To Create A Better Reading Experience

Confession: I hate seeing people write TLDR (“Too long; didn’t read“) about content they have come across online.

Maybe it is because I am wary of the societal changes that have been coming down the pike, the age of instant gratification where we don’t want to waste time reading anything that requires more than a moment because it is too long.

Ask my kids what dear old dad says about work and they’ll probably tell you they hate hearing me say you get to stop working when the job is done.

They have heard it more than once and been told we can’t point-and-click our way through life. Sometimes you have to pick up your head and look around to see the world around you.

Sometimes the only way you can learn is by doing and sometimes that means reading the whole &^&R%*&^* article/essay.

To Create A Better Reading Experience

That whole TLDR thing is part and parcel of why I am probably going to change the theme here.

Since I haven’t become king of the world and haven’t figured out a way to force people to live and do as I want I might as well find ways to work with them and that means it is probably time to mix things up here.

Time to change themes so that it creates a better reading experience.

You can blame some of this on Tim and Danny.


Because I like the themes they have chosen and think they would be useful here.

They look like they provide a better reading experience and a better reading experience is going to make it easier to keep readers engaged and more interested or at least that is the theory.

Still have to provide good content, but that is to be expected.

a better reading experience is going to make it easier to keep readers engaged and more interestedClick To Tweet

I am playing around with adding the Aesop Story Engine plugin too. I have never used it and haven’t had any discussions with anyone who has but what I see intrigues me.

If it works half as well as I think it might I’ll be very pleased because it looks to me like the kind of tool that will make it easy to add layers to my work.

There is a time and place for a simple tale that has a beginning, middle and end and a time to stretch yourself and use words, pictures and music to create a tapestry and of sight and sound that will echo inside the readers head.

Now I just have to figure out which theme and do my best not to break things too badly while I set it up.

See you on the flip side.

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  1. Tim Bonner October 11, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Glad to see you went with Lore, Josh. It’s a great choice :-).

    I’m using the Aesop Story Engine and Editus on my blog. I haven’t fully explored Aesop’s capabilities yet but they’re certainly intriguing.

    I love using Editus because it feels like it makes writing easier. It’s not a cheap option though.

    There’s a pretty hefty price tag attached to it and I’m not sure it’s completely worth the money on an annual basis.

    • Josh Wilner October 11, 2015 at 4:24 pm

      Thus far I have been pretty happy with Lore. Still have a few kinks to work out but I am getting there, slowly but surely.

      Just looked at the pricing for Editus, you are right it is not cheap.

  2. Danny Brown October 9, 2015 at 4:31 am

    Hi mate,

    Looking forward to seeing what you go with and how you use it.

    Aesop is an interesting plugin, though one thing I would “caution against”
    is compatibility with the current Postmatic email template.

    Because it uses shortcodes, some of the design tricks visible on the Web version of the post won’t show in the email.

    Not sure if Postmatic can support Aesop (or its premium version, Editus), may be worth checking with Jason?

    • Joshua October 9, 2015 at 7:34 am

      I’ll have to look into the Postmatic issue. Been very happy with them and think they have done nothing but good for my blogs. In an ideal world they’ll be able to handle anything we throw at them and we’ll still get plenty of readers visiting the actual blog too.

      • Danny Brown October 9, 2015 at 7:36 am

        In fairness, I don’t think it’s just limited to Postmatic, but any email provider that doesn’t display certain shortcodes. Which would make sense, given shortcodes are primarily for the web experience as opposed to RSS or email.

        • Joshua October 9, 2015 at 7:41 am

          That makes sense.

          The purpose of trying to drive people to the blog is that in concept I can use the blog to create a better reading and storytelling experience especially on longer posts. Trying to create a layered, more sophisticated and richer experience for some of these things is a real trick.

          • Danny Brown October 9, 2015 at 7:44 am

            I hear you, mate. I really like some of the stuff the New York Times and are doing when it comes to presentation, something I want to do more of next year for sure.

      • Tim Bonner October 11, 2015 at 9:58 am

        I haven’t spoken to Jason about Postmatic supporting Aesop (and/or Editus). I did get in touch with Postmatic customer support about the shortcodes though.

        The Aesop shortcodes currently just show up as blocks in Postmatic emails which state the content needs to be viewed on your site.

        It makes the email look a little messy though so the workaround is to install the Hide Broken Shortcodes plugin.

        That gets rid of any Aesop shortcodes nicely from any Postmatic emails you send out. It’s not that Aesop shortcodes are broken, they just work in a non-standard way.

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