“Continue Reading”: do you click the link?

When I started blog writing I used the post continuation (or extended body) form for longer posts, which generates a “continue reading” link to open up the second half.  As a new blog reader I was also quite happy to click on the “keep reading” link on other people’s posts.  As time’s gone on I’ve started to get slightly bugged by the requirement to click on a link to keep on reading - the height of laziness I know, exacerbated by the fact I’m mainly skim reading posts via a news reader but I guess I’m not alone.  As a result I’ve stopped using the continuation links in my own blog writing, however long the posts.

I’ve no idea what the science behind this is (no doubt there is some) and was really just wondering what your own preferences were.

What’s your reaction to “continue reading” posts?  And do you include them in your own blog?

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5 Responses to ““Continue Reading”: do you click the link?”

  1. On June 9, 2007 at 3:13 am Rosa Say responded with... #

    I’ve gone back and forth on this Joanna, and currently I do use the continue reading feature on my blogs. After a couple of tests, it seems to me that first time readers to my blog are more apt to click on that continued link than they are to find the listing in the sidebar that says “Recent Postings.” The shorter intro versus the full article also gives readers less down-scrolling to see my other offerings.

    I prefer to think of it as a writing quality test: If I made the beginning interesting enough to hold their interest, they can’t help but click!

    As to RSS readers, I’ll still see my full post there and not just the intro. The partials seem to be a function of the feed configuration, and not the post design.

  2. On June 10, 2007 at 4:49 pm Michael Schaffner responded with... #

    Like Rosa I’ve had mixed feelings about using the “continue” feature. I originally did not use it figuring why make readers make another click. However with 10 or 12 posts per page each page became quite long which I felt made it more difficult to scan other posts. So it was a trade off between clicks and scrolling. Ultimately I chose to go with the “continue” feature. I don’t know if there is a true “right” answer. I guess you just have to go with what feels best for you.

    In regard to the full/partial feeds - in Typepad if you go to Weblogs/Configure/Feeds you have the option of using full or partial feeds. This way I have the “continue” function on my posts but the full article in the feed.


  3. On June 10, 2007 at 7:13 pm Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Thanks both of you for the feedback on this.

    @ Mike - Typepad tip much appreciated

    @ Rosa - I like the idea of the writing quality test. As you say it’s a useful challenge to us as writers to create material people will want to keep reading


  4. On March 18, 2009 at 6:38 am Matt Hayward responded with... #

    As I don’t use a ‘reader’ for the various blogs etc I subscribe to, I can’t really make comment in that respect. (I just use Firefox’s basic bookmarking tools)

    However with 10 or 12 posts per page each page became quite long which I felt made it more difficult to scan other posts.

    I believe that comment was made in reference to the ‘home’ page of a blog where you see a list of posts, along with content. In that respect, I would certainly say the ‘continue reading’ link is essential. As was said by Michael, using that function allows the reader to see snippets of the post, but also means they don’t need to do a lot of scrolling. Giving an overall much more user-friendly experience.

  5. On March 19, 2009 at 8:10 am Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Matt, this one was definitely written in my learning about blogging stage. What I now practice is a short exerpt on the home page of the blog, and the full article when someone clicks over from a link or feed reader.

    Don’t get me started on partial feeds though!


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