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The COW deserves some credit

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Bob ColeThe COW deserves some credit
by on Apr 25, 2015 at 12:42:33 am

I want to congratulate the COW's editorial team, for something you DON'T do: when you publicize articles, you DON'T engage in "clickbaiting," though the practice is rampant online nowadays, and is almost as intrusive and time-wasting as spam and unwanted phone solicitations.

I came to this realization just today, after many years of reading the COW at least once a week.

Why?

I subscribe to an email list for a website that features links and articles about the entertainment business - often good ones. But today I got an email with an intriguing title, inviting me to read Martin Scorsese's "85 Films You Must See."

So... they got me. I clicked. The "list" turned out to be 85 films that Scorsese had mentioned in some talk (impressive in itself), but it was not his list of the 85 (why 85?) must-see films.

Not a capital offense. But still, a waste of my time, and blatant clickbait.

I pointed this out in their Comments section, and guess what happened? After a few minutes, my post disappeared. I don't think it was a technical error.

The COW, on the other hand, is above that. The headlines and summaries are accurate - and they are honest. And I just want to say, "I appreciate your ethics."

Thanks.

Bob C


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Tim WilsonRe: The COW deserves some credit
by on Apr 25, 2015 at 7:26:11 am

Thanks Bob! Clickbait drives me insane. I assure there will never be any at Creative COW.

The one that is currently getting on my nerves is articles listed in newsletters or teased as "recommended" at the bottom of a page takes you to another page, where you have to choose the article AGAIN, frequently at another site.

I'm all in favor of links of course, and if a site's publisher sees a cool article, by all means, they should pass it along...

...but talk about clickbait! At a certain point, it doesn't feel like, "Hey, let's find some cool articles to share." It feels like, "How can we give the false impression that there's any valuable content in our newsletter or on our website...since of course we don't actually have any. But we don't need to create high-value content. All we need is the click. Anyone who clicks will see some ads, even if they're mad that we tricked them."

When you go to those sites, mouse over some of the ads without clicking. They look impressive -- they're big, beautiful ads for some of the prestige companies in our business -- but when you mouseover to see the URL they'd send you to, you can see very plainly that they're Google ads. This whole scam is because some websites in our industry aren't able to actually sell ads to the vendor. They've simply signed up for a Google program that feeds relevant ads, and the industry website makes money from the clicks, nothing more. It's sad, and yes, incredibly annoying.

I love the content we have. I'd love to have a lot more. But generating quality articles and tutorials is haaaaard. It takes time. We're working on it.

But we're trying every bit as hard to preserve the high signal, low noise state of the forums too. I think we're doing very well on that point, but honestly, nothing about this is easy. I'm so pleased that you've noticed our efforts on the content side, Bob. One thing I can pledge to you is that we'll try not to annoy you, and we will DEFINITELY avoid fake content trying to trick you into clicking!

Thanks again,

Tim

Tim Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW


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