Twitter  “The great decline in print advertising continues to swamp much of the other progress news companies are making.” nie.mn/1mZvm1C  
Nieman Journalism Lab
Pushing to the future of journalism — A project of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard

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.

— Justin Ellis
                                   
What to read next
library-shelves-of-academic-journals-cc
John Wihbey    
When journalists factcheck politicians (or don’t), how to flag bad behavior on social media, and getting past slactivism: all that and more in this month’s roundup of the academic literature.