Have you noticed the irritating trend of titles online “This Video Will Make Your Day” or “You Won’t Believe What This Kitten Can Do” or “Five Facts about Colorado that Will Blow Your Mind. No Really”? It’s like each title is a six-word plea to click me! click me! click me! I’m cooler, smarter, and sexier than all of your other hyperlinks.
Email subject lines are no better. I sign a bunch of leftie petitions online, and now I get emails with subjects such as “What [big corporation] Doesn’t Want You To Know” or “Montsanto Doesn’t Want You To Click On This” or “My Dad’s In the Hospital.” I hate being emotionally manipulated by my email. Shut up, and tell me something real.
Maybe I spend too much time online.
My science papers don’t have that problem. Their problem is adverbs. Scientists aren’t allowed to be emotional or subjective in their articles. And so they say things like “Clearly, microfluid dynamics is the study of the kinetics of liquids” or “Interestingly, the anti-mouse serum did not turn the murine samples into dragons.” Let the data be interesting without telling us it is interesting.
What do you find interesting, clear, or highly clickable?