|From TIME magazine's web site|
Sure, long-form journalism may be impressive, but for pageviews there's nothing like a clickbait headline, especially if it links to a 20-part slide show.
|Say what? From WaPo.com|
The clickbait headlines typically link to listicles, mindless lists created by listicklers that are long on images and short on words. Listiculating is sort of like writing, but without all those annoying verbs and punctuation and grammar and stuff.
My theory is that Listicles was the Greek god of irresponsible journalism, but my web friends insist the word is a mashup of "list" and "article."
Still, you can turn some heads in a staff meeting by pronouncing the word as if it came from ancient Greek -- LIST-uh-KLEEZ. Hell, you can usually get a few smirks even by pronouncing it correctly.
(Some PC types who objected to the masculine sound of "listicles" proposed a gender-neutral alternative. But, somehow, "listnads" never caught on.)
But consumers are apparently catching on that listicles rarely live up to the hype, take forever to load, and will try to trick them into accidentally clicking on ads. Readers are reportedly becoming less inclined to take the bait, which is leading to lower publisher revenue from listicles.
- How Easy, Sleazy Money Is Ruining Publishers' Reputations: My article for Publishing Executive that focused on the masters of master baiting, Taboola and Outbrain.
- A Kick in the Listicles: 7 Reasons Digital Media Are Inferior to Print, which includes these words of wisdom: "Let's face it, folks: The web has listicles, but print has balls."
- If you don't want to miss any of our 31-part Publishing Word of the Day series, write us at email@example.com so that you will be emailed whenever Dead Tree Edition publishes something new.
- Tomorrow's word: The Four Horsemen. (Yeah, I know, it's not a word, it's a phrase. So sue me!)