The long tail

Do texts and tweets “change the nature of in-depth analysis”? Wired commentator Clive Thompson thinks so, because they take away the impetus for “middle-form” reporting, which alerts readers to an event along with brief (usually uninformative) commentary.

Personally, I can’t handle reading texts and tweets but I see the point because most of my new readers find me through links to my long-form pieces.

The long take also thrives on the long tail. Whereas a tweet becomes dated within minutes, a really smart long take holds value for years. Back in the 90s, my magazine articles vanished after the issue left the newsstand. But now that the pieces are online, readers email me every week saying theyve stumbled upon something years old.


It turns out readers prefer this: One survey found that the most popular blog posts today are the longest ones, 1,600 words on average.