Friday, November 16, 2007

How much information is enough?

Short fiction Jakob Nielsen's latest Alertbox discusses
Long vs. Short Articles as Content Strategy.

Information Foraging Theory assumes that people are ecologically rational, and that human information-seeking mechanisms and strategies adapt the structure of the information environments in which they operate. Nielsen discusses cost/benefit metrics for online reading. Cost is easy to model: the time it takes to read an article. Benefit is more nebulous and depends on the content. Nielsen states:
The conclusion is clear: people prefer to read short articles
which is ironic, considering only a few months ago he was banging on about how microchunking content via blog post-style articles may have a negative effect on the writer's reputation. Fortunately, he then goes on to contradict himself. This wouldn't be a subtle strategy to get people to shell out for your training programme (which you kindly link to at the end of the post), would it Jakob?


  1. I just want to point out that Infomration Foraging Theory itself doesn't say shorter articles are preferred over longer articles.