Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Should it stay or should it go: News outlets scramble to cover Britain’s decision to exit the European Union
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
April 11, 2013, 1:15 p.m.
LINK: gawker.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Justin Ellis   |   April 11, 2013

Or maybe just: Denton: Shorter headlines.

Gawker Media boss Nick Denton is instructing the staff of his sites to cut down their headlines to a more manageable size. How manageable? No more than 70 characters. In a memo to staff, Denton says the “inescapable reality” is the sites need places like Google and Facebook to help drive traffic:

Why this drastic measure? Google and others truncate headlines at 70 characters. On the Manti Teo story, Deadspin’s scoop fell down the Google search results, overtaken by copycat stories with simpler headlines.

Deadspin’s headline was 118 characters. Vital information — “hoax” — was one of the words that was cut off. Our headline was less intelligible — and less clickworthy — than others. And Google demotes search results that don’t get clicked on.

“Nick Denton wants shorter headlines for Gawker Media stories” has 60 characters, so it would still meet the bar. “Denton: Shorter headlines” has just 25.

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Should it stay or should it go: News outlets scramble to cover Britain’s decision to exit the European Union
Online, readers stayed up for the results: Peak traffic to BBC News, for instance, was around 4 a.m. GMT, and by 11 a.m. BBC.com had received 88 million page views.
Acast wants to get new audiences “in the podcast door” with more diverse shows and better data
With a new paid subscription option and its sights set on non English-speaking countries, the Swedish podcasting startup is looking for listeners (and shows) beyond the iTunes set.
“Medium’s team did everything”: How 5 publishers transitioned their sites to Medium
What happened when Pacific Standard, The Ringer, The Awl, The Bold Italic, and Femsplain moved their sites over to Medium.
What to read next
0What does it take to be a “full-service” digital journalism organization? Ask Discourse Media
“We’ve gone down lots of experimental rabbit holes.”
0Hot Pod: New podcasts, more existential public radio talk, and progress on intern wages
Plus: New big-picture views from Pew, Malcolm Gladwell hits the promo circuit, and more growth in branded podcasts.
0Hot Pod: Is the Stitcher deal a step toward a closed podcast ecosystem?
Plus: Midroll’s CEO steps down, Malcolm Gladwell goes audio, and how voice assistants (Siri, Alexa, Cortana) could impact NPR’s drive time programs.
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
Foreign Policy
Honolulu Civil Beat
Drudge Report
Quartz
Davis Wiki
Voice Media Group
Time
Poynter Institute
New England Center for Investigative Reporting
Yahoo
E.W. Scripps
St. Louis Beacon