Headlines that don’t deliver are really annoying

I recently wrote about the importance of effective headlines when writing a story. Well, another one at the BBC caught my attention yesterday: “Has Belfast film-maker found time travel evidence?” Evidence of time travel?

Who could possibly resist clicking on a headline like that? Of course, the only problem with a headline like that is that the story contained within really has to deliver in a big way.

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The Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising…a quality find!

museumofbrandsSidling along a residential mews in Notting Hill, I was convinced my phone’s GPS was playing games with me – surely there was no museum here? But my suspicion turned to pleasant surprise as I glimpsed a glass facade at the end of the road that was most certainly a building for public perusal.

The Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising had been on my radar for some months after reading about it in my ‘1000 things to do in London’ Time Out guide. And finally I was here…not really knowing what to expect.

The museum more than lived up to its name. In fact, the museum definitely did what it said on the tin (thanks, Ron Seal).

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Debrand: One man’s phone unlocking & debranding emporium

When Ben Lam left Hong Kong for the UK in 2001 to pursue a career in Civil Engineering, little did he know that nine years later he’d be capitalising on, what is in many eyes, one of the mobile industry’s biggest annoyances.

Rather than following his planned career path into construction and the built environment, Lam’s interest in mobile phones and his desire to build his own business led him down a much different route, namely ‘phone debranding.

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The origin of the word ‘spam’

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Spam is the scourge of the digital age. Naturally I don’t mean the processed meat that comes served in a tin (though that is pretty distasteful too), but the deluge of unsolicited email that I and millions of others receive on a daily basis.

But why ‘spam’? I mean, why has a word that’s best associated with a poor-quality meat product been so widely embraced as the universal word for unwanted electronic communications?

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Effective headlines are important…but don’t mislead us, BBC!

Headlines, titles, headings – whatever you want to call them – are a vital part of any news article or feature. And as far as I’m concerned, coming up with a good headline is the most fun part of writing any piece. It’s a chance to flex the old creative muscles and come up with some quality puns that not only convey the content of the article but also draw the reader in. Writers, after all, want people to read their work.

But one thing headlines should never do is mislead. I get more than a little irked when a headline promises one thing, but delivers something completely different…which is one of the many reasons why I give the tabloid press a rather wide berth. I expect more from the BBC though.

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Random Ramblings