Sunday, June 29, 2014

Catchy titles/Mediocre Content - Correlation?

Start your sunday morning scrolling through headlines, when you suddenly read the following title:

"Why Apple employees never wanted to have lunch with Steve Jobs."


Bodacious title.


Summary: The article explains how Apple employees were always frightened about being "put on the spot" by Steve Jobs. 


Surprising? 


And there it is - again with the proliferation of big names, reduced to adorning junk information: time and time again, the reader gets to experience big names like Steve Jobs and the famous personality that comes with them. Superficial journalism lending itself to character exploitation, like the flea market barons selling Che Guevara's likeness...will those t-shirts, mugs and touristy items with his face plastered all over them ever stop being alluring? 


People seem to be rediscovering big personalities continuously. Even big characters that are long gone and that many don't want to remember slither in surreptitiously into conversations (ever heard someone equate someone they deem authoritarian and strongly dislike to Hitler? Unfortunately this is too common).


If I could equate this Business Insider article to a beer, I'd equate it to a Coors light - a pleasant drink that does the job, but lacks the originality and distinct taste of select craft beer. If I wanted to drink in the morning, I would not drink such a beverage. If I wanted to drink in the morning. No - I do not drink in the morning. Freud would probably have a field day psychoanalyzing this short paragraph. But Freud is passé, so.


Anyways.


I've often found that Business Insider has a knack for creating catchy headlines...mixing pop culture with shreds of serious content. It sometimes seems that they value the headline above all else.


A couple of the headlines from today's Business Insider front page:

To be fair, let's see what the headlines are in other news sources:

The Huffington Post

  • Confounding the pessimists
  • Better late than never?
  • Don't hold your breath
I won't go into detail - I think the different titles speak for themselves. 

Interestingly enough, Business Insider follows the 5 easy tricks needed to write catchy headlines that this article outlines

To the letter.

Are catchy titles correlated to mediocre content?

This could make for an interesting Bayesian analysis.