by the accuracy of Site Meters reporting – which is very limited – its only ever going to be a rough guesstimate.

    anyway – appreciate the link

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