Perhaps a more accurate title for this post would be, “How I Read Long Blog Posts.”
It’s very simple. Perhaps so simple that maybe taking up bandwidth to address it isn’t worth the effort. However, I somehow feel that this post is going to help a few people. If it does, let me know in the comments, would you? I’d be curious.
For starters, I never read long posts online. While some people “scan” long blog posts, I don’t like doing that. There are two reasons:
(1) I don’t want to miss anything that’s of value in a post. If I scan something online, I’ll undoubtedly miss something. Perhaps a lot.
(2) If I comment on the post, I want to accurately understand what the author wrote before I make a remark. I’ve noticed that some people have missed important points in some of my posts because they scanned them. Their comments made this evident. I don’t want to make the same mistake.
So how do I read long posts?
Simple. I print them out and put the printed sheets in a special folder entitled “To Read.” I then read them offline later with a highlighter in hand. If I really like the post, I’ll spread it via Twitter, Facebook, and StumbleUpon (the latter can make a post visible to thousands of people). I usually spread the post after I skim it online, before printing it out. I can tell if a post is worth spreading by skimming it. But I’ll read every word later carefully when its printed.
I have several loose-leaf notebooks full of highlighted blog posts, essays, and articles that I’ve printed out. I keep them for future reference.
Note that I only follow this procedure for lengthy online posts. Examples of what I would consider “long posts” of my own would be:
So these would be marked for printing.
If a post is short (300 to 800 words), I’ll read it online. But if it’s long, I’ll print it out for later reading.
How do you process long posts?