After the jump?
January 30, 2006 1:25 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone know the origin of the phrases 'after the jump' or 'more after the jump'?

It's something I've seen increasingly used online and although I sort of understand what it means, it would also be nice to know who said it first. I've attempted a google but all I seem to get are uses of the phrase rather than definitions.
posted by feelinglistless to Writing & Language (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
blogs usually allow you to separate a post into two parts, one an excerpt that gets posted to the main page and to RSS, and the other a continuation with the main text of the article. 'After the jump' usually refers to the part that you see after you click 'read more...'. "Below the fold" means the same thing on some sites.
posted by unSane at 1:29 PM on January 30, 2006

Metafilter's version of this is "more inside".
posted by zsazsa at 1:30 PM on January 30, 2006

I'm just guessing here, but a lot of blogs with the functionality unSane describes will have an anchor where the "read more" text is. Thus, when you load the individual entry's page, you will literally jump to where you left off.
posted by danb at 1:35 PM on January 30, 2006

Best answer: It's a holdover from newspaper pagination lingo. A story begun on page one might be longer than the space available, so a "See page #" is added at the end of the first page and the article continues on another. The continuation is referred to as the "jump".

(The "See page XX" is called a 'refer' or 'reefer'.)
posted by bradlands at 1:38 PM on January 30, 2006

Best answer: It's a holdover from newspaper lingo. The 'jump' in a newspaper article is the point where the article is interrupted on one page and continued at that point on another page, with a notation of where to go to continue the article. They serve the same purpose: to conserve "front page" space (or inside page space, though that's less common) for as much of as many articles as possible.

It follows the general rule of traditional newspaper organization: most people won't flip a folded paper over to see the bottom of the sheet, most of those that do won't read past the headlines, most of those that do won't read past the lede, most of those that do won't go past the front page. Therefore, put as many stories as possible of the most importance on the front page, so the most number of people will get the maximal amount of news possible.

Of course another truism is that most people will never read past the jump, so it is definitely a trade-off: more people read what's on the front page, but there's less real estate on the front page, and most readers are lost at the jump. So which is better: more people reading less of your story, or less people reading more of your story?

The comparisons aren't exactly the same to websites and blogs, but the general principle is about the same: don't clutter up the front page (of the site) with background and quotations that only some of your readers are interested in, just put it behind a link, and let the most interested readers read on.

on preview: as bradlands also says
posted by Eldritch at 1:41 PM on January 30, 2006

Best answer: Here's a decent round-up of newspaper jargon, some other of which has made its way online, albeit with different meanings (sidebar, banner, etc.).
posted by bradlands at 1:42 PM on January 30, 2006

Response by poster: That's excellent. Thanks very much. Just wondering though -- do we know who originally said it -- and for that matter is there a literary or pop culture reference -- from a book or film or whatever?
posted by feelinglistless at 1:46 PM on January 30, 2006

Jargon like this usually has an anonymous author. I know that bloggers didn't start using it until there was display advertising breaking up posts -- my guess for the first blog to use it is Gawker.
posted by dhartung at 2:07 PM on January 30, 2006

I've never heard the phrase attributed to anything in particular -- but it's not just informal lingo, it's definitively a part of the lexicon of newspaper production, and has been so for many decades. Though I don't have any definitive source (and plenty of google searching certainly proved fruitless), I would guess that the term evolved organically, rather: 'the story starts here, then it jumps over to the next page' (or somesuch).

There are also jumplines (which are the "See ABC on page XX" lines made reference to above), and jump headlines (the hed on the portion of the article that is jumped.

I don't know when the phrasology made the jump (har, har) to online media, but as dhartung posits above, I have the feeling it got a boost in popularity from the Gawker Media sites (I first noticed its prevalence on Wonkette)
posted by Eldritch at 2:18 PM on January 30, 2006

i think many people use those terms by personal gusto.. i do.. there's jumps, cutids, breaks, page breaks in my jargon but i use them differently from website to website
posted by suni at 6:43 PM on January 30, 2006

I think Elizabeth Spiers used it fairly early in Gawker's history--on commercial (ad-supported) weblogs, writers are encouraged by management to use the "jump" because click-through = another ad page served. So writers on pro weblogs looked early for terms to use for this that would make sense to readers--and since Gawker addressed an audience with a significant number of newspaper employees, it was intelligible terminology to them.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 9:08 PM on January 30, 2006

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