If there’s one thing Gawker knows, it’s how to hook in online audiences. If you aren’t a regular reader, you may not have noticed something nifty they do with long stories. In addition to publishing a longer narrative story about the ‘balloon boy’ stunt recently, they also published a bulleted “Cliffs Notes” version of the story for the scanning reader.
The Nieman Lab took a favorable look at the practice, and I can’t help but agree it’s something we should be taking a lesson on.
Newspaper and magazine reporters who want online audiences to appreciate the fruits of their labor poured into lengthy watchdog pieces and enterprise journalism should consider writing a shorter, bulleted synopsis version to run online, with a link to the full-length piece.
I know, you’d love it if your prize-worthy story were appreciated by all readers, but you and I know that just isn’t going to happen. If you write a “web friendly” version, those facts you gathered, at least, can get some traction, even if your prose has been trimmed out.
Doesn’t Gawker pay their writers per click through, so they are highly motivated to hook you and get you to click through to the full story.
Thought I read that somewhere.
They pay by page views, I think, yes. Of course, if they write two versions of the same story – a long and a short – they probably stand to get more page views overall.