The Scourge of the Hanging Headline, List Articles, and Reblogging

By Deane Barker on January 31, 2014

Here’s 10 things I did before I wrote this blog post title. What happened next will shock you: Scott Hanselman just nails one of the worst content-related things on the Internet right now: the hanging headline and reblogging as a business model.

Many sites declare their content “curated” and pull it (most often without explicit permission) from elsewhere. They pull so much from the original site that there’s usually no reason to visit the original site! One article recently had 20 high resolution pictures lifted from elsewhere. Buried in the the post it said “via so-in-so” so I visited there, if only to give my page view to the original author and some how cleanse myself. I counted the photos while I was there. There where 20 images. They had reblogged them all.

These are entire “media companies” that have turned reblogging into an art. Reblogging is not journalism. It’s not even nice. It’s not appreciated, it’s not appropriate, and it’s not kind.

I hate these headlines because they’re proof of the stupidity of the general Internet populace, and our poor collective attention span.  Most of all, I hate them because they work, and because I click on them, and this fact makes me feel badly about myself.

Why CNN?  Why did you fall into this too?