Are you reading what you share?

By , February 18, 2014 6:49 am

Ha ha, my friend Evan shared this article on Facebook (and ensured us he read it) and I had to share it here (yes, I read it all too) – “The Less You Read, The More You Share” (pdf here).


The article is based off of research on one website (Upworthy), so yeah, we know to take it with a grain of salt and all that, but! It’s still interesting! Their research says that people are more likely to share an article without reading the whole thing than they are if they read the whole thing. They are actually basing it off of this interesting metric called “attention minutes” which includes time on the site and time per article. If you care about marketing, you might want to read the article, because they do bring up a good point that you should consider where information is placed in an article.

ANYWAY. Reading this cracked me the EFF up because I very, very often email articles to Steven without reading them. But, I am not even going to the site. Ha ha. I just see them in Feedly, see that it looks like something I think will interest Steven (i.e. robots), and send it to him. I do this a lot in email, and uh, not just to Steven. BUT! I never do it when I share an article in a public place (here or on Facebook) because I want to know what I am sharing with the public. Is that weird, or what?

Do you read 100% of the articles you share… before you share them?

And not entirely related, but I want to ask – Do you read an entire blog post before you comment?

We’re all in such a hurry, aren’t we?! I admit – blog posts that “look” long with lots of big paragraphs scare me away.

41 Responses to “Are you reading what you share?”

  1. Kandi says:

    Interesting (I haven’t even read the article yet). I don’t usually share articles on FB. I do share them via email sometimes and I don’t always read the entire thing. If I think it will interest a coworker or friend, I’ll email it to them. If it’s a short article I’ll probably have read it all.
    I do read all of a blog post before I comment. Sometimes I start my comment before I’ve read the entire thing though because I don’t want to forget what I was going to say!

    • kilax says:

      I was just telling someone the other day that for really long posts I often start a comment on the blog in another screen so I don’t forget anything πŸ˜‰

  2. Anne says:

    “I admit – blog posts that β€œlook” long with lots of big paragraphs scare me away.” – it’s a wonder you ever comment on my blog then! πŸ™‚ I feel like I write nothing but long, wordy posts.

    I always read stuff before I share, just so I know what I’m putting out there (and in case someone is going to pick a fight with me about something, good to know what I’m getting into).

    • kilax says:

      For some reason, I have to be in the right frame of mind to tackle what appears to me as long, wordy posts. Sometimes I am just in the mood for short sentences and pictures. The truth is, I am always distracting myself. That is why I start the comments as I read, with those long posts, like I was telling you.

      Ha ha, and that is exactly why I read what I share publicly, lol!

  3. Amy says:

    Ha. All I was thinking as I read this was about commenting on blogs. And so were you, Apparently πŸ™‚ I have definitely skimmed a post here and there and commented, then kicked myself for not reading more closely to get subtle nuances. I know it happens. We are all here to support one another so I can’t blame us too much. I definitely try to only comment one posts that really speak to me to avoid that from happening again.

    • kilax says:

      That is a good policy! I think some people just want to comment because you commented on their blog then maybe they don’t read the post and their comment comes off as… silly. Or, something else. Ha ha.

      • Anne says:

        Those comments are really obvious too…. I’d prefer a sincere comment b/c you WANT to (like Amy does) than feeling obligated to comment back.

        • I’m so guilty of this- just had to skim to find others that did the same. πŸ˜‰

          But, since I do all my blog-reading during my commute, I usually skim and them email myself the ones I want to comment on and re-read. (or skim) So that counts, right?

  4. I do read all of a blog post before commenting because I’m too afraid of looking like a jerk if I say something in a comment that’s contrary to what was said in the post. I’d say I read >90% of the articles I share for the same reason.

    • kilax says:

      Do you read all the comments, too? Asking about reading posts made me think about reading comments. I rarely read all the comments on other blogs so I bet I leave duplicate ones!

      • Yeah, I definitely don’t read through all the comments. I probably should, but I don’t. I’m sure I leave duplicates, too, but if it’s genuinely what I think and feel, I hope nobody thinks poorly of me for repeating what others have said.

        • kilax says:

          Oh, definitely not!!!! No one would think that. I just think it’s funny when someone asks a question in the comments and the author answers it then someone asks again later… but that probably points out you should have put the info IN the post. Or, you purposefully left it out, to get comments, in which case… lots of people will ask! πŸ™‚

  5. I’ve been known to skim if the blog posts get too lengthy with long paragraph after paragraph. But because I do that, I’m also less likely to comment because, like you said, I’m scared of looking like a jerk if I miss the main point.

  6. Marcia says:

    Yes, I read what I share. I’ll admit I skim some blogs, but I’d never comment if I didn’t read ‘most’ of it. I’ll bet there’s a metric out there for ideal blog length before one loses most of their readers. Ha!

  7. Maggie says:

    Ugh, really? “Hey, I’m going to clog your FB newsfeed/Twitter feed with YET ANOTHER LINK to an article that I myself could not even be bothered to read.” RUDE. And let’s not get into people who share articles that aren’t from valid sources. That drives me nuts. “Oh look, 10 MORE foods we shouldn’t eat! It’s on the internet so it must be true!!!” Ugh. Just stop.

    I’ve skimmed blog posts and commented on them. It’s only if there is one part that starts out to me, or if it’s a general comment, like “Congratulations!” Some people are long-winded. A little self-editing goes a LONG way.

    • kilax says:

      Duh, if it’s on the internet, it’s valid! πŸ˜› LOL, I do laugh at the people I know on Facebook sharing hoax articles.

      Yeah, some people are super long-winded. I try to edit my posts, but I know they are often too long!

    • Anne says:

      RE: Clogging newsfeeds with links – has anyone else noticed that FB has become like 90% links to articles and memes? Or maybe it’s just my feed? It seems like no one ever actually shares an actual status anymore, but just articles (maybe because we’re all blogging instead?).

      • kilax says:

        No, I have totally noticed that. It is all that stupid Buzzfeed crap. And then there were those videos. I would rather see unique content. And on blogs, too (I get turned off when everyone is blogging about the same thing).

  8. Erin says:

    Very interesting! Sometimes I’ll see an article, read the headline and the first sentence or two and think, “I bet so-and-so would like this!” and then I read on and the article goes in a totally different direction or doesn’t make much sense. So, I don’t share it. I guess because, like you, I used to send things to Jason that looked interesting and then he wouldn’t read them or would poo-poo them so now I try to make sure what I’m sharing actually makes sense. Or, if it doesn’t, I share and ask questions! I think so many times people see something that tickles some part of their brain and they immediately want to see if others feel the same way instead of critically thinking about what it is that they’ve just seen a glimpse of.

    • Maggie says:

      Yes – this – just because YOU find something interesting doesn’t mean all of your FB friends will. Same with memes. Share it directly with the 1 or 2 friends who will like it.

    • kilax says:

      Ha ha ha. Steven isn’t going to get a break – I keep doing it to him! And he does it to me, as well. I do usually say “haven’t read this, thought it was a topic you’re interested in.” Most are probably trying to hook you in, like you said. I have seen article titled one thing, and that is only what the first few paragraphs are about!

  9. Love this post, because I think about it. A lot. I tend to skim articles and quickly read blog posts. I’ve been caught posting articles without reading them (and finding out the end wasn’t what I expected). So, now, I either read entirely before posting OR I credit an interest in reading the rest of the article while still being fascinated by the topic.

  10. Michel says:

    On FB sometimes I share stuff just so I have it bookmarked for later. But if I comment in my FB share than that usually means I’ve read it fully.

  11. Michelle says:

    hmmmm….I admittedly am a skimmer. Except for articles that have cool videos. LOL. I usually can hold my limited attention to a 2-3 min video. LOL!

    • kilax says:

      That is really interesting to me that you can hold your attention for a video because I really really CANNOT, and feel like I never want to “invest” my time in watching vids!

  12. Heather says:

    I always read before I comment, but I will also often read without commenting. I kind of feel bad not commenting on a blog but hey.

    And yeah – really long posts can be scary…yet those are all I seem to post! I am long winded πŸ™‚

    • kilax says:

      Nah, you don’t have to comment on everything! No one has time for that! I used to try to do that.

      LOL! So a post of your lengths of yours would scare you off? πŸ˜‰

  13. kapgar says:

    And this is exactly why I’m making a conscious effort to write shorter blog posts… keep readers’ attention and keep me from suffering writer burnout. So far so good. And it’s rare that I read an entire article online before sharing. I subscribe to the press release model of writing that says that all the pertinent information should be contained in the first paragraph with everything after that being supporting material.

    • kilax says:

      I should go for that effort, too πŸ™‚

      Ha ha, I was going to say “so you have not encountered the articles that change direction in the end?” But of course, not, you aren’t reading it all. (And, that just must mean the articles I read like that are no bueno, even though I have seen them on WSJ and so on).

  14. jan says:

    I do. One of my pet peeves is when people share things w/out reading the whole story AND verifying if things are true!!

    • kilax says:

      Ha ha. If people took the time to verify things were true… they wouldn’t be sharing anything! πŸ™‚ (Okay, not as much πŸ™‚ )

  15. Mica says:

    I do the same thing! I send stuff to Harrison, and more often than not, he reads the whole thing and then talks about it with me…and I didn’t read it. I just read the titles and assume that he’ll find it interesting, but I figure he’ll stop reading if it isn’t engaging. I don’t send things to you though without reading them…maybe I’m afraid you’ll judge me?

    • kilax says:

      I think it’s different with friends! With your partner, you can be like, “eh, I didn’t read that, you do it, and tell me if it’s good.” But with a friend you are probably wanting to have a conversation, or at least not sound dumb if they bring up a part of the article you missed!

      Lately, I have NOT been reading some things friends send me, if they are really negative or depressing (like news stories). Putting on my blinders! πŸ˜‰

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