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Too many submissions on here, as well as titles for blog posts and other articles are jumping the shark with naming. We all know that a great title captures a reader's attention, but at this point we're all saturated with superlatives and the BuzzFeed type titles.

I think it's time we consider the fine line we walk when coming up with titles. Sure a bit of link-bait doesn't hurt, but starting your submission with "Everyone in ABC is doing XYZ wrong" is just an outright lie.

What are the community's thoughts?

  • MB

    Morgan Brown

    over 5 years ago #

    It depends?


    • ND

      Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré

      over 5 years ago #


    • BL

      brandon lee

      over 5 years ago #


      Sure, titles may be "click bait" and since we'll all marketers, we may be more attuned and less susceptible to this type of persuasive messaging. But I honestly don't have a probably as long as the article itself has a good content backed with empirical data.

      Maybe super over-the-top titles would become annoying, but that doesn't happen much here. I feel that most articles that get upvoted on GH are based on the content, not the titles.

  • JG

    Jim Gray

    over 5 years ago #

    Only Sith deal in...oh, wait.

  • SE

    Sean Ellis

    over 5 years ago #

    I agree that many of the titles that get submitted to GH make me cringe. I sometimes even push back on the author and ask them to update the title (especially if the content is good enough to get it on the trending page).

    • JW

      jesse williams

      over 5 years ago #

      This is something the community on YCs HackerNews does really well, that I've come to appreciate a lot. But instead of having the grace to rename an article burry it and sometimes shun you.

  • JB

    Joseph Bentzel

    over 5 years ago #

    Personally I'm hoping for a title like "Heroic Growthhackers Unite to Save Zimbabwe Lion Population While Simultaneously Reducing Carbon Footprint & Crowdfunding Space Vacations for Alienated Teens via Sticky Orange Button Updates".

    That I'd actually read as long as you put the word "BOOM" in front of the headline.

  • AS

    Adam Szabo

    over 5 years ago #

    Just yesterday, I commented this on an article called "Remarketing Mistakes Everyone Makes":

    Me: "Interesting article, but I hate the title. I’m sure not EVERYONE makes these mistakes :)"

    So I totally agree. "Don't make these rookie remarketing mistakes" would have been perfectly fine, and I would have clicked on that too.

  • RF

    Ryan Farley

    over 5 years ago #

    I'm with you OP. Honestly, the high amount of clickbait is something that has held me back from participating heavily. It really does get tiresome, though you can hardly blame marketers for writing titles in ways that are proven to work.

    One of the few things I like about hacker news is how they actively suppress clickbait. It lets me choose what to read purely on the topic, not manufactured hype around it.

  • JS

    Jared Smith

    over 5 years ago #

    Click bait is a hazard of the internet.

  • RS

    Rob Sobers

    over 5 years ago #

    I'm just tired of people promising crazy outcomes: "How to get your first 1,000,000 visitors." Seriously? A MILLION VISITORS? What if my site totally sucks and I have nothing good to offer? No pressure.

    I'm probably going to stir up a whole new debate on this thread, but here goes...

    I'd argue that most of the growth hackers that are scientific thinkers and technically- or analytically-included are writing much more valuable, actionable content. This is growth hacking. Most of the Buzzfeed-y stuff is being produced by Internet marketers seducing other marketers to fall for their marketing.

    Flame away. ;-)