People Will Scroll

The word “blog” has lost all meaning. From it’s humble beginnings as something jobless people in pajamas did, it has fractured into a million pieces before finally being co-opted by mainstream media companies. Now, more and more, a blog is a website and a website a blog.
Point in case, AOL News and other AOL sites this week were turned into blog-like sites that display short news stories — some as short as a single sentence — accompanied by video clips, photographs or interactive polls intended to engage readers.
According to The Washington Post, inspiration for the move came from, the entertainment blog co-owned by AOL and Warner Bros.
The success of, which has become a magnet for those more interested in Paris Hilton than in President Bush, has taught the executives at AOL a few things about the habits of Web surfers, notably that online readers aren’t afraid to scroll through several screens. And the more time users spend on a site, the more money AOL collects from advertisers.
“ is a very long page, sometimes 10 or 12 posts or more,” said Lewis D’Vorkin, senior vice president of AOL news and sports and an architect of “One of the most clicked-on links on that page is at the bottom, the ‘go to next page’ link. If you give them what they want, people will scroll.”



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.