How People Really Read the Web

I read this article in Time with some interest. Recent research shows that most people spend less than 15 seconds on web pages and the that perhaps compelling content is more important than page views.

As I’ve grown the blog and the podcast over the years, I’ve occasionally bumped into advertising-types and conversations with them always devolve to CPM and “counting eyeballs”. The thing is, I’ve never been about that stuff. I don’t publish intentionally controversial content to gin up numbers. I don’t limit the RSS feed to just a portion of the articles I publish. In general, I try to not do anything hostile to my readers in the name of the almighty page view. While I’d like to take credit for coming up with this on my own, my thinking was really shaped by John Gruber, who was the first blogger I saw that simply refused to play whack-a-mole on his website. Ironically, I found the above-linked Time article through John’s site.

I hope that advertisers and content creators pick up on this. The relationship between blog readers and podcast listeners is one of trust, not click-throughs.