Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Misleading Headlines Sink Reviews

OK - it may be early in the morning and maybe I'm just peeved but I'm getting tired of poor headlines. Maybe it's because you see headlines more now than ever, thanks to RSS feeds - or maybe it's Gmail's use of putting "web clips" on the top of the Inbox but I think anyone who makes a post owes it to their readers to make the headline reflect the story. Take, for example, the latest Wired News story:
Software Sinks Sansa

Then read the review. "And while my initial impression of SanDisk's Sansa e280 was cheap and nasty, it's grown on me, "

"SanDisk is the only company to present Apple with any real competition."

"But Rhapsody's interface is clean and well laid out."

"then it got ugly" - really?

The complaint? The player wouldn't play Unbox videos or anything with DRM. Hello? Most people who have tried Amazon unBox have already said "Stay away". And DRM? Well, that's not Sansa's fault - that's not even software, persay.

The final statement "I like the e280 a lot, but it's the software it connects to that lets it down."

But to read the headline, you would think that the Sansa software is what's poor. Instead, it's really the fact that DRM cripples what could be a great player.

Now, I'm all for artistic license and I appreciate the "punny" headline as much as anyone - but ...at least try to make the headline and the story match.

I'm likely being too sensitive on this issue. But it's a symptom that we see everywhere - (and I'm likely guilty of it as well with some of my headlines) - but when it's coming from a major site like Wired, it's enough to say "I just won't bother reading your posts anymore".

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