Read the Article, NOT the Headline

It’s fitting that marketers today spend more time on the headline of an article than on the actual content. People want twitter-sized nuggets of information… rather than, you know, be informed.

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i.e. Twitter

All this does is breed ignorance.

And I’m not above this. I experienced this firsthand when the Ferguson shooting came about. At the time, I didn’t read any headlines, but my friends had. Many preached about not making another shooting about race… and in a general sense, I agreed.

Until I read the story.

Headlines read like this Ferguson Shooting: Civil Unrest Continues Despite Chief’s Gesture (Fox News). This, on its own, is misleading since the wording is biased against the civilians and tries to create a sympathetic chief of police who’s extending the olive branch. However, even something as bad as that headline is not the problem. The problem is how it then translates into peoples’ Facebook feeds as:

“The truth is, this story isn’t really about racism, police brutality, or even tragedy… This story is about the failure of Liberalism… [and] the liberally-inclined media uses the term “white-police-officer” in their racially sensationalized news coverage of Ferguson.”

-Michael Schaus

The headline propagates highly opinionated extremists which floods Google with misinformation and it spreads like wildfire through our Facebook newsfeeds.

By the time I heard of Ferguson, it had been so watered down that I too thought someone was throwing in the race card to make an emotionally triggered headline. However, the FACTS are that Michael Brown was an unarmed, black teenager who was shot anywhere from 5 to 10 times by a white cop.

If you wanted to make even a remotely convincing argument that this was not racist, you might have a chance had one shot been fired, but even the “conservative” estimate of “5” is too many. This was an act of racism and Michael Schaus, you’re an asshole.

Outrage In Missouri Town After Police Shooting Of 18-Yr-Old Man

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An Open Letter to Google

Dear Google,

google

I fear I’ve been writing to you, under the guise that I’m writing to real people.

It was just the other day that I was writing recreationally for a blog and it occurred to me that it wouldn’t be seen (much less read) unless I used a keyword phrase in my title, or (due to Hummingbird) put my title in the form of a question, or (due to “trends”) listed some current event along with my title.

When Lead SEOs told me you measure engagement, I took that at face value. It meant that if an article was shared, liked, commented on, or the user spent longer than 30 seconds on the URL page, then they must have gotten something out of it.

But that’s wrong. Continue reading

The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Marketing Strategy

Originally posted on Primitive Screw Heads:

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Marvel Studios has films planned up through 2028, so when I say “Marketing Strategy,” I mean how Marvel is structuring their films to keep people engaged until the next big team-up. Marvel just beat out the Harry Potter franchise for most profitable film series and you can bet that they won’t be slowing down anytime soon.

Creating a comic book universe for the big screen has to be counted in the history of cinema as one of the ballsiest maneuvers you can make. They have effectively nullified possible “reboots” because everything remains canon, which means they also need to plant the seeds of other films, secondary and tertiary characters within existing franchises because you can’t simply rotate a roster willy-nilly. Luckily, since Phase Two has already surpassed Phase One’s profits, you can bet we’ll be seeing contracts for newcomers to the series increasing from six to nine movies (see Chris Evans…

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When Symbols Become Ideal and Humans Become Alien

downloadThe universe is pretty big when you think about it. Not when you think about it, without yourself though. When you look at a picture of it, even when you see the Earth, there’s a bit of a detachment, like your brain doesn’t connect the image to what it represents. “You” are on that Earth, but you can’t see you, nor can the Earth be seen in the universe. It’s not even large enough to be a freckle.

And when you think about that, as many people do (as they should), it’s easy to become… what’s the word? Nihilistic. It’s easy to feel like life is meaningless, like whatever is happening here is insignificant compared to the scope of the universe. Continue reading

How Facebook Died

FacebookDead

Facebook is dead.

It’s something we’ve all grown aware of, but it hasn’t sunk in. It’s like when you find out someone died, but it doesn’t hit you until you’re at the memorial service.

I mean, research shows that people check their Facebook (AT LEAST) 14 times a day and many check it within 15 minutes of waking (2013). Not only that, but it’s the third most popular app (outside of email and standard browser) and it’s the second most popular (trafficked) website (2012).

But it is dead or, at the very least, is dying out. Continue reading