This Headline was made for Digging

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

I must get in the habit of reading The Telegraph’s blog. They’re posting some really interesting stuff out there, and The Guardian’s role as beloved newspaper of the blogiosphere sometimes obscures that. Take this post, about writing headlines just to get featured on Digg, the �vote for stories you like� news site:

I learned a new word this week: diggbait. A story that panders so closely to the prejudices and interests of users, something about the failings of Windows XP, for example, or the success of Firefox, that it seems to have been written specifically with them in mind. Having seen the traffic that can come from a link halfway down a popular page, it�s a tempting thought.

In other words �journalist writes headline to attract readers�. What’s wrong with that? Well, the obvious answer is that the subsection of the public who are active voters on sites like this are suspicious of manipulation and you really don’t want to upset them if you want to take advantage of the site. So, where does the line between the skill of attracting readers through good headline and just fishing for links lie?

I suspect Diggbaiters will find out pretty quickly.


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[Hat Tip: Open]

Technorati Tags: digg, headlines, journalism, [the telegraph]( telegraph)

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.