@betajet "But what I would like is for all multi-page articles to have a table of contents on the first page so"
I'm with you on this one, though we do not always do it here at eetimes. I think readers deserve to be able to ask "Show me what you got" without having to click through everything only to find out the best thing was on the last frame.
@Antedeluvian...my onely comment is that when I tried to use my wife's Iphone at Jo'burg airport (which has free WiFi) EET was also very slow....email was not too bad. But Iphones are too small to look at much besides email.
I also have a problem that I am trying to quantify. It ssems to be related to the ads that are animated i.e. something changes or flashes continuously or there is some video that is running without sound. On a tablet this seems to have two effects. Firstly it slows the download, graying out the process so you can't click back or change for quite a few seconds. It is particularly irritating when you are trying to read on a limited time- at Munich airport for instance you only get 1/2 hour free wifi. The second effect (and I am not sure if it is the changes or just the adverts) is that the actual text is not alongside the ad, but way down below and you have to scroll down for quite some time to get to it. I originally thought the there was some problem and it was only loading the ads leaving the content bare. I have learnt to scroll down now.
I am now exclusively using my Microsoft Surface, so I am interested to know if iPad/Android users have noticed this.
@Betajet it's not the ads off to the side that are the problem, it's the ones that pop up before the page loads. Fine, you can "click here or the ad will close in xx Seconds" but I find that if you are redirecting to a specific comment, it won't load after an ad, you just get to the top of the article, and good luck finding that comment if there are 75 comments! EET, can you do something about that??
I do not know the details on web development effort and advertising. However, a single large article might cost advertisers more per view, even after compensating for the annoyance factor discouraging loading additional pages. Some people only read the first paragraph or so of an article (e.g., when the headline is insufficient to determine whether such will be of interest). (I tend to read entire articles, but my behavior may not be typical.)
Incidentally, the quality of views is often not considered. While some ads may distinguish payment for impression vs. click-through, placement and targeting of ads seems to be given little weight. (On the other hand, some of the articles are nearly ads themselves being little different than a press release. Of course, this is more difficult to avoid for news articles on products, and converting a press release into an examination of options in a product category involves much more work than tweaking a press release and runs counter to first-to-publish pressures.)
If a reader only sees the first ad, the advertiser would be paying for "impressions" that were not actual. Dynamically loading the ads is probably impractical because such would excessively delay their display. I doubt the infrastructure is set up to allow loading the ad content and only counting the ad if actually viewed (technically, scrolled past/rendered on screen).
Going to a single-page layout would also involve substantial redesign. I suspect banner (full width) ads generate more revenue, so the multi-column layout currently used would have to be adjusted or a larger number of smaller ads would have to be used (which may make the ads less effective or turn away readers).
For my part, I would prefer single (as long as necessary) page articles (and possibly a separate comments page, I have not really thought about the tradeoffs for comments). For slideshow-type articles, I would probably prefer a single page with thumbnails and short captions (possibly exploiting "title" hover text for additional content; sadly I don't think hover text works for touchscreen-based interfaces) each of which links to a larger image and more extensive caption. However, I cannot complain much given the content is "free".
While inertia or uncritical use of such a common design may be the actual reason short pages are used, I would not be at all surprised if single long page articles would actually be impractical or reduce revenue. For all I know, the advertisers require urls with each ad request and do not pay as well for multiple ads on the same page (same url). Content providers cannot do much about advertisers introducing unreasonable constraints. (I think some advertisers already require inclusion of unmodified scripts with the pages.)
I don't mind multiple pages per se, because long pages can take a long time to load if they have lots of images. But what I would like is for all multi-page articles to have a table of contents on the first page so I don't have to flip through page after page to find the one or two pages I'm really interested in. This is especially true if I've already looked through the whole article and now I just want the one page I want to see again or link to.
Yeah, I'm pretty good at focusing on the main text and ignoring the advents to the sides. They just slow down rendering. What's effective advertising for me at a site like EE times is 'blog posts with really interesting new products and lots of technical detail.
@PaulAClayton @measurement.blues I was suspecting that ad placement was a factor - which is why I mentioned my suspicion that readership drops off quickly with page count (waiting for reloading and so forth). I'd predict that 10 ads on a "long page" would have far more impact than single ads at the top of each of 10 pages in a 10 page article. Both the readers and the advertisers would benefit from a single page continuous display of the editorial content. I don't believe that the quality of the page views is enhanced by the need to keep reloading (one or multiple pages) even if the numbers get stacked. You could make me keep refreshing a single page to read a single paragraph but I won't absorb the article or the advertising.
DrQuine, it's called page views. Every media outliet, regardless of editorial focus, is pressured for page views. That's why you see list after list and slideshow after slideshow.
A multi-page article gets more total page views than a single-page article. Yes, I beleive that more people would read an entire article of is were on a single page, but enough readers continue on so that toe total exceeds that which would have occurred for a single page.
When you get an article with comments, most people don;t even read the article. I saw this tread and commented on it. I have not read the article. Something to do with Apple and jobs (Jobs), right?
If you look at any EE Times article (and those from almost any other media outliet), you'll see that the ads change whenver a page loads. Try refreshing this page. So the more page views, the more an ad will be seen.
"Is there a reason why the entire article cannot appear on a single "page"?"
This is usually done because each page has a separate ad. Sites such as EETimes are supported by ad revenue, and this is a means of increasing that revenue.
While it would be possible to place ads in the middle of articles, varying their number according to length (or cost of content or even a complex function of cost, views, ad targeting, etc.), this requires a somewhat more complex layout template. Some may also object to more inline advertising as such can be more intrusive (more difficult to mentally separate from the article content proper).