The clickbait challenge

A funny call on Twitter from a while back:

 Write your dissertation title as clickbait.

Clickbait has a dubious name, and rightly so. Overpromise, underdeliver – that’s clickbait.

But this call made me curious.

Because formulating your research (or policy, or product) as clickbait, forces you to zoom out. To think about the core of your work, and what might be fascinating about it for your audience.

If you have that in focus, you have a good basis for your communication.

In fact, writing clickbait is not as easy as it may seem. ‘Click here and it will blow your mind’ – that won´t do the trick.

Essential in clickbait is the ‘curiosity gap’.

You need to provide enough specific information to trigger your audience’s curiosity, preferably information about something that interests them. But not enough to satisfy that curiosity.

A few thesis titles as clickbait, for inspiration:

New spines *LITERALLY* grown from trees. Big-Biotech’s best kept secret revealed.

Ten incredibly easy things your kids’ school textbooks have got totally wrong!

Pregnant deer do this ONE WEIRD TRICK to stay alive in the winter… and it makes the whole forest go BONSAI!

Are you ready for the clickbait challenge about your work?