Adam Kotsko has a theory:
I might be wrong, but it seems like the optimal length for a blog post is something that's going to be one screenful on a 1024x768 monitor (that's the standard size for laptops and most non-stupidly-huge desktop monitors). For every paragraph you go over that length, your risk of going unread grows exponentially. If you go over two screenfuls, you virtually guarantee that people will scroll down, see that it's over two screenfuls, and either just say, "Screw it," or else put you on their "read later" list (i.e., forget to come back and read your post).
If this is true, then TRE is in a world of shit, since I'm afraid a majority of my posts violate the Kotsko one screen rule. A number of them surely spill over the two screen precipice as well. Does this mean most of my posts are languishing as "read later" bookmarks? Honest readers are inivited to set me straight on this.
Adam further speculates that although "The genre of 'blog post' is of course an evolving genre. . .it's going to turn out to be a short genre." However, "arguments unfolded in a short form can have their own kind of rigor" and "blogging can be a kind of discipline, rather than a kind of sinkhole." Adam seems to be suggesting that although most readers lack patience with extremely long posts, shorter but carefully considered posts can still be intellectually credible. The blog post doesn't have to compete with the longer printed essay, surely not with the scholarly article, but this doesn't make it inferior to these forms. It's different, and the protocols and conventions associated with it have yet to be fully worked out. I think this is what Adam is saying. Something like it is what I had in mind when I started The Reading Experience. To quote from my "Statement of Purpose": "I would like to test the proposition that the internet, in the form of the so-called "blogosphere," can provide a forum for a new kind of literary criticism, more compacted and concise, perhaps, than conventional print lit/crit, but serious criticism nonetheless."
I still think this is possible. I still hope an audience--a small one, perhaps--exists for such an endeavor. The trick is to be both concise and incisive. Or, as Adam puts it, a "short genre. . .doesn't have to mean a thoughtless genre."