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 now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.