Lewis DVorkin at Forbes has a short case study of two Forbes writers with vastly different online styles, one with a beat that lends itself to short, punchy, frequent updates, and another with a beat tending to longer stories. It’s a fine illustration of not mindlessly applying the idea that the Web demands short and frequent updates. News sites must have those, yes, but not everything must follow that pattern. As the article points out, pharmaceutical writer Matt Herper has either — depending on your interpretation — seen no erosion of his online traffic from posting less or (even leaving aside the spike at the end of the graph above) he has seen an increase.
Notable also is that while Herper engages in exactly the depth-oriented reporting that some say the Web discourages, his online behavior seems to be a model of the ethic of engaging his audience. DVorkin quotes Herper:
“I promote pretty heavily on Twitter, where I try to stay very engaged. I think about Yahoo Finance, and I’m starting to think a lot about LinkedIn, where the point seems to be to get passed around among a group of extremely well-informed, professional readers, which then leads to even more well-informed, professional readers finding my work.”
DVorkin also writes: “He also engages with them. Using our comment moderation and filtering tools, you can always find Matt mixing it up with audience members who join the conversation.”