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March 17, 2023

Thoughts on boj's format

From time to time I like to poll readers on this and that.

Here's today's question, with first a bit of context:

Once upon a time early in the 21st century I featured articles and such in their original format, paragraphing intact.

Then it occurred to me that other people — like myself — might instinctively see a stack of big blocks of uninterrupted text onscreen and have their eyes glaze over before moving on.

Remember, this was before the iPhone, when reading stuff on the internet meant staring at a desktop or laptop screen.

Sometime in the 2010s most people switched to reading stuff on their phones and that's only gotten more common now.

I adapted to the changing times and switched to breaking up paragraphs such that most text appeared as single sentences, which admittedly made for more scrolling but seemed to me eased reading.

Of course, this meant a lot more work for me, reformatting stuff.

In recent months I've decided to make life easier for myself, so along with no longer bothering to convert metric measurements to imperial units and British spelling in original material to U.S. English, I've mostly stopped reformatting paragraphs I quote and let them stand as originally published.

With that said, here's the question:

Are you OK with my current practice or do I need to return to reformatting/editing British spelling/converting to imperial units?







Greg Perkins?

Ms. Radoo?

Robb Kranz?











Phillip Winn?


Rob O'Daniel?

Rattlesnake Jake?

Travis Jungroth?



FunFact: the namecheck/shoutouts above are all the fun peeps who've posted the last 100 comments.

u r00L!

March 17, 2023 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


I've had no issues reading either format, so: whatever works best for you. Thanks! -Anyone

Posted by: Anyone (Paul) | Mar 20, 2023 2:53:54 PM

Another computer reader here.

Posted by: nonom | Mar 20, 2023 4:15:13 AM

An old man who reads on tablet and desktop.
When I find good short posts, I copy them to a doc and work them to fit on one or two sides of a doc page. I save them in 3-ring binders, my commonplace books.
Do what you want to do. If I want to keep anything, that’s on me.

Posted by: J | Mar 19, 2023 8:28:43 PM

I say keep it smooshed together. Less scrolling = faster read / less waste of whitespace to me.
For technical writing, I'll use gaps for emphasis of steps or ideas, but for casual it should be together for better flow.

Posted by: Rocketboy_X | Mar 18, 2023 11:48:47 PM

Regarding what "display" I consume BoJ through, it is mainly through my RSS feed on my mobile), so whatever formatting you do is likely undone anyway 😊

Posted by: Chris | Mar 18, 2023 6:04:49 PM

TL:DR ;)

Posted by: Mike | Mar 18, 2023 1:11:13 PM

I'm an old-school retired copywriter turned tech writer. I LIKE paragraphs, as long as they don't run on forever. And Britishisms don't trouble me. At the end of the day, I would like you to do whatever is easiest for you. I will add that I'm glad you were able to get photos working again, as I found it somewhat annoying when everything was a video. But even that wasn't enough to drive me away.

Posted by: Ms. Radoo | Mar 18, 2023 11:15:38 AM

I want to acknowledge, with thanks, the efforts you make here, Joe. You should make any changes that ease your load; your Loyal Followers (tm) will cope. Or not.

Posted by: Ed | Mar 18, 2023 8:41:23 AM

Add me to the list of readers with nice, big desktop monitors.
I would actually prefer to see the original formatting.

Posted by: Luke | Mar 18, 2023 8:15:30 AM

So long as it isn't dozens upon dozens of pages with mis-formatted equations, I'm in.

Posted by: Scott | Mar 18, 2023 2:45:16 AM


Posted by: testcomment | Mar 17, 2023 10:30:16 PM

I want you to do it my way. 😬
Which is whichever way you want to do it.

I'm not overly intimidated by big uninterrupted blocks of text, not the reading nor the writing of, and I can suffer through the looking up of kilometers to miles, and figure out the vast differences between colours and colors and arse and ass, and such.

And anyway, you're too old to be working any harder than you do. And don't kid yourself that Vanta's going to be any help with this.
Just carry on.

Oh yeah - I do 95% of my reading on my iPad because I can hold it about 2 inches from my eyes, which is necessary as I get older and blinder.

Posted by: Flautist | Mar 17, 2023 8:50:58 PM

I never read your blog on mobile. This is a desktop only blog...

Posted by: clif | Mar 17, 2023 6:58:10 PM

I wanted to comment something so I did

Posted by: jjj | Mar 17, 2023 5:38:52 PM

Gregory Perkins, JohnM, and I read bookofjoe on laptop, desktop, or flat screens. I use a 33-inch flat screen tied to a laptop. So no worries.

Perhaps you may want to survey your readers to discover what device they use to view bookofjoe.

Posted by: antares | Mar 17, 2023 4:41:52 PM

Hadn't noticed! Of course, as a non-imperial I benefit from the current practice, but whatever keeps the posts coming gets my vote.

By the way, as a non-native (lots of nons here) english speaker I have always been baffled, and deeply discombobulated, by the practice of translating between British and American english. I remember finding it proper silly when I as a child learned that Americans called Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone the Sorcerer's Stone. I mean, what's the worst that can happen if you consume another variant of your native language? A burst vocabulary?

Posted by: Pippi | Mar 17, 2023 3:13:38 PM

To be honest, I didn't notice! I mostly use a laptop for BOJ, I prefer the big screen.

I'll take it any way you want to deliver it. The main thing I've noticed is that your web hosting has gotten better.

Posted by: Gregory Perkins | Mar 17, 2023 2:06:02 PM

I'm OK with your current practice, but the bottom line is that it's YOUR blog and you get to do whatever you want with it!

Posted by: Chris | Mar 17, 2023 1:34:14 PM

Do it however makes it easier for you - I trust your judgment completely

Posted by: Bill Ridge | Mar 17, 2023 12:35:22 PM

nothing personal, but i always read boj on the desktop

so be like burger king and have it your way.

Posted by: JohnM | Mar 17, 2023 12:25:11 PM

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