Is @savedyouaclick snobbish about media? Yes
See, I saved you a click in the headline.
I’ve always been aggravated by the @savedyouaclick Twitter account. Expectation gap headlines can certainly be annoying, and oh boy did they rule Facebook for six months a while back. But headlines are about getting your stories read online. And writing headlines that invite a click are the point of that.
Out of context, the amazing pun-laden headlines that people love in print simply don’t work online – not from a search point of view, not from an audience point of view, and ultimately, since their work doesn’t get found or read, not from the journalist’s point of view.
@Savedyouaclick has always, to me, had a snobbishness about it. That “new” media outlets like Buzzfeed aren’t part of the club. That anything that isn’t po-faced and serious doesn’t deserve to be covered. Personally, I think it is symptomatic of the kind of attitude of sneering at what works online rather than learning from it that is currently tanking traditional news brands online.
And this is the tweet that prompted this post.
I mean, you know, in the last couple of days Buzzfeed produced a brilliant long read about Paul Elam, MRA leader in the US. And back in November they did this astonishing read about growing up as a teenage girl with a step-dad who was a peeping tom. They’ve hired an investigative journalism team.
BUT HEAVEN FORFEND THEY INTERVIEW THE PRESIDENT!
For me the @SavedYouAClick attitude is like pretending that newspapers and TV never did “And finally…” stories. Or had cartoons. Or crosswords. Or horoscopes. Or any of the weird bits that are now considered to make up a “legitimate” news bundle. That nobody new can enter the hallowed traditionally respected media circle. That doing it the old way with the old brands is always what users are going to want.
Is this news?
I generally agree with you on this – no reason why the same media outlet can’t do fun stuff alongside serious stuff like interviewing presidents.
However, and maybe it’s just poorly worded headlines rather than bad content, I particularly hate articles that have clearly been stretched to four or five paragraphs when the answer to the question in the headline is an incredibly short answer (in many cases just one word). That is one part of what @savedyouaclick seems to stand for that I can get behind.
Is @SavedYouAClick snobbish about media? No.
Is that particular tweet by @SavedYouAClick snobbish about media? Yes.
Overally, I think SYAC does good work in highlighting lazy use of headline gaps that are clickbait through to nonsense pieces of content – having a headline gap isn’t an issue if what is at the end of that click is something, anything, with even a shred of informational nutrition at the end of it. When SYAC goes for spurious non-event stories that use misleading gaps, then that’s when it has value.
I see where you’re coming from, and I loathe snobbishness over new-age media. But to me, the SYAC page tends to pick more on the over-promise under-deliver side of click bait that deserves ridicule. Unless they’ve changed while I’m not looking…
Comments are closed.