Bloggers: Write Like Wire Journalists, not Prima-Donnas
I have a lot of feeds to catch up on after a week off, and as I plow through them I find myself doing triage. Some I read, some I mark as "All Read"... some I poke through.
What tempts me to simply mark a feed as "All Read", despite a 100 unread entries, is the use of short, cryptic headlines. For example, Eschaton, one of my favorite political blogs, renders itself indecipherable with headlines such as:
I can't be bothered to figure out what those headlines might mean, and certainly can't figure out if the articles are relevant. Atrios is an A-list blogger, but you should never write as if you have Old Media Cred.
Josh Marshall, at Talking Points Memo, a blog that I read no matter how bad the heds, is even worse. Recent headlines:
Here's a question...
We'll be saying..
One of the...
A number of....
Since the last...
Useless for deciding to check into that particular article.
Compare with B. L Ochman:
Dan Gilmour Embarks on New Journey, Pens Last Column
Fortune: Why there's no Escaping the Blog
Wall St. Journal: Video Blogs Break Out with Tsunami Coverage
All bloggers should know by now that they are read (mostly) through RSS. That's a wire service, no more no less. But some bloggers act as if they are Old Media columnists (a cub reporter would be fired for those heds). They'll write the cryptic headline, because they assume their reader has already bought the paper.
I think it a mistake. But then... I'm not an A-lister.