On the Internet, people prefer large and high-quality articles.
You may have noticed that a lot of short notes are published on the Internet more often, and long and comprehensive reviews on a given topic appear much less frequently. And the point is not that the authors have no ideas for writing large, comprehensive articles, but often lack of time to focus on all aspects of the topic. In addition, many people on the Internet do not like to read long articles, since it is believed that it is easier for the brain to perceive only short passages.
In Slate magazine , we decided to test these assumptions and launched the projectin which they gave their journalists a sufficiently long period of time - from four to six weeks, so that they could focus on creating one large article of the highest quality or creating a large review of short notes on one topic. This allowed us to create the most interesting, impressive (and long) products of the work of journalists.
And, it would seem that few people will read these long epics. But in practice, everything turned out differently. The number of views has stepped over multi-million marks. An average of 3-4 million reads of each of the works that took part in the experiment. And this is despite the fact that the volume of these articles is tens of thousands of words. This confirmed last year’s words of the editor of the New York Times Magazine Jerry Marzorati that, contrary to popular belief, it is the longest and most voluminous articles that attract the maximum network traffic on their site.
Journalists are increasingly worried that the web is filled with informational garbage. The so-called “ content farms””, Which put on the stream the writing of articles on the Internet, emphasize the quantity and not the quality of publications, thereby killing journalism and forming a negative opinion about the profession. Increasingly, online journalists are called “copy pasteors.”
But "content farms" are not able to create the work described above. They cannot even come close to the volume and quality of such articles. Writing quality articles requires a higher professionalism of employees, and costs much more than the work of creating a quick stream of short messages.
Perhaps the problem with traditional media is that they write a large number of short notes that can be easily copied by employees of “content farms”. Contrary to this, they should focus their efforts on deeper and better work. Allow superficial coverage of events for those who can do it cheaply, while more serious organizations focus on quality.