An interesting discussion came up with my colleagues at WordPress.com: How accessible should your blog posts be? Specifically, should you make your posts fully visible via email subscriptions and news readers? Or should you use excerpts and the “Read More” tag, so that people have to click to your blog to read the full post?
People seem kind of divided on the issue. Some feel that blogging should be optimized to the reader — make it as easy as possible for someone to read your writing, whether on your blog, via email, via news reader, or even via reblogs. Others say that the theme and layout of a blog are part of the appeal — and letting people read your stuff anywhere except on your site sacrifices that.
I guess I look at it from a writing perspective. The way I see it, if your writing is interesting enough, then the teaser will encourage the reader to click to the full post, and they won’t mind (too much) having to take the extra step. If your writing isn’t interesting, then they won’t click to read the rest of the post. But then again, they probably wouldn’t have read the entire post in their reader, anyway.
In that respect, and speaking as an ex-evolutionary biologist, I’d say that using a teaser with the More tag is a good way to put selective pressure on your own writing and force you to either improve or give up. To that end, I’m all for using it.