there we go again...

Over at the Valve, there is a disturbing post about blogging. The writer claims that there is some convention that says that posts over 500 words are a waste of time, and that those who read blogs continually get impatient with reading longer matter.

Now, LI’s posts regularly come in a bit over the 500 word limit – sometimes by 500 words – and we are always referring to longer reading matter.

So the question here is: are we fucking up?

I notice that the Valve post says nothing about re-reading posts. That might be our out from having gotten the whole culture completely wrong. I hope so – we at LI are starting to feel like the elves that built the broken toys that ended up on broken toy island. We are talking mass despondency. One of our writers tossed the two hundred page post responding point by point to Petroski’s history of the paper clip (with many amusing details culled from the various memoirs of King Louis XV’s court)in the garbage can today. But …Many of our most popular posts are popular long after they have faded into the archives. That’s one thing. Especially the one's mentioning Aisha Qaddafi, for some reason. Let’s see. Oh, and we have always considered these posts to be like a cronica on hyperdrive, rather than seeking the mere comment-on-a-link comment. That’s another thing. Also, also many of our posts exist to amuse my friend, D., in the Portland area, and the crew of grave diggers that he works with at a public cemetery there. Grave diggers want the real thing, they don’t want 200 word balderdash – or dashed off balder, as it may be. D. tells me that the common complaint is that LI didn't dig deep enough, or square off the corners.

Also, we don’t get out enough. And also, also we have this graphomania problem…


Patrick J. Mullins said…
Never try to please the Valve, that's the problem. They're young and have good 'piss-and-vinegar' quotient, but too much noise and hot-shit stuff.

Long posts being a problem is so ridiculous a concept I can't believe people are bringing it up yet again. Isn't it about time to bring up 'troll sensitivity and banning' again? I think 2 months have gone by, that's the usual cycle.

I find I prefer the blogs that don't have too many participants. Right now, it works out perfectly at LeColonelChabert. She's a great brain and tireless, and people don't write in things that evaporate the second they put them down.

Write long posts.

Write short posts.

Read Fuckbooks.


Al Goldstein
Brian Miller said…
I like the longer posts, myself. They stretch my thinking. If you have a good topic and good writing, then your readers will stick with you.
roger said…
Patrick, I like the fuckbooks advice. Should I put a link to those avatars of erotica, ASSTR, on this site? I admire the open source sharing of erotica writers,

And thanks, Brian. I was making a little innocent fun of all of these earnest recipes for blogging success. On one level, I can understand it -- it is an ego boost to get a buncha visitors -- but on another level, I think: the point is being missed here. And by a blog that devotes itself to the great works of lit -- embracing Joyce, Gaddis, Pynchon and Proust, right? that the point should be pretty obvious.

Anyway, I think your standards are pretty much mine, Brian. A short post that is badly phrased and has a heh at the end of it strikes me as so much wasted eye strain. A long post -- by anybody, by an anorexic high school student -- that does something, has some energy, is a thing of beauty and a joy for as long as you can trackback to it.

I walked down the bike path here today and noticed that the Bloodz have been busy with their grafitti lately. Some of the stuff is pretty cool, including these zapatista like drawings of guys with the neckerchief disguise. That stuff will disappear -- the park police will come, the paints will come out. But I don't find that tragic -- grafitti is meant for a small, shocking moment. If it lasts, it is like one of those disgusting prison tattoos. And I think of these posts in terms of that grafitti lifecycle.
Patrick J. Mullins said…
Probably not, you'll just get more spam. I looked at it, they truly had the most godawful girl on the front page, so I didn't go any further.
There are some people who should not write lengthy posts. And why on earth are you reading the Valve?

All the Scruggses read Limited, Inc. from beginning to end of each post. Sometimes we reread them.