Did you know I'm more likely to read your post if it has a picture in it? Why is that? I don't know. It's a weird concept though. The whole - here's a giant photo relating to the words I'm about to write in some way that's either blatantly obvious or cleverly obscure. What would happen if I put a photo there that had absolutely no relation to the post? Maybe I could post a picture of an orangutan scratching himself while I rant and rave about how drinking a cocktail while tickling rhinos is the most feminine thing a man could do. You know what I would bet would happen? The reader would make up the reason for me.
Oh yes, clearly that's a female orangutan doing something like scratching which is such a masculine thing so the picture is poster is clearly being ironic! Go you, now here's five bucks go get me some fried chicken.
But it does work. Putting a picture at the top of one of my posts demonstrably increases my readership. The same goes for other people's posts. When I'm scrolling about my blogroll feed and I see a photo and words I think "hey I wonder what all those tiny words have to do with that big ass picture!" I then go and read the post. Maybe I even comment "man what amazing tiny words... and that picture, lol!"
However, if I come across a post with just words I think "fuck it. Look at all those words, there's millions of them! I might be attacked and eaten alive by a word with more characters than I've had soda cans to drink. How am I supposed to work in these conditions." Maybe that's why I don't always put pictures at the top of my own posts. A test, if you will. Separate the men from the boys. The fans from the casual readers. The drunks who thought one of the words looked a bit like tit from the sobers who could clearly make out that it was 'tint' and didn't click the link. Or did by accident but got really annoyed about it and decided to go to sleep...
Of course that's not really the truth. Really the reason I don't put pictures at the top of my post is that I couldn't be bothered to steal an image off Google that I wan't to put there. It's a level of laziness that I really can't justify. Oh, I do try...
Gah, there are just so many pictures out there in the internet, what if I don't get the right one!? What if I get one that I like but someone leaves a comment telling me of a better one I should have put instead? Oh no! Then I'll look like an absolute twat. Oh look, I found some coconut rum. Time for sleep.
Do you think it's an accident that I put a cat at the top of this post? Of course it isn't! It's a cat! Cat's are the cocaine of blog post readers. If you like cats you see one and go "awwwww, I'm definitely reading that post. There's a kitten and there may be more if I click the link!" If you hate cats you see one and go "omg! Not another one! I better read this post just in case it's a long monologue about this one man's journey to kill this damned cat and I'm the only one who can help!"
Why else are the so many internet memes involving cats? Especially when compared to the comparatively few dog memes? Well that's easy, because dogs are clearly the better pet as evident by their general lack of need for the internet to try and cool them up with meme after meme. If you're a cat person and you're thinking "noooo, cat's are independent and cool!" That's because your blind to the fact that your cat hates you and is using you for food and shelter while it spends all day slutting around with your more interesting neighbors while you're at work. Oh, and here's a picture of a dog feeling sorry for you.
Did you also know that you're more likely to read the entirety of a blog post if a second, or dare I say third, fourth, or fifth photo is shoved in between all the words so people can protect their eyes from massive blocks of text? At the rate society is going you might as well start optimizing your readership potential by posting at least 5 photos for every one word you write. Just don't use a picture of a word because that would be somehow self-gratifying in the most sadist of senses.
What is it about all that text that puts us off? Do we think "oh god, I could be doing something more important than reading all of those words! I could be solving world hunger... or catching up on episodes of Homeland I'm pretty sure I haven't seen but might have and am going to watch anyways. Either way clearly better than wasting my life away in front of what is a essentially a dictionary without definitions."
As opposed to things like YouTube whose shiny images will while away hours of our life in the blink of an eye. YouTube is basically America's Funniest Home Videos without the opportunity to go "hell yes, Bob Saget time!" Unless of course all you're doing on YouTube is watching Bob Saget videos, in which case well played.
Perhaps my problem with this is that I want myself to be the guy who doesn't judge the desire to read a post by its cover, but I'm not. I'm just as bad as everyone else. Show me a blog post with no photos and I'll show you a Bob Kelso, someone with two thumbs and who doesn't give a crap.