We can all agree that, ideally, blogs should be engaging and entertaining and even educational, but how long should a blog post be?
On one extreme, we have the Twitter model in which “tweets” must be 140 characters or less (characters, not words!). On the other extreme, we have the academic “law review” approach in which the average length of papers in the top law journals easily exceeds 10,000 words or more. There is clearly a wide margin between these two extremes, so wide that it is hard to say what the optimal length of a blog post should be. Perhaps, however, we are asking the wrong question. Maybe we should be asking instead, What is the optimal or equilibrium number of blog posts per day?
Some blogs, like 3QuarksDaily, Marginal Revolution, and the Volokh Conspiracy, three of our favorite blogs by the way, tend to post a slew of interesting items and tidbits many times per day. Is this “too warm”? From a blogger’s perspective, one problem with multiple posts per day is that it’s got to be hard even for one’s most loyal and devoted readers to keep up with such a hectic pace of posts.
Other blogs, by contrast, like Ashok Rao and Robin Hanson’s excellent blogs, This is Ashok and Overcoming Bias, seem to post only once every few days or sporadically. Is this approach “too cold”? Here, again from a blogger’s perspective, the risk is that one’s readers might lose interest in your blog if they are not fed a steady diet of daily posts.
Still other blogs, like Cheap Talk, Crooked Timber, and prior probability, appear to have settled on a once per weekday equilibrium. Is this “just right”? How about once per week, like the Becker-Posner blog?
What do you think?