Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Viacom vs YouTube and post title writing

I just wish the MainStream Media (MSM) would just rollover and die already. Instead, in their death agony spasms, they make a rotten mess at Wikipedia, Net Neutrality, Share Economy, and Universal Content Utopia.

Mark Glaser at Media Shift, one of my favorite blogs, posted this article. While I have great differences with Stephen Colbert, and have flamed him repeatedly at YouTube, I do find myself on his side against the pussy sissies jerkbags at Viacom, who have demanded that YouTube take down all Comedy Central, South Park, and other "owned" content.

Read more about the issues at "Open Letter to Stephen Colbert".


Blog Title Usability Tip: Don't make your blog post titles long, and don't use punctuation marks in the titles. Make your URLs guessable and intuitive whenever possible. I can't think of any reason to have long, punctuation marked blog post titles. Be creative and think of ways to title your posts, with a brief title, without punctuation marks.

Why? Because when you make a title long, it gets truncated, shortened. Look at the URL that I display in this post, for "Open Letter to Stephen Colbert". See how the punctuation mark (I believe it was a semi-colon, as in "...Colbert: Don't Love and Leave YouTube") is deleted, thus smashing "letter" and "stephen" together. See also how the title is truncated, ending with part of the word "don't".

Post titles are not easy to write. It's called microcontent. For me, the post titles are often harder to write than the post itself. Make them short, controversial, content-rich, relevant, interesting, and without any punctuation marks.

When your title is listed in archives or recent post lists, you want people to be able to guess what the post is about. Clever teaser titles like "What a jerk!" or "New audio software is great" tell me almost nothing. Too vague. Be as specific as possible, but also include some abstract titles for variety (according to Christopher Locke).

Notice how I omit the period in "vs" so that I avoid a weird URL for this post.

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