Just as I don’t have time for podcasts, I don’t have time to read about a new app for 30 minutes when I could try it for myself in 5 minutes. It makes no sense to read these beastly posts when I could do the work the reviewer was supposed to do — but in less time than I would spend reading the review.
Apps, bags, knives, devices — none of those need more than a thousand or two thousand words at most. Anything more than that is poor writing, and even poorer reviewing.
As a reviewer it’s all too easy to write a howto manual instead of a review. Here’s the difference:
- A review tells you what’s good and bad and crucially ends with a decision of thumbs up or down. It is to the point.
- A howto manual is verbose and detailed on everything about the item. The good, the bad, the spots to watch out for. It has no definitive analysis on that item. It is exhaustive.1
Which do you think people want to read?
Personally, I want to read and write reviews.
We’ve gotten out of hand. Good writing is succinct. It’s harder to write a 1,500 word review than a 15,000 word review. Trust me, I know.
I’m capping myself at 2,000 words from here forward, and further aiming for 1,500 words with everything I write. If I can say it in fewer than 1,500 words, I’m going to get a Slurpee after I publish that post.
I hope a shit ton of people follow suit.2