It’s easy to make fun of the big boys—because they get big by studying how to get you and me to click, click, click some more. We here at elephantjournal.com want a big readership, too—if we’re not read and interacted with by those beyond our choir, we can’t be of benefit—but we don’t treat our headlines like A/B science tests or our readers like guinea pigs. Maybe we should. 😉
How to get a nation that no longer reads to, you know, read? Get all clickbaity about your titles. Lord of the Flies? That won’t sell, man! Moby What? Crime & Punishment? Gimme a break. Let’s go with these re-titles, Upworthy-style, or many more at The Millions Iink below).
Click over the The Millions for a thousand more:
As Upworthy-style headlines sweep the internet, aiming to snag as many clicks as possible by pandering to as many whims and obsessions as possible, the dignified mystery of the great book title stands in stark contrast. The Upworthy headline had been widely satirized on other websites and social media, including some folks applying them to book titles, so my Millions colleague Nick Moran and I were inspired to muse as well — what if books were whorishly titled, optimizing our search engines rather than our imaginations, rather than leaving us to discover who Oliver Twist was or who was proud and who was prejudiced?
One Man Started Thinking For Himself In A Dystopian Future. You’ll Never Believe What Happened Next.