A Blog Post title…5 ways to write a STUPENDOUSLY good one

Hi there reader. Welcome (back).

In this post I want to talk about the title of a blog post.

I’ve been reading a lot of stuff on the Internet that states (ad nauseum) that the blog post title has to be catchy, compelling & with a “sense of urgency“. Otherwise you might as well not write a post at all. They also state that having numbers in the title is a winner. (For example, I bet the “5 ways..” in the title of this blog was a like magnet…and, I have to apologise, I used it just for that reason.)

(Note – I updated the title to include the word “STUPENDOUSLY” as an example a ludicrous use of hyperbole in a blog post title.)

I find a lot of these techniques to be a bit “dishonest”. Oh sure, a lot of the blogs posts that have titles that have a number in them (“6 incredible ways to increase your readership”, or “15 secrets that we will never tell you”) do tend to deliver, but I hate the fact that this technique has to be used.

Personally, I don’t write my blog posts to be read. I know, that sounds weird. Certainly, if I get people actually taking the time to read it, then that is fantastic, but it is not the reason I write.

I write to get my own thoughts about technology and related subjects “on paper”. I helps me know what I know.

If you look at a thesis written for a PhD, do they ever have a number in them that is intended to draw in the reader? (For example, should a thesis titled Constraining Global Biogenic Emissions and Exploring Source Contributions to Tropospheric Ozone: Modeling Applications” be better off as “12 Ways to Show how CO2 contributes to Ozone“? Sure, it’s a simple title that tells you, more or less, what’s it’s about. You do get the feeling of “Wow – I’m going to read that to find out what these  12 ways are”, but it sort of lowers the expectation of the thesis.

Now, I’m not saying that blog posts should have such lengthy titles, (for an example of a model for creating such titles, see the comic at the end of this post), but I just want to point out that some blog posts are written to merely “capture” something – a person’s opinion, or a their understanding of something, or to provide knowledge on something. They don’t necessarily have to be read by fifty thousand people within 6 hours of being published. Instead they are available for future discovery (for example, a person may do a search using one of their favourite search engines), or are shared by a small (global) group of people with an interest in that particular subject (a “community of interest”).

Having said that, a good title does help explain what the post is about, (and I intend to go back over my previous posts to make them a little bit more helpful.)

And here’s that comic I mentioned…

Click on the image to see more great “PhD” comics 

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Oh – the humility. Dilbert on Twitter

How many people have ever felt like this?…




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I’m new here


Ok – so I got myself a Google+ account.

Now I have to get used to using it.  I’ve never done Facebook (and was damn proud of it), so this side of the online social media world is new to me.

What I mean, is that I had gotten used to checking my Twitter stream regularly, and kept an eye on Delicious’ “Recent” bookmarks (to see if anyone else had found anything interesting), but Google+ … well that was new for me.

So – I caught myself smiling when I saw a post on Google+ by someone that I had inadvertently “invited” when I had included him in one of my “Circles”. His comment was:

Ok, here we go…another social obligation. I wonder what the chance of me maintaining G+ as well as my Blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

I felt exactly the same way (with the exception of Facebook).

At the same time, I was hitting the Random button on the xkcd site, and came across this:


Note: I never waste my time with social media at work



  • What Are Companies Saying About Social Media In The Workplace? [Infographic]
  • Young people ‘bored’ with social media
  • Which Social Media Channel is Best for Finding Answers?
  • Who Will Stay and Who Will Go?
  • 20 Social Media Infographics – From Celeb Twitter Trees to Facebook Page Celebrations (TrendHunter.com)
  • The Top 3 Social Media Apps You Should Be Using

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Sorry – I don’t follow you

following twitter unwabted

I was trawling the web looking for posts/articles that would make me smarter (a long process) when the post “10 New Twitter Tools That Will Make Your Life Easier” caught my attention. I’m really getting into the whole Twitter thing, and anything that makes my life easier, must be good.

One of the tools that the post mentions is “ManageFilter”, and describes it as a tool that allows you to “unfollow Twitter accounts that don’t follow you back“.

My first reaction to reading this was “what a bloody passive-aggressive thing to do”. Sort of “Huh – if you won’t follow me, I’m not going to follow you.”

My second reaction was “Why do you follow someone in the first place?

For me, it is because I am genuinely interested in what the person is tweeting about. I follow some really first class people, and I learn a lot from them.

I know that Twitter “etiquette” dictates that it if someone follows you, it is polite to follow them back. I say “Screw that“. Don’t get me wrong, I am really happy when people start following me, but I really want to get value out of the people I follow.

Every day I get notified that “someone” has started following me. When I check their profile – sometimes with a photo of a beautiful girl, but often no photo at all – I often see that the particular “person”: is following a lot of people; has maybe tweeted 5 times; and might have a small number of followers (I’m guessing that these are people who have followed back automatically). And, if not followed back,  unfollows after a very short amount of time

As I mentioned, I am more than happy to have people follow me. And I also try to add value. I try to share with others in my “area of interest” things that might be of value to them. I admit that, sometimes, I tweet something totally “off-topic”, or something with a bit of humour, but generally I keep to a relatively narrow area of interest.

However, if it is obvious that someone has followed me, just so that I will follow them back…well, sorry, but I have to disappoint you.

twitter cartoon following

Here are the 10 Twitter Commandments according to John Antonios

twitter social media netiquette

And…his guide to following people on Twitter:

Some of my other Twitter related posts.

  • Why unfollowing is a good thing and why you should make lists on Twitter (thenextweb.com)
  • How many Inches of Twitter Followers Do You Have? (shankman.com)
  • Don’t be a TWIT onTwitter! (dave-lucas.blogspot.com)
  • >Why Do You Care If People Unfollow You? (swaymaker.wordpress.com)

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