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Please tell me what you're feeling.

24 October 2008 21:50

Twice, recently, people have commented on my post titles. I keep a real journal elsewhere where entries are either untitled, or are titled by quotations. In the past I used to keep a running total of who had guessed the source of the quote, but these days that game gets ignored.

Titles here used to be song lyrics, but these days they are film quotes.

When I started I intended to be a little interesting, and make "happy posts" contain quotes from films I enjoyed watching, and "ironic" or "ranty" posts contain quotes from films I disliked. But that didn't last for long, and I suspect nobody noticed anyway. (Why would they?!)

Regardless that's the only explaination I'll give.

Once or twice I've had people "complain" :

Your titles have no relationship to your posts.

I don't know if your post is a serious one I should read, or a trivial one I should ignore.

To those comments I have several potential response:

  • Either I believe the posts are serious, or I believe they are not. My opinion might coincide with yours, but frankly I have no expectation either way.
  • Read the body, ignore the title. Consider it an ironic commentry on the importance of fashion, where appearance is more important than content.
  • It quickly gets old making titles of the form "Hey, asql released. Again.".
  • I find your ideas intruiging and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

In short, if you (dis)like what I have to say I'm sure that the title of the post you disagree with is the least important part of that. I'm sure I could say more either way, but since the recent reminder I figured I should write something.

I've almost done so several times but I find it hard to be specific. Regardless the summary is:

"I'll keep this up, whether you like it or not, until I get bored. Regardless of how much I might respect you, and your opinion."

PS. tscreen released. Again.

ObFilm: Star Trek #2 - Wrath of Khan



Comments on this entry

icon Matt Simmons at 19:52 on 24 October 2008
To be really honest, I read your blog in Google Reader's little iGoogle applet, and all I see is a list of titles. It's a bit like judging a book by it's cover, but I don't have time to read all my feed links, so I pick and choose based on titles that sound interesting (or closer to the truth, queue them up with a middle mouse button as I scroll).
There have been a few times I've clicked on a link here that I wound up not having any interest in, and quite a few times I've gone through your previous posts and found something I missed because the headline wasn't indicative of the content.
The bottom line is that it's your blog, so you should title it however you want and do what makes you happiest. If your goal is to drive and attract traffic, though, it helps to link the title and the subject.

icon Steve Kemp at 19:59 on 24 October 2008

I figure I've got three types of readers:

Those that want to read me

That is people that specifically want to read entries that I've written, because they're interested in me.

Those that read me by accident

This is people who see me on Planet Debian, or similar.

Those that find me by search engines

I do find I've written some entries that attract people, via google.

People in the first catagory will read regardless of title, I assume. People in the second might have interests in some things I write, and not in others, and finally people in the last group will have found a specific post via their search engine of choice - and will hopefully have their problem solved..

That's my thought process really!

When it comes to driving traffic - I do that for my commercial blog, but this is a different type of blog...

icon Ana at 20:15 on 24 October 2008
Hiya Steve,
I usually read the posts via Debian Planet and to know if your latest post interests me or not, I do a quick reading. People who usually is not interested in your blog reading it via planet, can "hide" you very easily there, and the rest of your readers I guess are subscribed to your feed directly so I do not see the deal here. Personally, I like it, and sometimes I know where the title comes from \o/ And anyway, this is *your* blog, no forcing people to read it if they do not like it!
icon Steve Kemp at 21:03 on 24 October 2008

Ana I assume you know it was me that submitted the changes required to hide particular authors? Either way that functionality is great :)

Anyway I do love recognizing quotations, be they film, literature or song lyrics. I hope other people enjoy it as much - though I guess I make it easy these days by listing the film..

icon Another Steve at 19:18 on 25 October 2008
I find that on many blogs the titles often have little bearing on the content of the post. The title may be related sure, but it won't be a summary. At least your titles are interesting.
icon Decklin Foster at 03:15 on 26 October 2008
*I* enjoy your titles. :)
icon Alex at 01:23 on 27 October 2008
I too enjoy the titles. Keep them!