Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fluff...or Stuff?

When it comes to blogging, I often wonder what people prefer to read--is it the in-depth, long-winded style entry with lots of personal opinions and some well-worn data? Or is the quickie post with a swell picture and a few pithy remarks better-suited to get you through your day?

Whatever one's preference, it seems like the quicki-fun pic o' the day gets more comments--comments make this blog go 'round--but they aren't as interesting as say, a nuanced review of a film that hopefully points out things that haven't been done to death already by blood-sucking scholars in their endless quest to drain the life out of popular culture.

The in-depth posts tend to get a few interested responses, unless of course it's a broadside taking a huge--and hopefully well-argued--series of unsparing but backed-up shots on a movie or performer but they don't have the popularity of the simpler, more being-at-work appeal. The former was done on Elizabeth Taylor: The Shrillness of You. That entry got lots of great pro-and-con comments from classic film lovers and it was fun--and cathartic--to do though too many of those "I dislike such-and-such a performer and movie" thing gets too quarelsome after awhile.

What do you, my dear readers, think? What do you like best about Hollywood Dreamland? What kinds of entries do you like/dislike? I'd put that widget beneath each post but I'd prefer an interactive dialogue. Constructive criticism is always welcome.


  1. You have nice variety in your posts. You might find that keeping to one format becomes boring for you. A little fluff, a little stuff might be the thing.

  2. I like both types, especially if they include a picture of Claudette Colbert taking a bath.

  3. I like your in depth posts but I don't comment a lot usually because I don't have anything to add or I've never seen it and I don't want to write Oh I need to watch that film

    But I agree, bath photos of Claudette Colbert are always welcome :)

  4. Both types of entries are welcome. Love posts that delve into things, and love the short ones with cool pictures. I think I just need to comment more in general!

  5. I observed that in general, with a few exceptions, the quantity of comments is inversely proportional to the profundity of the entry.
    Just look at the modern world — shallowness rules, sciolistic mediocrity prospers. Therefore, you can deduce what kinds of posts attract most audience.

    As for me, I’m an in-depth-analysis, subtle-humour, and lofty-ideas person. But then, I’m obsessively picky.

    Although one-off quickie in between may be refreshing, as well as a single line can be worth a long-winded post.
    And who doesn’t like cool pictures?

  6. I do a bit of both myself at "Carole & Co.", depending a) on what I find available as a potential entry, and b) how much time I have on my hands. (Since I commit myself to at least one entry a day, and rarely if ever go without one, time constraints often figure into it.)

    As for your blog, I like it just as is. If you want to write more (or simply longer) entries, fine; if not, that's your prerogative.

  7. It's as if you were reading my mind! I've been wondering the same thing. Personally I love the longer ones, but then I'm an old Hollywood geek. And admittedly, there are times when a single image really says it all.

    Since it takes me a bit of time to prepare the more in-depth posts, I use the photo ones as kind of a breather in between. And it's been a wonderful way to learn more self esteem; I'll put up a picture that gets a ton of comments, and then I'll post a long piece that I worked my head off on only to get 1 comment! I've had to learn that ultimately, if I'm satisfied with my work, that sometimes has to be enough.

  8. P.S. When you can't show Claudette taking a bath, a shot of Myrna doing likewise is always welcome.

  9. CK:

    I agree with Jacqueline on a mixture. For content, I like evocative, which can take a short or long form. Short: an evocative photograph and well chosen words that ring well to the ear.

    Long: might comprise a buffet of components. Among them perhaps:
    ---- Personally found knowledge (e.g., an interview, a rare magazine piece, attendance at a film related event).
    ---- Controversy that is not controversy for its own sake. (I liked, in the past, your taking umbrage with the concept of “guilty pleasures.”)
    ---- Personal experiences if such are in one’s history. Is there anything new to say about Red Shoes or Citizen Kane? Perhaps, if one’s mother was a ballerina who hated the film, or father a balletomane whose passion caused his demise.
    ---- Lesser known subjects (e.g., that which Matthew did recently on public domain DVDs)
    ---- Tributes (but how does one frame them to differ from others?)

    This from a regular reader, but otherwise a novice in this field. Best. Gerald

  10. that most delightful blog! is really fascinated with this space. I will follow you because they really loved it, I congratulate you for the space, is really good!

  11. Write what comes naturally - long or short!

    If you're going to run pics of ladies taking a bath, you'll need to be equal and run a few guys too :0)

  12. I like both long and short posts as well...if I'm busy when I come across a longer post, sometimes I email myself a link to read it when I have more time available. For instance, this morning I mailed myself a link to Matthew's post on public domain movies. :)

    I find that for myself -- and I suspect many bloggers -- the type of post depends in part on time available. This week I've done very short posts (and not many of them) because of a hectic schedule. But when I have the time I like to do longer things like book reviews. The combination of short "news" blurbs, photos, etc., mixed with longer reviews or reminisces appeals to me as both a blog reader and blog writer. I also agree with Gerald that bringing one's own experiences to some posts can add a unique spin to what otherwise might be familiar material.

    Best wishes,

  13. Good stuff, CK! It seems like a 'mix' of each style is pretty effective... usually folks check thru the last 4-5 posts of any given blog they hit (well, that's MY style, anyway), and if EVERY post is lengthy and detailed, one gets a bit lost a few paragraphs into a few posts...
    But once in awhile it is fine to 'elaborate'.

    For example, on G-ology, the recent post is just a few pics of Ginger on the farm... but a few posts back, a VERY arduous and lengthy discussion regarding the strife between Ginge and Mark Sandrich yielded many comments...

    Keep up the great work, CK! And congrats on follower #300!


    P.S. - I heartily second the motion for more Claudette pics! :-P

  14. In addition to my earlier, slightly facetious comment, this more practical one:
    When I started, I thought the longer and more in-depth the post the more likely people would be to read it. I've long since found this is not the case, because few people have the time to plough through endless posts, or else they put it off for later and rarely get round to it. But if it's short and snappy they think, I'll read that now...
    I try to mix and match because it's always a shame when something I've laboured over gets next to no response! (A Tale of Two Bookshops, anyone?) It's like reading articles in a magazine: most of the time we browse, read a paragraph here or there and look at the shorter pieces, and when you have the equivalent of a whole stack of magazines, even more so.
    The only way, I think, to get people to respond consistently to long pieces is a) make yourself known as someone who does nothing but, and b) make an event of it, posting no more often than once a week, perhaps even once a fortnight or once a month, like Greenbriar does, or Radiation Cinema used to do.
    This is not the same thing as posting irregularly, like I do, with long periods of absence interrupted by sudden bursts of activity, and a mix of long and short pieces. That's the worst of both worlds but unfortunately it's just how my brain works!

  15. Thanks for the excellent responses, everyone! It soothes my woneded psyche to learn that many of you also get your hearts broken when your longer, more thought-out posts get glossed over! ;) Yes, mixing things up is the key and when I look back on my own longer posts--The Thin Man series comes to mind--I'm actually taken aback at how much I yammer on! No regrets, however, as I loved doing those posts.

    So I guess it's back to business as usual! I appreciate everyone taking the time to comment and to read this stuff. I'm looking forward to the end of Summer--and more specifically, hurricane season--as I think everyone cuts back on blogging activities during this time.


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