Heavy Web Pages and Content Density

I have barked some about “information density” something lifted from the Tomes of Tufte — in my web travels I come across some sites that just have way too much in the gutters, banners, et al, and not much meet. Since Clara Peller is not around much, I have to ask, “Where’s the Beef?”

So take for example a recent article from Lockgergnome. Now I am not picking on them, though it sure looks that way, and I do get a lot of good RSS leads from their article feeds. This is just an exercise in seat of the pants analysis.


The content in question is “RSS for Mom and Dad”— where there are lots of ads, links galore, and related content links, but the article boils down to 5 paragraphs, or 2567 characters, or 8k of information. My summary of all the web page content is 112k of total stuff (images, links to feeds, calls to ad banners…), or the content makes up about 7% of the total that my browser was asked to slurp down the net.

7% by weight.

And looking at a visual of the content area (on the right, green) to the total web display maybe makes it appear to make up 20% by volume.

Now if those 8k or 20% had some really interesting ideas or relevant links, well I can live with it.

Some might say, I can avoid it via the RSS feed, but all I get there is a teaser- the first paragraph, 366 characters, well that is 14% of the content.. I click the link for more, but am I really getting a lot more?

I lost track of where I was going here, but I am looking for the beef and am losing it in the bright lights. I think I just wanted to play with my calculator and see if I can still calculate percentages.

Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.