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Should Blogs use the extended entry (more) feature?

Darren Rowse answers a question that’s been an open ended one in advising LexBlog clients, should Blogs use the extended entry (more) feature? I’m with Darren that there’s no right or wrong answer.

The extended entry feature is displayed on the back-end of blog publishing platforms so that an excerpt of the post is displayed on the main and category archive page of the blog with a link for ‘continue reading’ for the full post display.

Darren:

I personally use it on most of my blogs but know that in doing so there are a small percentage of readers who find it a frustrating feature….

The reason I use the extended entry feature is not to increase my earnings but rather to keep some order to the front page of my blogs.

I like readers who come to my blog to be able to quickly be able to see titles to the last two or three entries that I’ve made. I publish a lot of longer posts on many of my blogs and to have them appear in full on the front page of my blogs would mean that there would be a lot of scrolling down needed to view the last few entries.

I actually find blogs that post full entries on their front pages frustrating to read and tend to loose interest after scrolling for 10-20 seconds.

Though I used the extended entry, I no longer do. One, because I did not see it used on the most popular blogs like Scoble’s, Winer’s and Rubel’s. Second, because my posts were getting shorter and I did not want to have posts with ‘continue reading,’ and some without.

One of the problems I have created though is that my category archives get unwieldily for users looking for good information. When browsing to a category, users are presented the full entry for each post. They have to scroll forever to effectively browse the headlines of entries.

Darren nails what I appreciate, that being “that fewer and fewer of my readers actually see the ‘more’ links on my blogs as increasingly they are arriving at my posts via RSS feeds. This means that they are driven straight to the individual posts and see the full entry on the one page.” Just like I did with Darren’s post.

Best rule as Darren says: “…ask whether the content that you’re publishing warrants it’s use – is it useful to your readers or not?”

Users rule!

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