At Simple-Talk, we specialize in practical, down-to-earth technical articles, and usually choose our titles to match. There’s no mistaking what “Comparing Networking options in Azure“ might be about, for example. Nor is there much room to doubt what’s in store in “Debugging data flow in SQL Server Integration Services“. Are we wrong to be so prosaic?
Our titles describe precisely what the article is about because we hate the idea of people accessing one of our articles by mistake. It is all about the reputation of the site as a whole. However, this sort of fastidiousness is exasperating to the many people in marketing within the IT industry who think that the only way of judging the worth of an article is by the number of page-reads it gets.
Some of our best articles have been less frequently read purely because the topic represents one of those corners of SQL Server that everyone ought to know, but very few people actually want to know (like, say, security).
Occasionally, we’ve experimented with slightly ‘click-bait-y’ titles such as “<X> Questions about <Y> you were too shy to ask” or “The Winter of our Missing Disc Content“ and “Lipoaspiration in your SQL Server database“. Occasionally, we’ve fished for clicks by mistake. Once, we had an author who did great things for our overall page-view count with his articles. It was only when we were puzzling over the short amount of time that visitors read the article that we realized that he had the same name as the hero of a popular ‘soap’ on the radio. Fortunately they killed him off (the fictional character, not our author).
Overall, though, maybe we just haven’t been bold enough? Maybe those impatient marketing people were right that we have a lesson or two to learn from social media on the art of audience engagement. So here are our fumbling attempts at some alternative Simple-Talk article titles that might compel you to click, even if it is against your instincts and better judgement:
- 80% of readers don’t understand schema-based security – share if you do! (www.simple-talk.com/sql/sql-training/schema-based-access-control-for-sql-server-databases/)
- What’s in the transaction log? The answer will amaze you (www.simple-talk.com/sql/database-administration/managing-the-sql-server-transaction-log-dealing-with-explosive-log-growth/)
- Here’s what I learned documenting SQL Server for the first time using PowerShell (www.simple-talk.com/sql/database-administration/documenting-sql-server-with-powershell/)
- Brazilian DBA reveals 13 secrets of the query optimizer (www.simple-talk.com/sql/t-sql-programming/13-things-you-should-know-about-statistics-and-the-query-optimizer/)
- PROOF that SSIS has the best tools for debugging your data flow (www.simple-talk.com/sql/ssis/debugging-data-flow-in-sql-server-integration-services/)
- 3 networking options in Azure you have to try this summer (www.simple-talk.com/cloud/platform-as-a-service/comparing-networking-options-in-azure/)
- We admit that none of us know what we’re doing (www.simple-talk.com/opinion/opinion-pieces/software-engineering-just-how-immature-is-it/)
- This Finnish developer implemented Minesweeper in SQL and the internet is freaking out (www.simple-talk.com/sql/t-sql-programming/minesweeper-in-t-sql/)
- Miracle cure for an overweight database (www.simple-talk.com/sql/performance/lipoaspiration-in-your-sql-server-database/)
Can you do better? Let’s hear from you! Best suggestion for an alternative title for an existing Simple-Talk article will win the usual prize.