A Blog Post…

I have always thought the Platonic ideal length for a blog post is exactly three paragraphs long. It’s short enough that people can quickly read and digest the post, which is very important in the shriveled attention span era that we currently reside. Yet, it has enough meat on the bones to be considered worthy of one’s attention, instead of simply a throwaway flash of information. I liken it to a haiku, or other such literary device that you learn about in school and never think twice about for the remainder of your adult life. Three paragraphs are a beginning, middle, and end – creating that perfect sense of balance and contentment in the reader.

After the obligatory introductory paragraph, the second paragraph is the heart, the soul, the main bread winner of the paragraph family. But occasionally writers can overindulge and spread out the middle into a cacophony of words that swirl into the infinite abyss of ones and zeroes that we call – INTERNET. The internet is such a futuristic term, yet we take it for granted nowadays. It feels like something Arthur C. Clarke would have used in a short story from 1954. Wasn’t this supposed to be a meta blog post about blog posts? Oh, yes. Fifty percent of readers never make it to this point in a post, already having clicked off and Googled either sports scores, information about rashes, or porn. However, they’ve missed the main information the writer is trying to convey to his or her readers, the packets of knowledge that are being shuttled through the reader’s visual cortex into various tentacles of spiraling neurons.1

Enter the third paragraph, the grand finale, the ultimate award given to the reader at the end of their long journey. The concluding recitation of why the writer is writing the post, the “point” to it all. Yet, most of you are skimming this right now, just trying to get to the end and see how haphazardly this bozo has concluded his thoughts. However, there still remains the precious few that are slowly reading this, inhaling the words like fresh summer air in a country meadow. You’ve continued this far because you truly want a satisfying reason for why you’ve given up the last few minutes of your lives. But as with existence, blog posts might simply be random occurrences of atoms, flashing alive for infinitesimal moments in the dark recesses of our boundless universe.

1. Footnotes added to blog posts break up the readers attention and should mostly be avoided unless you know how to properly wield the ULTIMATE POWER a properly placed and erudite footnote can bring to a piece.


3 thoughts on “A Blog Post…

  1. Even in the "BuzzFeed era" of internet content, there’s place for people who are not willing to succumb to the race of pageviews, CPM, and catchy titles. One of them is someone I think you look up to and link often on here. And he’s not the only one by any count, just the most immediate contrast to my BuzzFeed reference above. Any piece of text should not be a word longer than is required to convey its message or fulfill its purpose. But not a word shorter, either. I think Hemingway said something along these lines.But the distance between that and absolute caps like the one (I hope) you’re (not) proposing is huge. If my piece’s message or purpose warrants thousands of words and dozens of paragraphs, then so be it. It will never make BuzzFeed traffic, but it might reach exactly those few who I want to talk to.

    1. No, I’m not advocating a 3 paragraph limit to blog posts, just look at all my other posts that far exceed that. I was experimenting with a post-modern/meta blog post about blog posts.

      1. I admit I still can’t process and understand the message behind this post. In any case, I didn’t really suspect this was the case.

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