Posted by: Jim Adcock | June 28, 2011

What’s In A Name?

Continuing my analysis of my recent run of posts on my main blog, Working It Out.

So I was examining some conclusions about the run of posts and the reaction I got to them, and I noticed something interesting, something new.

Here are the titles of the posts in the series:

  • SharePoint Governance – Why?
  • SharePoint Governance – What is it?
  • SharePoint Governance – vs Organizational Culture
  • SharePoint Governance – Your Plan, on a Silver Platter
  • SharePoint Governance – Law & Order

Interestingly, the low performer in my current series is the second post, “What Is It?”.  With the Secrets series, the views dropped off pretty uniformly as the series went on, with the worst drop over the weekend, as one might expect (given that weekends are the lowest performers for me overall).  It is apparent that some people read the initial post or posts and didn’t come back to finish the rest.  Evidently, even I can’t please all the people all of the time.  Who knew?

With this series, there is also some apparent drop off over time.  (It is a bit hard to tell, given that I’m trying to track the posts’ views when their start points are staggered by about a week each, but it looks like the drop-off is much less steep than the Secrets series.)

But that second installment is an anomaly.  What happened there?  I believe it was the title.  Nothing there to grab the reader.  Ho hum, I’ve read that before. 

I haven’t seen anyone ask “Why governance?” before so it has some uniqueness.  “SharePoint Governance vs Organizational Culture” sounds like a cage match (mostly because it is) and everyone loves to see spilt blood (even if only metaphorically).  “Your Plan on a Silver Platter” sure sounds enticing (though I made sure to say “not really” in the promotion – I want to be provocative, not misleading).  “Law & Order” has that blood lust thing again – someone is going to get shot or put in jail.

All of these do a pretty good job of hooking the reader even before they read the post.  But that “What is it?” title has none of that provocative draw.

And apparently it made a difference.

So what’s in a name?  Apparently a lot of page views.  The same blog post by any other name will not get the same results. 

Choose your titles wisely!

Jim Adcock is a SharePoint Administrator, and blogs about SharePoint at his main blog, Working It Out. He is also Vice President of Launch Pad Job Club, an organization in Austin, Texas, whose mission is help people who have lost their jobs to get the skills they need to land their next job, and to help them cope with the interim between jobs. Consequently, Jim also blogs about career management. He also serves as Secretary on the Austin Software Process Improvement Network Board of Directors. He also wants to know why everyone keeps asking him about sleep…



  1. […] is a topic I have visited before, in my own post What’s In A Name.  Brevity is good, breif and pithy or attention-getting is even better.  Of course, you have to […]

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