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March 23, 2008

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many thanks to the author

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Steve Hill

Great post. Are online journalists turning into drones and slaves to Google? The design of our site demands that headlines are no more than three words followed by a taster of no more than one sentence in length?

In the case of BBC News (www.bbc.co.uk/news) the first half of the story must be self-contained and written in a format that Ceefax [teletext] can reproduce.

In a way this is 'journalism by numbers', but I don't know if this equates to a deskilling of the core skills

Paul Bradshaw

I recently read that punny headlines only really began in the '60s anyway, so why are we so attached to them? And how many are genuinely entertaining rather than groanworthy?

David Black

Good points. Still think that Twitter is missing the context of the rest of the printed page that makes some of the cleverest newspaper headlines work so well.

Just as web headlines have been developing a style unique from that of their print cousins, will be interesting to see how this evolves on Twitter.

Amy Gahran

Good points, Mark

Just one minor quibble. You wrote: "Services like Twitter and Jaiku and others are not the web. They are not search engine dependent."

I can't speak to jaiku, but I would disagree with that regarding Twitter. Every tweet posted to a non-protected account gets its own permalink, like this:

http://twitter.com/agahran/statuses/775925646

...That content gets indexed by search engines. I've seen tweets showing up in my google queries, and I'm getting traffic from tweets to contentious.com

Hashtags is another way this happens.

Doesn't undermine your point, of course -- just something to consider.

- Amy Gahran

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