My Dangerous Headlines!

“I think internet controversies would be cut in half if Johanna never used headlines on her blog.” — Leigh Walton, while summing up the Chip Kidd controversy

I know I’m not very good at titles — I try to err on the side of factual description, with one notable exception — but I had no idea my failing was so troublesome.

[polldaddy poll=”1095987″]

17 Responses to “My Dangerous Headlines!”

  1. Vincent Murphy Says:

    I don’t know, I nearly went ballistic when a read the following headline:

    “Inubaka: Crazy for Dogs Book 11″

    I mean COME ON! That’s just begging for controversy.

  2. Ed Sizemore Says:

    Of course, a positive slant on this is that Leigh thinks your website is so important you can direct the flow of most internet discusion. Not internet comic discussion, but internet discussions in general. So the tagline for your website should be, “Shaping the flow of conversation on the information super highway.”

  3. James Schee Says:

    Yes, they are very dangerous! I nearly lost a computer when I spit out my soda while reading one once. (luckily I missed the computer)

    So watch out for them!! :)

  4. Lea Hernandez Says:

    If the Presidental campaign had gone on any longer, you’d have been called out as “Jo(hanna) the (Drama) Drummer!”

  5. David Wynne Says:

    I think Ed may have hit the nail on the head- it’s not so much that there’s something wrong with your headlines, really- they do what a headline is generally meant to do, boil the story down to the most interesting and important element(s)- but that because you’re a well known and respected part of the blogogeography*, a LOT of people are likely to see those headlines, a LOT of people will link to those pieces, and a LOT of the people clicking those links will only read the headline, and skim or even not bother with the rest of the article, before expressing their loud and outraged reaction (to what they’ve inferred from the headline) on their own blog or wherever.

    So, drama probably could be avoided if you head no headlines, but that’s not your fault, and it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with those headlines.

    Does that make any sense at all? I’ve only just got out of bed.

  6. David Wynne Says:

    (oh and here’s the footnote I forgot in my previous comment)
    *I’m very sorry about this word. I try to use a different stupid term for the online fan/critic community every time if I can, because I’m desperately hoping that eventually I’ll come up with something less horrific than the disturbingly ubiquitopus “blogosphere”. I don’t think bogogeography is it, though…

  7. Don MacPherson Says:

    People who read only headlines and think that’s enough to judge the content of an entire article/column are lazy. They should be given full opportunity to demonstrate their laziness and/or ignorance for all to see.

    So no, Johanna, don’t change your headlines.

  8. odessa steps magazine Says:

    I think there are probably more controversies caused by Tom’s wacky descriptive adjectives.

  9. Rivkah Says:

    Everything causes drama on the internets. It’s up to you whether to use that for good or evil, though. ;D

    If a headline incites thoughtful discussion while distinguishing the noobs who didn’t make it any further past the headline, all the more power to you. At least we know who to look out for and who’s comments to ignore completely in the future.

  10. Johanna Says:

    You are all making me so happy I have such intelligent, funny readers.

    (Ed, isn’t that awfully pretentious? :) )

    David, oh, yes, that makes sense. And I share your dislike of that word.

  11. Ed Sizemore Says:


    You can always link to Leigh’s quote to back you up ;-}

  12. Tim O'Shea Says:

    Not to break up the lovefest, Johanna. ;)

    Headlines need to grab people’s attention, no doubt. But I wonder if people linked to your opinion as “Stupid Blogger’s Opinion” you might see why some publisher’s get annoyed when you opt for “Stupid Publisher Tricks”.

    Of course, I say this as the guy who writes the crappiest headlines, so I may just be jealous about your skills. :)

  13. Rivkah Says:

    “Stupid Publisher Tricks” is my favorite category. Don’t change it, Johanna!

  14. odessa steps magazine Says:

    “Stupid Publisher Tricks” is also a metatextual reference, so I always took it with a grain of salt.

  15. Johanna Says:

    Oh, Tim, they already have, and worse. It only matters if I care what they think.

  16. Lea Hernandez Says:

    “Stupid Publisher Tricks” is a category I think I’d be too circumspect to use, but I admire you ‘nads for using it.

  17. Johanna Says:

    And the odd thing is, I was never that much of a Letterman viewer, I just liked the rhythm of it.




Most Recent Posts: