This post guides my growth as a writer; I’m posting it simply to hold myself accountable for the idea.
When I started crafting what eventually became last Tuesday’s blog post about how survey questionnaires amplify questionnaire writers’ biases, I envisioned a much longer post examining how the delivery of survey questionnaires through web browsers—instead of on paper—changes our society’s relationship with surveys. Within this larger story, bias amplification would fill a subsection. Discussions of scale, democratization, and cybernetics would join the bias amplification material within the same post to assemble the complete argument.
Many of my posts to date have been long, full of refined analysis. I enjoy providing this depth and will continue to do so. The quantitative posts especially will continue this trend. However, to expand my writing skill, I will also learn to provide shorter qualitative posts more frequently, perhaps to break up long ideas into more manageable chunks. Under this paradigm, the larger intended survey media theory story described above now becomes a “meta-story” which can unfold across several posts.
So I will learn to identify the “least bloggable units” (LBUs) in a story to help cast writing about a large topic into directed pieces. In the case of the topic mentioned above, the bias story formed one bloggable unit, while (for example) a story about how the web democratizes survey delivery can fill another bloggable unit.
Designing a blog post then requires choosing the bloggable units to include, while unfolding the larger story over multiple posts. Once the meta-story has been presented in its LBU parts, I can write a synthesis post to tie up loose interconnections.
My hope is that in addition to exercising my writing chops, such an approach will lead to better presentation of ideas.