Don’t we all hate clickbait? It’s so depressing—in part because it works.
I can’t count how many times I’ve seen one of those sci-fi sites post an article like “Star Wars Makes Stunning Revelation!” and it’s like, wow, I love Star Wars, what could it be?
So you click and it turns out that some new Star Wars comic book just revealed the location of Lando’s middle school.
I’ve said this before but there’s not really a plan to this blog. I started it because I wanted to publicize my projects, express my opinions and share stories from my travels.
Along the way I found out that if I push out the daily link to social media (Facebook, Twitter, the FSM board) I could get a few hundred views—maybe more if it’s about a super popular topic or one of my embarrassing exclusive stories.
If I don’t push out the link, I’ll get maybe 30 views.
It’s not like I make any ad money, so I’m not unduly concerned. I don’t push out a link for every column because I don’t want to wear people out.
A couple of days ago I wrote a short piece about the Andor premiere and when I went to tweet about it, decided to call people idiots if they didn’t love Andor (and were over 16, a reasonable qualification I thought).
One guy on Facebook got huffy about it. So yeah...I’m not proud.
I don’t actually mean it (although I sort of stand by the point). I guess I was hoping in some way to make the piece more intriguing, so people would click and read it?
It just reminds me that it’s brutal trying to promote anything. You’re pretty much always drafting upon the popularity of something else—Star Wars, Star Trek, John Williams, whatever it might be.
How those things became popular in the first place is pretty awe-inspiring—to be that great and appealing to a mass audience.
Although in one way it’s super simple: if you’re really hot in a bathing suit, you can get clicks.
So clickbait is here to stay—and it’s depressing trying to make content that has integrity to compete with it.