Comments Two

November 27, 2009

Sex, chocolate, and puppies, yes!

Corpse, yes, but Internet Guru doesn’t tell me enough.

Giant Clam not hitting it for me.

Good luck!


It pains me to say so, but I think I’m a crocodile. I lurk. I might even be a bottom dweller. I’m patient, tenacious . . .

I won’t go on! Thanks for a really fun reflection.


I think the crocodile quiz is an adjunct to the Lawyers and Bankers headline.

Art C.

My favorite is “Are You A Cheetah Or A Crocodile?”

Happy to help.


I’m very interested in not only working from home but working from my pool, so an underwater computer is exactly what I am looking for. Scuba gear not included.



I think talking about the generation gaps is going to be interesting to follow. Of course, I also look forward to the tabloid in you coming out in your blogs!


Ellen, an underwater computer is an interesting concept. I will surely visit the site.

Just arrived in NY on the red-eye from AZ. A lot cooler here, thank you. In Arizona, we just set a record for 13 consecutive days of 100+ temps. And summer’s yet to arrive.


Re a Baby Boomer versus other generations series, the possibilities are endless. I think you should focus on the disparity between thoughtless youth and elder wisdom. It will provide you with all kinds of interesting material to write about.


Looks good so far, Ellen! good luck!


Ellen, re Boomers: Writing about the past and about the future could be endless. The concerns of our generation for the future of our youth (and vice versa) given the complex problems of today . . . great subject for a series.


Will there also be crocodiles in the swimming pool? That could make focusing on the computer challenging. I will be interested in hearing more!

Loyally, Cindy

The biggest response to any blog I have written was to a blog post titiled: “What do Credit Card Rates and Guns have in Common?” The blog spoke about the recent Senate vote where the senator from Oklahoma added an amendment, which allows people to carry concealed weapons into National Parks, to a bill that was meant to restrain the bad practices of credit card companies.

So mention guns, and that wiill get people’s attention. The next highest response came from a blog titled “Baby Boomers, Harleys and Lingerie.”

Provocative and/or sensational titles work best.


What’s so funny about an underwater computer? Sounds perfect.

You should hear the ring tone my daughter put in her phone for me. It’s a dweebie techno computer sound, and the photo that pops up is me sitting in the Jacuzzi with an elaborate setup to keep my laptop dry.

I’m in the Jacuzzi, connected to my office through at least two different computers at once, with an I-phone on one side, non-alcoholic beer on the other side , HD exterior TV mounted in front, and a music system giving me good sounds.

My staff has a cartoon on the refrigerator in the office kitchen of a guy in a bathtub with about the same high tech set up. The name Mike is printed on the bathtub.

And I think that’s perfectly normal.



Go, Content!

David (Another Boomer)

Only 7 out of 10 are nude? That must be because 3 out of 10 have computers with an unpredictable built-in camera.


I feel amused at this moment, but I will admit, I am not bloggin’ in the buff.

Maybe that could be a new Linked In group: the Buff Bloggers! You’d have to be very fit, of course. I don’t know about you, but I know I am aging like 100% of the population – darn!

Go forth and blog!


Content is King. You go, girl!


Go Ellen! I look forward to following your blogs. I love your writing!


From Community Marketing site, on the four-part Results series:

WOW, I love the wording, and they do get my attention. Thanks and keep up the great work!


Interesting to see what other people find interesting. If I were a member of your poll, my choices would be somewhat different.

R. B.

Sex always sells.


I loved the Thailand Swallowed by a Clam. True hook from your tabloid days!


Interesting experiment. When I first clicked on the Corpse title, it was because I wanted to find out more. I was surprised by the outcome.

Every story needs a “hook.” You have wonderfully captured the essence of a hook.

I believe the hook is what titillates the reader in order to read further. It does not surprise me that a corpse and kinky sex top your list. But I am surprised that “7 Out of 10 Blog In the Nude” was not more popular.

I believe that attitudes form the basis for people’s decisons in life. What I would find interesting is the demographics of the people who responded to your headlines.

I would suspect that attitude, age, and life experience would play a role in what headline a person chose. Also a person’s employment status (or lack thereof) may influence which headline they chose. For instance, a person laid off from the financial industry (or concerned about losing a job in that industry) would be more likely to choose the reality show. This tells me that a headline needs to consider and incorporate its market.

All in all, very well done and very interesting!


Hi Ellen.

I can’t remember enjoying anything as much as this. You’re a real gem!

Bob S.

This is a very interesting experiment. Love the idea Ellen !!! Look forward to more follow-up. That must have been one giant clam!! :)


Ellen, I wonder if other factors could have been at play here. Could it have been timing? Was “corpse” your first release? Just wondering.


I was thinking of all the things to catch people’s eyes. Thanks Ellen, this is really interesting. Great to see what others chose.


You engaged me with your blog experience, and I even ended up reading an interview with you on your vision for us Boomers. I’ll try to spread the word on Twitter and Facebook. I want to earn a slot on your executive committee!


The US has at least one transgender mayor who seems to be doing a perfectly good job, and countless trans people in all walks of life and jobs.

Why that title made it into the list of “eye-catching, funny, or downright titillating” seems uncreative at best and offensive at worst. Thank goodness other voters agreed and didn’t bother to click on it very much.


(From me)


Please read Part Two, and you’ll see why the Transvestite Mayor title was included.

It was not meant to be “funny” at all, just typical of one kind of headline tabloids perennially use.

This research project is all about readers’ clicking and viewing behavior, not about social issues.

Please read Part Two – and the upcoming Part Three – in this spirit.

Thank you.


Years ago, I remember a film called Kentucky Fried Movie that had a television station that used the little promos that were eye-catching. My favorites: “Rams plagued by fumbles as earthquate strikes Los Angeles” and “Moscow in flames, missles headed towards New York, film at 11:00.”

On a more serious note, I can’t wait for the day that the media starts pushing stories about people who do good things as opposed to pushing stories of crime, fraud and tragedy.

David G.

Me – I just like anything with someone killing off Internet Gurus. I guess many others agree.


Very interesting results, Ellen. I’ll have to keep in mind for my next writing venture that corpses trump hamsters, hands down.

David A.

I would be in the 3 out of 10 that do not blog in the nude. I find that it upsets my co-workers.


I love your sense of humor and would kill to write as well as you do. . . keep it coming!


Ellen, Thanks for another entertaining and informative blog. When I post a blog, I usually just stick any old title on it, as long as it relates somewhat to the content of the blog. I don’t put much if any thought into it. Now I know that I have to.

It’s the old adage of only having 20 seconds to capture someone’s attention, and I guess our best chance is with a creative and outstanding headline. These days, it also needs to be one that stands out in a long list of blogs to which one subscribes, or your RSS feed, or in your inbox . . . all-in-all, the new magazine rack.


Tabloid or not, your headlines are sticky, which is better than dangling a carrot. Better yet, your content keeps me intrigued!


This is really interesting: “I became a tabloid writer, with a rather strange specialty virtually nobody else shared – turning serious business articles into fodder for a tabloid audience.”

One would think that people reading tabloids wouldn’t be particularly interested in business articles. Did you gain a following?


(From me)


I would find serious articles tabloid editors wouldn’t be likely to read and look for something in them a tabloid readership might enjoy.

For instance, it was the period oil workers in Russia were first coming into the Far East of that country and raising a ruckus, with crime rates skyrocketing.

So we turned it into a story called “The Wild, wild East,” focusing on the barroom brawls, brothels, and general mayhem that even the most staid of commentators admitted made this region at that time resemble a typical cowboy movie – with a twist, because it was Russia.

That’s a good example.


Ha ha! I LOVE the Hamster headline!


I must say you are wonderfully creative!

So how do we all take the information you present and make it relevant to our daily life experiences? How is that information relevant to marketing our business ventures?

Is your thesis that presenting information with a shocking “headline” is the only effective way to grab someone’s attention? If so, how does one account for people’s differing levels or threshholds of shock?

But I think you are on to something, Ellen.


(From me)


No, I am not saying it’s the only way.

Read the Addendum. I’d like us all to share techniques we have found effective on the Internet.


You have done a terrific job of conveying valuable information. I hope your efforts pay off, Ellen.


Ellen, you go girl! Al we Boomers are pullin’ for you.



I read all three so far and will bookmark.

Outside of thoroughly enjoying your sense of humor, my mind is spinning on how your Faux 10 discussion relates to the concept of authenticity and a customer experience. I’ll give it some though and get back to you.


The comments for the various articles are hilarious. Interesting that we’re most drawn to the baffling murder mystery, and fascinating that the underwater computer headline was the one that got the most comments. I wonder if there’s a correlation in “talky-ness” – people who are apt to click on a certain headline are more inclined to comment?

Stacy S.

Aha! So I was right to worry about those Giant Clams!!


This is very clever. I hope you continue sharing on Linked In. You are giving me some great ideas for my blog.


How about adjusting the headline depending on the place of distribution. Some examples: Thailand Swallowed by Giant Chinese Clam! or Thailand Swallowed by Giant Extraterrestial Mollusk!

Perhaps changing the country would make for an interesting headline: North Korea Swallowed by US Clam or North Korea Swallowed by Japanese Clam
or Taliban Arranges to Have Pakistan Swallowed by Clam.


I think it is so interesting what people are interested in clicking on to read, and then the comments that they make. I find it most entertaining! This is a fascinating social experiment.

I do totally agree that many people don’t want to read anything that seems to be too much like the dismal daily news. Society is bombarded with so much of real life doom-and-gloom news. So if I am choosing to click and read, it is definitely not going to be more of the same.

As a side note, I’ve been wondering what kind of fruit I would want a man to smell like? This is requiring some thought on my part . . .


I think you are right about catchy or shocking tabloid headlines. Certainly they seem to attract attention, comments, followers on Twitter.

Here’s a fun one I saw the other day: “Panda Mating Fails. Veterinarian Takes Over.”


Ellen, I have learned so much about how to prepare an attention-grabber headline! Thank you so much.


Interesting subject. In the last year on my blog, the articles that generate the best responses are always lists: “9 Ways to Enhance Your Linked In Profile” or “5 Linked In Tricks You May Not Know.”

I think the headline depends upon your audience, so I can’t say for certain that numbered lists work everywhere, but they do on Linked In.


I think it is great if you capture readers’ attention and draw them to the article. Wow. There is so much competition for people’s time, so if you can get their interest and get them there, that is a huge accomplishment. Then if you give them something of substance when they get there – even better.

I will tell you one of the greatest reasons I will read something is that someone I know tells me it is interesting and sends me the link or the article. So I wonder if the power of friends and their influence could be leveraged?

Wouldn’t it be interesting if you had one title that you think would draw the most readers, put it out there with no marketing through friends and social networking, and then one title that you think might not be the biggest draw, but leveraged the power of influencers to promote it? I think the second group would get more clicks and reads. What do you think?

G. L.

I am using these catchy lead-ins when writing to my commercial real estate buyers. If the subject line is not catchy, then they dont bother opening any of the Blast E-mails.

A recent one that I just wrote regarding a regional mall for sale in TX was: “In Texas, Size Matters!”

Wow ! I got responses right away.

Having a good lead-in helps in this busy world we all work in.


I am fairly new to this game, but it seems that as a former TV journalist, the same rules apply. Catchy headlines. If it bleeds, it leads. You have three seconds to capture your audience.

To reach the broadest audience, it makes sense to me to reach into every available pot. To target a specific audience, you narrow down that pot. Make sense? Marketing 101, right? Interesting blogs, Ellen!


To return to reader Comments One, please go to:

To return to “Corpses, Mollusks, and Kinky Sex-How I Won the Blog Off,” click:

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