Hit Coffee has always gone “blog style” by showing most or usually all of posts, in succession. Ordinary Times goes more “magazine style” with an image and summary and you have to click on the item to read the content. I have always preferred the former (as a reader) because you can just keep reading without clicking. However, the latter makes it easier to navigate past posts you aren’t interested in (like Linkluster, or the tweetstorms).

Linkluster is about to go through a revision. Linkluster 500 may be the last one in this format. Even if it’s not, a change is probably coming. Likely, there will be a box sort of like Linkage on OT where a lot of these posts are handled. I’m still deciding how it’s going to go.

But with regard to blog style vs magazine style, do you all have a real preference one way or the other? Would you like me to switch over to a magazine style? Or would you like me to be more aggressive about clipping long articles so for them you have to click “more” but otherwise keeping it the way it is? Or are you fine with the way it is?

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14 Responses to Question for Readers

  1. As a contributor, I personally don’t have strong feelings about magazine vs. blog style.

    I will say the twitter essays take a really long time to load on my computer and the loading process postpones my ability to read other posts. First there’s a “skeleton” or text-only version of the tweets, then when the full version loads, the page jumps up to the top even if I’ve scrolled down. So it’s helpful when you post one or two tweets and leave the rest beyond a “read more” link. For all I know, all of that could be attributable to the fact that I have an aging computer (birth year: 2008).

    • Michael Cain says:

      The twitter essays are annoying on most computer/browser combinations, old or not, because they are structured in a way that creates layout thrashing (sometimes called reflow thrashing). Layout is the process of calculating the size and relative position of all the elements on a page and then rendering everything to the screen. Layout thrashing can be the result of bad coding practice. More likely in this case, it’s because WordPress drags in lots of black-box JavaScript so that a single event — eg, an image finishes loading — indirectly causes the page to be laid out many times.

  2. trumwill says:

    That’s fair. I try to only display the first 2-4 and then click for more, but I forget sometimes. I’ll try to do better.

  3. Michael Cain says:

    Random thoughts…

    I prefer the blog style, aside from the aforementioned twitter essays, which I find so visually irritating that I never read them. (Taking a four-paragraph essay and rendering it in a format that requires forever scrolling to read, plus interleaving all the twitter icons and widgets, doesn’t make the essay any clearer or cleverer.) The magazine style is better suited to my perception of what OT would like to be, namely several longer-form pieces per week (or even day). John Michael Greer, as a sort of counterexample, gets away with the blog style for longer-form pieces, but limits himself to exactly one per week.

    The widgets in the right-hand column have too much of the real estate, particularly given their rate of change.

    • trumwill says:

      I will figure something out for the Tweetstorms, so make them more easily avoided for those so inclined.

    • trumwill says:

      Regarding the real estate to the right, as I mention below I’m a bit trapped in the current theme unless I want to go digging deep into the code. It’s not very flexible. So it’s there to be used or not used, and I’m using it with mostly static stuff.

      I am thinking of adding some more dynamic things (like a photo gallery, or using it for whatever replaces Linkluster) and pushing some of the static stuff (like the blogroll) down.

  4. Foose says:

    I prefer the blog style, but is there any chance you could add a white background? The current dark background with white type is hard to read and hard on the eyes, especially at night.

    • trumwill says:

      Hi Foose, good to hear from you again! I’m kind of stuck as long as I am using the current theme. I may be doing a revamp, though, and if I am I will keep this in mind. Also, if I bone up on my skills, I might be able to make a separate white-on-dark option.

  5. Jaybird says:

    The point of the blog post is to get to the comments.

  6. MD says:

    I like blog style. My sense was ha OT was using zine style to try to attract readership by featuring and placing various pieces in various places based on expected interest. Whereas you’re putting up things all of which I think all of us small group of readers are at least interested in enough to take a good look a them. So my preference would be for you to keep blog style here. If you’re trying to grow readership here, that may lead to other considerations though.

    • trumwill says:

      Thanks for the input. I honestly don’t know about growing readership or not. Sometimes I like this being my little hideaway, other times I want to muscle it up so that more people will read it.

  7. trumwill says:


    Is anyone else having some weird text-size issues?

  8. Black and Blue Man says:

    I like the blog format.

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