How do you choose to read the blather I’ve written here or not? Is it a particular topic (theoretically posted on a schedule) that catches your eye? Is it the “headline” or “lead paragraph”? I doubt highly it is my “skilled and engaging” writing. [snort] I find it highly amusing that the post which gathered the most comments recently (note I am not looking for comments as I have an odd relationship with them) was one which, in passing, mentioned a pain I was experiencing. Er, AM experiencing, but anyway….
A short while ago two posts from a site I had never read before caught my eye (I forget how I found them). From an article written in 1998 Microcontent: How to Write Headlines, Page Titles, and Subject Lines and more recently Passive Voice Is Redeemed For Web Headings.
Hmm.. I honestly hadn’t read the full articles until today, but have thought a good deal about the titles.
Regarding the first one, how often do you receive an email with the subject line blank, “hi”, or with a really old subject line? Do you read those quickly? I tend not to. Actually I haven’t read or replied to much of my email in months now. I’m sure everyone hates me, but I’m just as much at fault. Glancing quickly through my sent mail I see that many of my emails are titled with subject lines of “hi”, “morning”, “…”, “er…”, “uhm..”, and “sorry”. I guess that the last one is possibly descriptive and the second one is sent work-week daily to my husband.. but the rest? I’m curious (and have not yet explore the site further) if there is more current research on this topic. In ’98 I received far less email than I do today. I think a high was 100 messages (including mailing lists) in a week. I think I now average that in a morning.
The second article made me twinge at first. I’ve been attempting (unsuccessfully, as is obvious) to ban passive voice from my writing. I don’t really care about the profitability of this site (because there is none), but I do work with clients who care a good deal about SEO and being number one at google. (With a name like “apple and apple” it is quite difficult for them to do, but we are working on it). Hmm. I’m going to need to think a good deal more about these two articles and further explore this new-to-me site.
What do you think?