QCQ 2 – Bern/Dun/Kleon

QCQ for “16 Rules of Blog Writing and Layout [Which Ones Are You Breaking?]” 

by Sue Anne Dunlevie


“If your blog’s column is too wide, readers will keep getting lost … they’ll get frustrated and won’t enjoy the reading experience” (1) … “I love newspapers, and I’ll miss them, but I look forward to the day when every blog is formatted and laid out so it’s as easy to read as one of those newspapers” (3). 


While I’ve never seen it explicitly written that the smaller columns of newspapers are naturally easier to read, I had always thought about it. It makes sense that since our eyes have to travel less distance horizontally, that the narrower columns are easier to comprehend. I think that this is part of what makes reading online so difficult; Essentially everything online consists of sentences that span across the entirety of the paper, rather than in columns. However, in the research articles that I read almost every day for my Psychology classes and lab job, all of the articles are formatted in columns. I feel as though I can read those faster, and that they capture my interest longer than normally formatted (such as MLA papers) readings do. Therefore, I think that it’s entirely true that we should format our blogs similarly, and I’m not quite sure why we don’t do that now. I may bring this up to the Primary Investigator of our lab – We study reading comprehension and our current focus is the differences in online versus paper texts!

While I don’t have trouble reading, I do get very frustrated reading online texts that are formatted across the entire page. It would only make sense to keep the paragraphs to the minimum word count we can get them to while also keeping them in smaller columns. Especially with reading online, the best way to write is short and to the point to keep readers short attention spans. While I don’t think that the experience of reading online will ever amount to reading a newspaper, I do think that shortening the width and length and utilizing columns can help to promote interest in our online audience.


Do you think that smaller, shorter columns help to capture readers’ attention today? Have you read a newspaper, and do you find it easier than reading a blog? How do you think authors can use the format of newspapers to improve online blogs?