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  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Summaries vs entire posts

    I'm just wondering if there is a general preference towards reading blogs displayed in one way or another- entire posts on the home page, or just a paragraph to summarize the post. An overwhelming majority of blogs I see tend to just put the entire post right out there.

    My blog uses summaries and most of my blog's visits do not involve clicking to view a post further. Maybe my summaries aren't interesting enough? I'll do a test to see if "forcing" people to see my entire posts they might become more interested in reading.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard ryanhellyer's Avatar
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    It is easier to skim read if the entire posts are displayed. I am unlikely to click all of the posts on someone's home page, but I scan through them all fairly quickly as long as I don't need to click anything so for this reason I prefer entire posts to be shown.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccRicers View Post
    My blog uses summaries and most of my blog's visits do not involve clicking to view a post further.
    Bingo! The fact is that in a good summary the most pertinent information is presented. Often, to get the idea behind an article all you have to do is read a summary and go no further.

    More text on the front page means there is more text for search engines to match.

  4. #4
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    Summaries give you more pageviews but only if anyone cares to click. As for reading it can also be good if your posts are long and your readers usually scan for specific posts not reading everything.

  5. #5
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    I prefer entire posts, especially for the current blog post.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  6. #6
    whagwan? silver trophybronze trophy akritic's Avatar
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    I too prefer entire posts. However some sites or commercial blogs just have too many posts per day to do this and so offer summaries as default. I'm not saying this should be the de facto way of doing it, but there seems to be a reason for summaries when you look at larger blogs. It's more manageable that way, not to mention user friendly in this case also.

    Off-topic thoughts here are that in my case, blogs which have a lot of posts per day and resultingly offer summaries usually turn me to their RSS feed. I simply don't like huge blogs. I would prefer such sites just to come out as an ordinary website and sort out their landing page so it's easier just to see recent activity. But perhaps that's just me.


  7. #7
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    I'm the same way as armchaircritic, if a feed turns up with more than one or two posts a day, I usually unsubscribe. I guess it would be okay if you just subscribe to a couple, but I subscribe to over a dozen so I don't spend too much time on any one.

    That's maybe why I would rather see entire posts, too. I want to be able to quickly look at the post, scan it and decide whether or not I want to read it.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  8. #8
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    That makes sense. For now I was keeping sort of a magazine-style layout but that would only work when you have a lot of content to cram in the home page. I will go back to the magazine layout if my updates become very frequent.

  9. #9
    whagwan? silver trophybronze trophy akritic's Avatar
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    That's a good idea Ricers. I think the mag type layout is very effective for sites with a lot of content.

    @Shyflower - Sorry perhaps I wasn't exactly clear above, but to clarify, I prefer in the case of large multi-post-per-day blogs to subscribe to the RSS instead of going to the site and trying to figure my way around to the good stuff.

    In any case, as you say once you get a few of these large blogs in the feeder then it really becomes a hassle to read/manage them. So, in many cases I do unsubscribe to the ones I thought were interesting and didn't really ever catch my attention. I have 30 feeds coming in of which about 5 are multi-post-per-day blogs. </end-off-topic>

  10. #10
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    Go with full feeds.

    If your site is popular people will still enter your site to read the comments.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Zealot theawristocrat's Avatar
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    does anyone knows how to post only summaries on homepage in blogger?

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Bleys's Avatar
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    It depends on the number of posts. If you're publishing 1-2 per day or less, go for the entire post on the main page. If you're publishing 5 or more per day, you should consider posting just a summary.

    Blogs like Mashable and TechCrunch, for example, have 20-30 posts per day and generally publish full posts. I find that really overwhelming, and as a result I avoid visiting the page and instead consume their posts almost exclusively via the RSS feed.

    Bias: the blog I write for publishes about 10-12 posts per day, and we use summaries on the index. That seems to work for us, and I find it easier to look at. Another blog I really like, VentureBeat, also does it that way.
    Josh is an anomaly
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  13. #13
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    I definitely prefer to see a site with the full post ready to be read all the way through. I'm not as likely to click the link to continue reading, unless there is something that really just catches my eye. I can see the summaries working for sites that are already popular and have a large following, but not for first-time visitors.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Zealot phppoddotcom77's Avatar
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    I prefer reading summaries. I will catch the main idea and decide if I want to read further.

  15. #15
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    Me too - I much prefer a condensed front page with summaries of a handful of recent posts. I can then choose if I want to read further.

    This is what I have done on my own blog - in SEO terms will this look like there is less content on my page or will the fact that a link is there pointing to the full article support this?

    Is having my full article on a different page which people have to click through to, to read the full article beneficial for increasing that pages SERP or PR?

  16. #16
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    I also prefer to see the full posts.. for easy browsing..

    but sometimes if your article is too long.. that's the time you need to create an expandable post..

  17. #17
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    Re:

    I prefer summarized blog post, because it save the reader's time, if the reader finds it interesting, he may click on read more tab...

  18. #18
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    Posting summaries really help the viewers to get a brief "insights" on your posts. But some lazy visitors don't mind clicking the entire entry if the topic is not interesting.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by my_misyel View Post
    Posting summaries really help the viewers to get a brief "insights" on your posts. But some lazy visitors don't mind clicking the entire entry if the topic is not interesting.
    I don't think they are lazy.. they just don't find the article interesting..

    maybe if you really want your visitors to click the read more link.. try to write an introduction that will surely catch readers attention..

  20. #20
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    Thanks for the replies. I'm getting a better idea of how things usually work out for everyone. Now I've come to my own conclusions. For a blog that's still very new you want to show people how much content you actually have. It's better for a "growing" phase to build rep and loyal visitors, and more posts.

    At some point in its growth you might want to just post summaries, since your rep is good enough that your loyal visitors don't question the quality of your content. Therefore you don't need to show all the goods in the front page.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaffinePhil View Post
    Me too - I much prefer a condensed front page with summaries of a handful of recent posts. I can then choose if I want to read further.

    This is what I have done on my own blog - in SEO terms will this look like there is less content on my page or will the fact that a link is there pointing to the full article support this?
    I'm all for summaries as well. In fact I hate looking at a front page and seeing full articles. I want to be able to scan the headlines and summaries and see if there's an interesting article that I'd like to read.

    If I see a full-length article on the front page, I often bounce if I'm not interested in that first article.

    As far as SEO goes, I prefer the summaries. I want search engine traffic to end up on the actual article - not my front page - so I don't want it duplicated on index/archive pages.

    - Walkere

  22. #22
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bluedreamer's Avatar
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    I'm different because I like summaries

    For me at least I hate scrolling down a really long page wading through everything till I find what I'm looking for. A well written summary will give me just enough to know if I want to read more of it, then I click through.

    Personally I think having loads of full articles on one page defeats the "usability" aspect of a site.

  23. #23
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    Walkere - Would this enter into the whole duplicate content debate or is there a way round that for blogs?


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