Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Another Reminder About the Criticality of Headlines

An article in last week’s Post reminds us of this classic example:

All these techniques converged in 2011, when a college student named Zach Wahls got up before the Iowa state legislature to oppose a bill to end civil unions. Wahls came from a family with gay parents, and after his speech was posted online, it gained reasonable traction with the headline “Zach Wahls speaks about family.”

But it wasn’t until [] and a handful of others updated the headline (“Two lesbians had a baby and this is what they got”) and optimized the post for Facebook sharing that it really took off. The Wahls video surged to 17 million views in the wake of the treatment, up from just under a million beforehand.