Some things in life serve only to induce rage. No matter how small these annoyances may be, they are never insignificant. 'Rant List' is the chronicle of one self-loathing narcissist's seemingly unending pettiness.

Monday, 30 June 2014

104. Clickbait

^ I bet you I will believe it, you absolute turd-burglars.

A man wrote on his blog and you won’t believe what happened next...  

Nothing. Absolutely nothing, because every clickbait article is either ineffectual, a misleading lie or both. Here’s a novel idea, purveyors of poorly thought out online journalism: how about instead of luring people in to clicking your article under false pretence, why not actually write something that somebody might want to read? I mean, if people read this tripe, there’s an audience for anything.

Oh, I know, you need those clicks to survive in this cold and cruel digital environment. They provide ad-based revenue streams and help optimise your position in search engines yada yada yada no one cares etc. But if people visit your website after a misleading clickbait title, only to immediately click off your site after realising what you’ve just done, they’re probably unlikely to come back and read your stuff again. Your short-term gain of one click sacrifices a long-term potential of ongoing loyalty clicks from users who return frequently because they think you might actually have something to offer them.

Outside of the worlds of Marketing™, Search™, Advertising™ and Communications™, no one gives a solitary toss about clicks. Why? Because they’re cocking meaningless. It’s a fundamental mistake of webmasters* that this is how the success of their domain should be measured. How have we got to a stage in digital world where the number of hits a site gets is more important than whether or not anyone ever actually reads it? It’s not even like most outlets are making articles that are particularly hard to read anymore – everything on the internet basically takes the easily digestible Buzzfeed model, splitting things to consumable numbered morsels so that users can cheerily snack on content during those three minute mental sparks where their attention span still exists (as touched on in No. 103).

Nothing shows how little value you have for your own written words if you have to use clickbait to get people to read your work. You may as well pack up and go home already, you gitlord.

*do people even use the term ‘webmaster’ anymore, or is it one of those remnants of the late ‘90s internet lexicon that are no longer in vogue like ‘cyber café’ and 'Keanu Reeves' career'?

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