No Right Answer: Is Clickbait Good or Bad?

Firefilm

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May 27, 2011
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Is Clickbait Good or Bad?

Chris and Kyle discuss the proper and improper usage of clickbait, and how sensational headlines aren't necessarily bad. What happens next will shock you!

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4rch1m3d35

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Mar 10, 2012
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Kyle you don't have have to do an episode on what it is like to be fat. A lot of us on this website already know.
 

Silverspud

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Kyle! Don't get my hopes up like that. Had me psyched for an episode that'll never air now.
 
Jan 12, 2012
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Question: Is this video clickbait? From the title (and knowledge of the show), one would expect a debate about the good and bad of clickbait. Instead, it was a defense of various people on the website who use sensationalist titles for their stuff, and there was no real debate on whether or not they should be doing so (Both Chris and Kyle were in agreement, which isn't really a debate).

I think the definition of clickbait they use was too extreme. If I see, "5 Crazy Things In The New Ninja Turtles" and the article is actually about Jennifer Lawrence, then that's blatant false advertising. With the same title but an article that talks about Where Meghan Fox went to learn acting and what Michael Bay's style is like, that seems more like clickbait to me: It's irrelevant information that is kinda tangentially related to what's going on, but is not what was promised.

It's in the presentation as much as anything else. Jim makes a living by being bombastic and sensational with his videos, picking sides and defending them with a great deal of enthusiasm. That's not really clickbait. But Bob tends more towards things like taking a (decently written) preview of Black Jesus and stapling a not-really-related topical front page to it, IMO in order to drive up views and comments. It's presenting something as something other than what it is.
 

Verlander

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I mean, it wasn't really discussing clickbait, it was determining that what Bob and co do isn't click bait.

Those guys provide content, be it articles or videos. Clickbait is the promise of something that it then fails to deliver. If Bob wrote titles like "DC reveal Wonder Woman's outfit, and you'll never guess what part of her body it shows...!", then that would be clickbait. It's irrelevant to the film, it's hinting as a scandal that doesn't exist, and it's something that could have easily been addressed in the title. Instead we're more likely to get the title "Controversy over skimpy Wonder Woman costume", which isn't clickbait - it's addressed the problem in the title, it's given you information as to why it's a relevant thing to read (the "controversy"), and it's not given a false sense of urgency in clicking on the link.

This makes me happy.
 

Shjade

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Feb 2, 2010
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Thunderous Cacophony said:
Question: Is this video clickbait? From the title (and knowledge of the show), one would expect a debate about the good and bad of clickbait. Instead, it was a defense of various people on the website who use sensationalist titles for their stuff, and there was no real debate on whether or not they should be doing so (Both Chris and Kyle were in agreement, which isn't really a debate).
I have to admit, by about the halfway point of the video I was thinking the same thing. I'm still trying to decide whether that was intentional as a joke or just a result of the show's usual one-side-or-the-other structure being sorta shoehorned into the title.
 

Fappy

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Kind of off-topic, but you guys brought up an interesting point in this episode. Jim, Yahtzee and Bob are internet personalities. I think it's safe to say that the majority of their income is tied to views, advertisers, etc. For you guys it's kind of different (I think). As far as I understand Chris works for Nintendo while Kyle and Dan have other jobs as well (can't really remember what they are off the top of my head). That said, do you guys actually rely on the revenue from these videos at all or do you just do it for fun? Kind of personal I suppose, so if I don't get an answer I understand :p
 

Firefilm

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Shjade said:
Thunderous Cacophony said:
Question: Is this video clickbait? From the title (and knowledge of the show), one would expect a debate about the good and bad of clickbait. Instead, it was a defense of various people on the website who use sensationalist titles for their stuff, and there was no real debate on whether or not they should be doing so (Both Chris and Kyle were in agreement, which isn't really a debate).
I have to admit, by about the halfway point of the video I was thinking the same thing. I'm still trying to decide whether that was intentional as a joke or just a result of the show's usual one-side-or-the-other structure being sorta shoehorned into the title.
It was more of a discussion on the overuse of the term, what the true definition would be, and if click bait can be good. Yes, the title was as close to the content as we could get in the space we had.

The original title, which was vetoed, was penisboobmoneysjw show!
 

Triaed

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Thunderous Cacophony said:
Question: Is this video clickbait? From the title (and knowledge of the show), one would expect a debate about the good and bad of clickbait. Instead, it was a defense of various people on the website who use sensationalist titles for their stuff, and there was no real debate on whether or not they should be doing so (Both Chris and Kyle were in agreement, which isn't really a debate).
My question precisely.
The title said the article was about clickbait, they talked about clickbait, but they ended up saying that clickbait is good when it is used for good and it is bad when it is used for bad. No debate. :)
 

Something Amyss

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Dec 3, 2008
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This video is total clickbait.

No, but there's a huge difference between being on topic and misleading people.

If I feel misled, I will think of it as clickbait. But mentioning current thing everyone's talking about?

Fair play. I will click because I'm interested.

You guys should have promised sex tips next week. Or five deadly things that you might have right at your computer desk!
 

Firefilm

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Zachary Amaranth said:
This video is total clickbait.

No, but there's a huge difference between being on topic and misleading people.

If I feel misled, I will think of it as clickbait. But mentioning current thing everyone's talking about?

Fair play. I will click because I'm interested.

You guys should have promised sex tips next week. Or five deadly things that you might have right at your computer desk!
We would have promised that, but then one of those five deadly things scared us from sitting at our desk any more!
 

Chris Pranger

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Fappy said:
Kind of off-topic, but you guys brought up an interesting point in this episode. Jim, Yahtzee and Bob are internet personalities. I think it's safe to say that the majority of their income is tied to views, advertisers, etc. For you guys it's kind of different (I think). As far as I understand Chris works for Nintendo while Kyle and Dan have other jobs as well (can't really remember what they are off the top of my head). That said, do you guys actually rely on the revenue from these videos at all or do you just do it for fun? Kind of personal I suppose, so if I don't get an answer I understand :p
While we do get some sort of compensation for our videos, it's nothing earth-shattering. And we split it fairly three ways, so ultimately, none of the three of us rely on the money we make here at The Escapist but we do get excited when a paycheck comes in because it means we can buy some new toys, video games, or trips to the buffet.

So to answer that question, we do these for fun, or more specifically, since I live in Washington and Dan and Kyle are in Oregon, we use these as an excuse to get together once every two months. :)
 

Something Amyss

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Dec 3, 2008
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Firefilm said:
We would have promised that, but then one of those five deadly things scared us from sitting at our desk any more!
Well played, sirs. That put a smile on my face.
 

Kuredan

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Dec 4, 2012
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My favourite clickbait comes from the Star Wars Christmas special: Fighting the Frizzies at 11!
 

G00N3R7883

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I think sports journalism is far FAR worse for click bait than anything I've seen on the Escapist or the video games industry in general. You get stuff like "player slams/taunts rival team" which makes you think "wow what could he possibly have said, sounds a bit controversial", then you read the article and the actual quote is a totally reasonable answer like "I think we can win". And don't even get me started on the football (soccer for my American friends) transfer window.
 

masticina

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Jan 19, 2011
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Mmm Escapist isn't to bad. I mean sure titles at times are a bit sensationalist but that kinda is media these days. Yes the world changed maybe the past posting anything was enough but right now good content and making it look good matters. So I am not against that. The content tends to follow the title.

True Clickbait that would be those darn websites that have all those top 10 lists. And have supposed stories about pictures of actresses etc. That stuff is just crap.

And one get used to it that headlines lie. And yes some television networks love to use them, again content driven to the ADHD generation.
 

PDugna

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The best way I find to cover something very relevant but to avoid clickbait is to name your show one title and go off a weekly or monthly date to it. Like how Co-optional podcast does it, they count each one in order but each one can have very different themes or subjects. That should be how shows avoid clickbait.

If your show/writing is good it will speak for itself and grow a fan following.