At the Digital Editors' Network event taking place at News UK this afternoon, Kevin Delaney suggested that news publishers ditch medium-length articles. "Too much reporting is 700-word articles that everyone else has got," he said.
Delaney explained how Quartz, which launched a year ago, focuses on stories that are less than 500 words, as well as longer, analytical features.
Appearing via videolink from New York, Delaney showed a graph of the Quartz U-shaped curve.
"People read short, fast content on the web", he said, and also long-form, analytical pieces. Articles of between 500 and 800 words are too long to be sharable, and too short to be in-depth, he said.
Delaney, who used to be managing editor of WSJ.com, said if he went back into mainstream media he would take the Quartz approach.
Another tip from Delaney is to create graphs and charts to tell stories. "The web is a visual medium," he said.
The two previous speakers at the #smartDEN event, from The Times and from the Financial Times, talked through the advantages of paid subscription models online. Delaney provided a different perspective, stating that the challenge for all publishers is to "create distinctive content that stands out in Twitter streams."
"Paywalls make it harder for people to find your content," he said.
'Live notes', which include presentations from The Times and the Financial Times, are at this link.