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Just write until you're bored (or the reader's bored)

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SockPuppet, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. SockPuppet

    SockPuppet Active Member

    By chance I just clicked on a link to Tuesday Morning Quarterback on ESPN.com's Page 2. Gregg Easterbrook writes it. I kept scrolling down and down ... and down.

    10,000 freakin' words. I realize one of the great advantages of the Internet is the unlimited space. But great googly moogly. 10,000 freakin' words. Really. Every Tuesday? On a variety of topics (none of which seemed very interesting or well presented). Is this what Bill Simmons hath wrought? Diarrhea of the keyboard. Unedited stream of consciousness?

    Somewhere between USA Today's 4-graf factoids and 10,000 word mini-novels, there has to be a happy medium.
  2. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Active Member

    No joke...that's one drawback to the web is that there is no cut-off point if editors allow the rambling.
  3. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Fact check: Easterbrook began writing his TMQ column in 2000 (for Slate.com), moving to ESPN.com in 2002. Simmons began writing for ESPN.com in 2001.

    You're a little late to the game here.
  4. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    A buddy of mine loves the TMQ column, and every now and then, I'll try to read it. Usually, I get bored after about two paragraphs. Maybe it's because I know if I read the whole thing, it'll take all day.
  5. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    I get bored reading it too, but I hate skimming through it. Easterbrook always brings up great points about why coaches should go for two and go for it on fourth down.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2015
  6. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    I'm sure he brings up a lot of good points. Until he shortens that bad boy up a little, though, I ain't reading it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2015
  7. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    I just scroll down until I find the Cheerbabe of the Week.
  8. partain

    partain Member

    Since TMQ is just once a week, I can usually find time to read it. But I do find myself skipping stuff sometimes. When he wonders away from football, I find myself skipping a lot. His rants on space and science fiction don't really interest me, but I usually find his political observations fascinating.
  9. podunk press

    podunk press Active Member

    Matthew Berry's fantasy sports columns have the same problem.

    He rambles on for 20 paragraphs about his personal life (dude, I do not care), then he gets to his fantasy baseball and football advice. I always scroll down to that part.
  10. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    Relatively speaking given the mediums, is there much difference between 10,000 words on the web and a 50-plus inch weekly 'notes' column that used to appear in newspapers about the NBA, MLB or NFL?

    The good thing about the print version is you could jump around on the page if something sucks. Jumping around on a laptop means clicking on Page 3, Page 5, waiting on the video ad, Page 8 and never finding anything.

    Ten thousand words is too much of anything.
  11. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Jesus Christ, the thing has about 25 small sections, each one with it's own headline. If you're bored, skip to the one that looks interesting to you. Sure, he repeats some stuff, such as obscure school scores, cheerleader of the week, and some others. Don't read those and you probably chop 10% off the column. If he writes about Friday Night Lights I skip it because I haven't watched it and want to be surprised someday. His opening topic is different every week. If you don't like that, skip to the parts you find interesting. It's probably cut by 40% once you do all this.

    Whining about how boring it is for you to read something long tells me how lazy you are.
  12. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    Wait, does somebody remember the word-to-length formula on the old wide broadsheets? By my foggy memory, 10k words equals about 300 inches in the new-fangled narrow web, and probably more than 200 back in the good old days.

    So comparing it to old-school print notebooks isn't even appropriate. That's just unbelievable.
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