This Post Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity, While Simultaneously Destroying Your Faith in Me

Mousetrap

I have a problem.

Everyone knows that the only way for online journalism to succeed today is if it “goes viral,” causing people on “social networks” to “click” like crazy. And everyone knows that doesn’t have much to do with the content in question. It’s all about the headline–which, to insure maximum clickiness, needs to make absurd claims, tug at the heartstrings, and/or conceal the upshot of the article so that people don’t feel like they’ve learned anything until they’ve clicked.

Unfortunately for me, none of this comes easily. I grew up in a long-ago era when headlines were supposed to be clear and accurate. We were taught to err on the side of underpromising. I developed all of these now-obsolete habits which I’m having a hard time shaking.

But I think I’ve come up with a solution. If you like Technologizer the way it is, continue to visit Technologizer.com and follow me on Twitter at @harrymccracken and/or @technologizer. Nothing will change.

But I’m launching a new brand, Upfeedy. Mostly it consists of a Twitter feed in which I’ll promote the same old Technologizer stories, only with the most clickbaity headlines I can muster.

Herewith, a few samples:

To recap:

  • Technologizer: not clicky.
  • Upfeedy: the exact same thing, only incredibly clicky.

Thank you for your attention.


8 comments

  1. Marnix van de Veen June 17, 2014 at 12:40 am #

    Brilliant. And great headlines! I’ll keep my RSS Subscription, thank you very much…

  2. Mike June 17, 2014 at 3:25 am #

    Sad commentary about digital journalism but I’ll stick with the old school Harry.

  3. Steven Weyhrich June 17, 2014 at 4:22 am #

    I think you have figured it out. The clickbaity ones are pretty funny to me …

  4. Graphic Mac June 17, 2014 at 5:04 am #

    I’ll add it to my Twitter, but I probably wouldn’t click on any of those headlines. I suppose I’m “old school.” I prefer to know what the hell I’m about to click on so I don’t end up reading the same old tired commentary.

  5. Alfred E. Newman June 17, 2014 at 5:20 am #

    My Comment Is So Ironic Your Jaw Will Drop When You Realize My Double Meaning. You’ll Especially Like Reason #4: I Cried When I Thought It Up! – “no comment”

  6. Benjamin Smith June 17, 2014 at 5:59 am #

    The sad truth is that people tend to click more and more on headlines about tragedies such as car crashes, injuries and other extreme events ( terrorist attacks). I totally agree with you about the catching headlines that could make your content viral but you will have to exaggerate and often to add some lies to make the story more colourful.

  7. jlouderb June 17, 2014 at 6:32 am #

    Can you also post pictures of yourself weeping like a little girl at WWDC? That would also get the rabid Apple faithful to click too.

  8. Perth Hypnotherapy June 21, 2014 at 10:47 pm #

    “Unfortunately for me, none of this comes easily. I grew up in a long-ago era when headlines were supposed to be clear and accurate. ” I know this feeling click bait seems to slowly be taking over all the content sources.

Leave a Comment