When “more” means less

WHAT LIES BEHIND THIS ADMONITION “READ MORE”? ARE WE REALLY INVITED TO READ MORE, OR PERHAPS LESS? PERHAPS NOTHING AT ALL?

The world is upside down. At least language is sometimes.

READ MORE

You have probably seen this advice, or admonition, many times on the Net. It means that in order to see the whole text you first have to click READ MORE.

Why hide the whole text to begin with? When I started blogging there was no “read more”. What you saw was what you got, there was no need to confirm that you wanted all of it. If you got bored, you could always stop reading.

There is statistics out here — as if you really needed it — that shows that people very seldom read articles or posts to the sweet end. (Some of the statistics here and here.)

Big surprise — not.

ornament5b

I believe people still read books. To the last page.

But the Net is not a book, it is a market where thousands and millions are competing for attention. Of course you are not going to read a longish article to the end! Why, you might miss something more fun, or sensational, or sexsational, if you do.

Link bait content from other sitesThis is no surprise. Then how does this “read more” change the workings of Internet, this enormous marketplace of attention?

It gives us an opportunity, or chance — I would say inspiration — to not read at all. Cool! At least not more than what we see in the teaser.

Now that is another thing that makes me somewhat furious. Or made me, when my page still had this function.

The Read more-thing turned the beginning of my article into as teaser. I was actually asked to think like a female undresser!?!

Behind this Make a great teaser so people click on Read more-thing lies a sorry premise: People don´t REALLY want to read your text, are not really interested in hearing you out.

That´s sad.

I can accept it as a journalistic attitude, but we are not all journalists. I am not. So don´t ask me to write for people who are uninterested in reading. I put pride in writing well enough to be interesting, to the sweet or bitter end.

The end.
dont read

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