Thursday, July 28, 2011

Size Your Jump Breaks, Properly

The most important single part of any post is the first sentence, and the first paragraph.

Jump break, the auto summarisation feature for Blogger blogs, helps you focus your readers attention on the first sentence / first paragraph of your posts, while offering each reader a personal choice - to read more of any individual post - or to scan the rest of the current page.

Careful sizing and wording of the post content, before the Jump Break, makes it more likely that the casual reader will be interested enough to read the entire post.

The portion of the post before the jump break supplements the title of the post.

By using a Jump Break, you enable the blog to display more posts on the main page, in a smaller space.

With more posts loaded on the main page, the reader is more likely to see a post which interests him, and continue reading. With the smaller space, the blog loads faster, and the reader is more likely to read further.

It's a balancing act.
  1. The smaller the "jump break", the smaller the individual posts when summarised, and the more posts you can fit onto the main page.
  2. The larger the "jump break", the more of each individual post is visible to the reader, immediately.

You size the jump break as small as possible, while still indicating what the post is about. If you want the main page to be indexed, you have to have interesting and unique content - above the jump break.

If the post is small overall, say 2 or 3 paragraphs, you might make the jump break text a single sentence. A larger post, say half a dozen paragraphs or more, might justify a full paragraph (2 - 3 sentences) jump break. And again, word the first sentence, and the first paragraph, as carefully as possible.

In some cases, you may wish to use the "Jump Break" to create an index of your posts, by title. Add Jump Break immediately after the title - and any index page (such as a label retrieval) becomes a Title based index. If you do this, you may want to redirect the main page to a welcome post or similar static page - and redirect the "index" to a tabbed page.

If you are like me, and never used Jump Break
I have a large blog, and hundreds of posts! I don't have time to edit each post, one at a time, and add a Jump Break!
This is an ideal blog improvement to install using a Progressive Publishing strategy.
  1. Edit the existing posts that you have time to do, right now.
  2. Create new posts, with Jump Breaks installed.
  3. Edit more old posts, later.
  4. Periodically review main page views of all posts updated, and look for problems. Please! Test, periodically, whenever you edit posts.
The more Jump Breaks that you install, the faster you'll be able to install more, on newer and on older posts. It's easier to do it, than to explain it.

Hopefully, if a post is worth writing, it's worth writing properly. This includes proper sizing of the Jump Break, on a post by post basis.

You will note that, when you use a jump break, the individual post is displayed, with the text after the jump break, scrolled to the top of the screen. This, too, encourages you to keep your jump break text as short as possible, to avoid your readers losing key information as they start to read the full post.

If you want to see this feature in action, hit the "Home" button, in the menu bar, above - or, click here. Like many blog owners, I'm learning how to use this feature - as well as why to properly use this feature in each post.

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Dude, hit me with a comment!

Ray Rousell said...

Sounds good, but how do you do it?

Ana said...

Jump breaks don't work at my blog.

001mum said...

This is all so new to me and so creative. Would like to know how to add this jump break as it adds visual capture-but can't quite understand it. I'll keep studying....