Are ‘Stub Stories’ the Future of Online News?

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros went out to discover what the best type of blogging would be in the long run and what they discovered from results surprised them greatly.

They tried an experiment with “stubs”. These blogs planted a flag in a topic and wrote short articles based on a larger idea; slowly going on to write more and more of these stubs and ultimately turn it into one large story.

The reasoning behind this is that very long stories that are written in one large article tend not fare well among readers. This may be due to the decreasing attention spans of today’s generation.

While the other possibility was to just write short articles, but the problem with these is that with very large stories, it is hard to really cover everything that is being said and even more, as more news comes out on the topic, the writer must go back and add notes that state anything new to the article.

The benefit of these stubs is that if such additions occurred, then it wouldn’t be a problem to just include it in one of their next articles about the story.

They could keep the articles going that revolved around the same story by adding links inside it back to other articles, thus keeping the trend going until the topic was over with.

As they recorded the results over time, they began to discover that the bounce rate began to significantly decrease, hourly and daily. As they were encouraged by this, they went on to check the average visit duration. As they expected, the numbers rose dramatically as time went on.

They state that scientifically, it hasn’t been proven that the new way of blogging is the causation of the change, but as they racked their minds and research for other possibilities, it appeared to them that they couldn’t find anything else that may have caused it.

They encountered some issues with the long quality stories, but most of them involved the tedious process of keeping track and manually adding these linkages among the articles. They believe that in time, automation will be able to come into place and they will only have upside to this process.

So, if this trend keeps on proving to be beneficial, will this change the way of blogging more in the future when it comes to larger articles, just like the world of television is changing due to new choices? I think it won’t completely change it, but simply give us more options to work with. As with everything, people are different, some people may like the way in which long articles are written, while others like these quick stubs. The same may go for writers, as some prefer to keep writing the way in which they do, while some may find it more appealing to write these new stubs. Life is full of choices and one thing is clear: just gave us another one.

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