Experimenting with a shorter post style
I’m thinking about leaning toward a shorter style for blog posts. Lately I’ve been focusing a lot of energy on developing an API documentation course, so although it may not appear as if I’m posting as much, I’m actually writing quite a bit here.
The difference between posts and pages on a blog is becoming less important. Posts appear in an RSS feed and are intended as diary-like entries that live on the homepage a few weeks before sliding into oblivion. In contrast, pages are intended to be more permanent.
However, almost no one gets their news via RSS anymore. If I don’t send out links to new posts via Twitter, Linkedin, and my email newsletter, the number of reads plummets. So what’s really the benefit of writing posts instead of pages, if you can promote both the same way?
In other words, what’s really the difference between writing a page and promoting it via these channels, versus writing a post and promoting through the same channels? It’s not as if the content’s absence from RSS feeds affects the readership in a significant way.
Instead of writing one-off posts, I’d like to build something bigger and more cohesive. My goal is to create a course in API documentation and publish it on an online learning platform. It’s going to take me a few more months to finish it, but I like the idea of building something larger rather than just writing standalone blog posts.
The half-life of blog posts keeps getting shorter the more real-time news dominates the web landscape, so it only makes sense to put energy into more substantial formats.
About Tom Johnson
I'm a technical writer based in the San Francisco Bay area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.