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Monday, December 21, 2015

Do Long Engagements Lead to Marriage?

In the penultimate scene of When Harry Met SallyBilly Crystal tells Meg Ryan, "When you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to start as quickly as possible."

As we know from chick flicks, long engagements don't usually lead to marriage.

Only in the Bizarro World of the web does anyone promise otherwise.

Advocates of long-form content insist long pieces lead to long engagements; long engagements, to sales.

How long? 

Their tests show 1,500 words are good; 2,000, better; 2,500, best.

But Kevin Delaney, editor-in-chief of the news blog Quartz, thinks differently.

As he told RetailDive, most long-form content is padded with uninteresting, B-grade matter.

“What people read online, when you look at the data, is shorter stuff that’s focused, creative and social with a really good headline. It doesn’t mean it’s unsubstantial. It just means it’s really clear about what’s interesting and focuses on that."

Long's fine, provided it's riveting; when it isn't, you want it to stop as quickly as possible.

As critic Roger Ebert once wrote, "No good movie is too long, just as no bad movie is short enough."

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