by Kenneth Justice
~ I’m a reader
No REALLY… I read A LOT; aside from whatever book I’m currently reading, In any given day I also read between 75 to 150 articles. Anything from Middle East News to the latest movie review by Joseph Fineman.
A long time ago I realized that the way an article was titled affected the likelihood of whether or not I would <click> on the article to read it.
We tell our children “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” but the reality of the situation is that we rarely live by that saying.
—) We are more likely to pick up a book at the bookstore if the cover picture ‘connects’ with us visually
—) We are more likely to choose or disregard something based on what it looks like
Titles, cover pictures, imagery……these things affect our behavior whether we realize it or not.
With that in mind I couldn’t help but chuckle as I flipped through the Huffington Post this morning, “8 Amazing Things to Know About Breasts” was an article prominently displayed in the side bar with a picture centered in on a woman in a bra.
Is it just me or is it getting to be a tad bit silly when news sources have to appeal to such a low common denominator in order to increase readership?
As a blogger I feel that I walk a tight line. While on the one hand most bloggers want to increase readership….yet on the other hand are we willing to increase readership by appealing to low denominators?
In other words; if writing about silly topics that you don’t care about increases your readership 10 fold…..would you do it?
If most of us would answer “no, I will not sacrifice my dignity just to increase readership” then who are these writers on popular websites and newspapers that are sacrificing their dignity…..what happened to them?
What causes someone to become a member of the paparazzi?
Do people really grow up with the goal of standing outside a restaurant for hours on end hoping to take a photo or ask a 2 second question of some random B-list celebrity as they walk to their car?
Is celebrity news really journalism?
What is journalism?
What happened to journalism?
What happened to investigative journalism?
It blows my mind when I log on to Huff Post or one of my other favorite news sources and come across articles that have been clearly crafted to increase readership and have little to do with anything intelligent.
I suspect that people like me are slowly fading to grey; people who read and want to read articles and books of substance are no longer the norm.
I was at the bookstore over the weekend and saw a book by Jersey Shore figure ‘Snookie” and it pissed me off.
“I should have a bestseller prominently displayed….NOT Snookie!” I thought to myself.
BUT, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe people don’t give a s**t about what I have to say.
Maybe the average person would rather hear what Snookie has to say.
Has Snookie ever even read a book before?
A good friend of mine wants to right books about philosophy. Unfortunately, most people now-a-days don’t care about philosophy. Mention Plato, Homer, Hume, or Sarte and people start falling asleep or leave the room.
However, mention the latest celebrity dirt about Lindsay Lohan or Miley Cyrus and all of a sudden people perk up and want to talk.
It is a strange world we are living in….the Western World is changing before our eyes.
We complain about out-of-control governments.
We complain about politicians who want to control people
We complain about stupid leaders who want to wage stupid wars
But who should we really blame?
Perhaps the problem is that ‘we the people’ don’t deserve good leaders. Perhaps a society of people who would rather talk about Lindsay Lohan deserves a bunch of goofball politicians.
Perhaps we are merely getting what we deserve.
Then again…..perhaps I am wrong.
Oh well, thank god for coffee. I think I’ll have another cup as I read the next article, hmmmm, “Taylor Swift Rocks a Retro Swimsuit” looks like an interesting read……..