When we started Question of the Week about eight years ago, there were times when the response was down right anemic. Back then our readership was a fraction of what it is today, and we were still learning what types of questions folks really wanted to answer, and read.
While we still ask the occasional clunker, today the majority of our Questions of the Weeks trigger an enormous response. Last week’s question on generators landed over 200 responses stretching over 40 pages. The recent mattress and coffee questions sparked similarly massive responses.
Naturally we are thrilled with the high rate of participation, but it’s causing some unforeseen issues. First, the sheer quantity of responses is far too much content for a single article. And second, WordPress and Google have various limits and rules that these article lengths violate.
Let me translate this into truck-camper-nese:
If these Question of the Week response articles were a truck and camper combination, they would be a fully-loaded and wet triple-slide on a half-ton truck. Talk about overloaded.
Dividing the Question of the Week responses into two articles helps (as you probably have noticed) but readership for the second installment is consistently lower than the first. Evidently, people just don’t want to read two sets of responses.
With Truck Camper Magazine’s readership growth continuing to accelerate, we need to do something. Since we don’t want to limit QOTW participation, we are going to cap the length of QOTW responses to 150 words (800 characters).
The overwhelming majority of readers who respond to QOTW will not be impacted by this new rule as their responses come nowhere near the 150 word / 800 character limit. That said, some folks are submitting short novels and will feel the pinch. Your participation is still wanted, but you’ll need to be a little more pithy now. That’s getting to the point, succinctly.