We've all become savvy to the tropes and tricks of clickbait headlines, but that doesn't stop us from clicking on them. Can't we harness the power of clickbait to funnel interest toward loftier subjects? As it turns out, the conventions of clickbait can be applied to even the most highbrow topics. Here are five edifying areas that have been given the clickbait treatment.
(Actual title: Supporting secession or maintaining boundaries: The international consequences of ethnic politics.)
(Actual title: Anthologizing Modernism: New Verse Anthologies, 1913-53.)
(Actual title: Chromosomal aneuploidy in the developing mammalian cortex.)
2. SUPREME COURT BUSINESS
You will literally not be able to stop yourself from clicking when you see what Twitter account @ClickbaitSCOTUS is up to.
If your IQ is 70, Florida just might try to kill you: http://t.co/QkcVWxrNZ4— Clickbait SCOTUS (@clickbaitSCOTUS) May 27, 2014
He got shot three times in the chest. You won't believe what he did next. http://t.co/xjqP38rtGL— Clickbait SCOTUS (@clickbaitSCOTUS) May 5, 2014
Refilling your printer ink cartridge just got ugly. http://t.co/EUNKWO5yqk— Clickbait SCOTUS (@clickbaitSCOTUS) March 25, 2014
3. MUSIC HISTORY
Classical Minnesota Public Radio applied the clickbait formula to a bunch of its stories, and you won't believe what happened next! (You clicked on them, and still felt good about yourself.) Here's a selection:
The history of the 20th century in clickbait headlines? This xkcd comic made me laugh, until it made me cringe, because I realized it would totally happen this way today.
(1920) "17 things that will be outlawed now that women can vote"
(1957) "12 nip slips potentially visible to Sputnik"
(1968) "This year's assassinations ranked from most to least tragic"
"Watch this kid burst into tears when he's refused some more porridge"
"You thought millennials were bad? Watch these British kids totally nail Chaos Theory"
(Lord of the Flies)
"We thought we could beat on against the current without being borne back ceaselessly into the past. Boy, were we wrong."
(The Great Gatsby)
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why all drugs should be legal. (Yes, even heroin.)
- How to trim $500 from your monthly spending
- Comic-Con 2014: Everything we learned about Avengers 2, Batman v. Superman, and more
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- Are there too many good shows on television?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- The big, gaping hole in the liberal policy arsenal
- 7 ideas from ancient thinkers that will improve your modern life
- Blame Obama and U.S. evangelicals for the persecution of Iraqi Christians
- The weird obsession that's ruining the GOP
Subscribe to the Week