What does a post under the fold signal?

Lee, a loyal MR reader (by RSS, it seems), writes:

I am also protesting these partial posts! They are mildly inconvenient!

Sadly, when part of an MR post is below the fold, only the top part is fed into RSS.  The vast majority of our posts are full posts, I use partial posts for two reasons. 

First, sometimes I wish to keep a more important or more typical post close to the top of the page.  This signals to new readers what we are about; I don’t want Eric Maskin visiting MR for the first time and thinking it is a blog mostly about romantic piano music.  Keeping an older post toward the top of the page also keeps the comments flowing.

Second, putting a post under the fold signals that the post will not interest most of you.  In equilibrium, only those of you who really care about the post title should incur the cost of either clicking on the bottom part or leaving RSS and visiting the site, and then clicking, to read it.  You are supposed to be put off from reading it (except for the few dedicated Nyiregyhazi fans who read MR, are there any?; it does not suffice to share his addictions).  But perhaps I am naive here, and telling people "this is quirky stuff that won’t interest most of you" in fact generates interest.   

But not today: Ideally, I would have put most of this post…er…under the fold. 


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