Yesterday I had an interesting Twitter conversation with Alexis Madrigal, now Technology Editor at The Atlantic, after he posted the following:
I asked him if he could say more, and he did:
@jonathanstray What I can’t say is whether that’s specific to The A. (Though my experience with science stories at Wired was similar.)
@jonathanstray And I should note also that my take is a gestalt impression. We haven’t done rigorous word count/traffic statistical work.
Madrigal also notes that The Atlantic doesn’t paginate the long stories, so he’s talking about actual story view numbers, not raw page views. Slate has also reported good traffic for their long stories. This has me wondering: where did the idea that short stories do better online come from? Who has data or experience to back this up, or is this common knowledge actually an urban legend?