The Truth is Powerful
Are U.S. Universities Losing Their Preeminence?
The Internet is, of course, a hotbed of clickbait, featuring exaggerated claims, sensationalist and misleading headlines, eye-catching content, and provocative photographs designed to attract attention, and entice as many distracted readers as possible to follow a link.
You know the tricks of the trade. Create killer headlines with emotional appeal – to fear, disgust, or anger. Invoke celebrity names and reference popular culture. Use numbers, which attract eyeballs, and hype, to generate buzz and excitement. Insert humor or questions or puns or word play. Offer tips. Appeal to the desire for status or prestige or exclusivity or fears of missing out. Create a sense of anticipation.
Here are some other pointers: Listicles lure readers by promising easy-to-scan, easily-digestible information: “10 tips for college freshmen”
Teasers pique readers’ curiosity: “You’ll never believe what happened to.…”
Create a mismatch between demand and supply: “Act fast since supplies are limited.”
Higher education has its own distinctive forms of clickbait. Shock: “The Unbearable Whiteness of Ken Burns” Lists of Suggestions: “10 Tips for College Freshmen” Targeted Advice: “How a Large University Narrowed Their Equity Gap and Saw a Return on Student Success Investments” “How To” recommendations to lure readers looking for quick answers: “Annotate […]