Opinions without data

A friend linked me to this: Does Content Length Predict Traffic Generated?

The article is smart and probably correct and includes this provocative statement: “Opinions without data are irrelevant, so let’s look at the data to make this decision.” (source: https://www.christopherspenn.com/2021/03/does-content-length-predict-traffic-generated/)

Opinions without data have:

  • Gotten presidents elected
  • Led to hugely significant decisions, both in our own lives and in the world
  • Gotten people killed
  • Saved lives

Opinions without data are not, in fact, irrelevant. However, the article’s author is right within the context of their work.

What’s interesting here is how he’s sending a signal about where he stands in his point of view. 

He’s sending this signal by making a claim about the necessity of data.

Sometimes, a POV grounded in data is a natural route to authority. We want folks grounded in data helping us think about climate change or whether DevOps has any measurable benefit. We want their help thinking about SEO, too. 🙂

But not every positive transformation or optimization needs to be catalyzed by a POV that is grounded solely in data.

There is power in a POV grounded in experience, expressed in vivid ways.


The Indie Experts Point of View Workshop that I lead starts on March 11 (3 days from now). There’s still time to sign up. Registration here: https://indieexperts.io/workshops/point-of-view-workshop/

-P