With depth comes breadth: creating long(er) form content

Mt. Chokai

Now this may just be wishful thinking, but when it comes to content creation, I’m inclined to believe, or rather hoping that, with depth comes breadth.

A lot of the content I produce is stuff that takes time to make, and equally time to consume. Heck my article on Mt. Fujikura turned out to be more than a 15 minute read. I never thought I could write that much about this relatively unknown peak (or perhaps because it is relatively unknown I could write a lot about it).

This isn’t by design, I simply think that’s how long the articles and videos I produce need to be to get across what needs to be gotten across. And looking at statistics like the average reading time and average time spent watching videos, there are people who enjoy this longer format, myself included.

The problem is that these days we are competing with the likes of TikTok, YouTube Shorts, and Instagram Reels, very short snippets of life that get a lot of attention, rightly or wrongly.

By definition this type of content is very shallow, which is not necessarily a bad thing. It can be the impetus to entering an entirely new world, or with enough of the content strung together, it could give a very deep overview (oxymoron?) of certain types of content.

My contention with the move toward this type of content is that oftentimes it is superficial, barely touching the surface of things that really deserve a deeper look.

So I’m hoping that with my content, I am able to provide a deeper look at places that are often overlooked, and to give more of a background or context to them. I’m also hoping that by doing so, people engage with the content in a way that resonates, and that they feel the need to share it, which is where I’m hoping the breadth comes into the picture.

Segementing blogs and videos

On the other hand, I recently came across something that I hadn’t thought of before. I was looking for a very specific answer to a question, and I was sent to a part of a video that in all honesty I already had open on my browser, I just hadn’t gotten around to watching that specific part.

You will have noticed, but on YouTube videos if you put the time stamps in the description, you can see that reflected in the video’s timeline. This is also searchable, and is what happened to me. This innovation is great, and means that longer-form content can sort of be separated into shorter segments much more easily, similar to how headlines work in blog posts.

If people are to engage with my content this way, I am very happy as well. I don’t expect anyone to read my whole Mt. Gassan article, and I tried to design it in an easily navigable manner. So there’s that.

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