Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
November 30, 201011:53 PM

The Secret To Getting Attention

Brands and individuals spend their time trying to figure out ways to get attention. To get people to care about their message. It has not become easier to do so. In fact, it's much harder.

The reason getting attention is that much harder is because there are so many published outlets and so many places to get information (about anything). Forget about the thousands of magazine titles and television shows. Forget about the specialty channels and forget about the many local newspapers that are all hunting for something new to say. In the online world everyone and anyone is a publisher of content as well. from Facebook status updates and 140 character tweets on Twitter to Blogs and posting videos on YouTube, the landscape is far, wide and deep. This fragmentation has led to a fairly fragmented and niche audience for all publishers of content.

With all of that comes the need (more than ever) to be able to capture your public's attention.

PostRank is one of many online analytics tools that attempts to rate and score social statistics from reader's online to help people determine what is worthy of reading. It applies a PostRank score of 1-10 (1 being of little interest to 10 being of significant interest). It looks at everything from who is reading, sharing and commenting and beyond. While I am sure that there are many who might question the methodology of PostRank's algorithm, it often highlights something we should all acknowledge and accept that much more often...

The provocative stuff is the stuff that gets the most attention.

PostRank has an add-in application for your web browser that allows you to see an individual Blog post's PostRank number directly in your Google Reader page (you can grab it here: PostRank + Google Reader). It adds a whole new way of looking at your content to see which Blog posts are getting some semblance of heat. One trick is to subscribe to your own Blog, view it "list" mode and see how your individual Blog posts stack up against one another.

"If it bleeds, it leads."

It's a classic line from the newsrooms of the oldest newspapers. With all of this progression in media and publishing, not much has changed. It's interesting to know that the more salacious I am, the more intrigued you are. I'll chalk that up to the human condition, but we tend to not look much beyond the headline.

For the month of November, here are the headlines/Blog posts you liked the most:

With a score of 7.5 or higher:

What do we learn?

We know that the content has to stand-up regardless. You can linkbait all you want with a catchy headline, but if the content does not deliver, all is lost. We also learn that people love a combination of drama and mystery. The title has to draw them in, but, here's the truth: I don't think that those posts were my best ones of the month. I do think that they were the ones with the most provocative or enticing titles. It turns out that the old tricks are still the new tricks - no matter how often we shout that New Media is so different.

We would like to think that we have evolved... but maybe we haven't. Do I really have to grab your attention to get your attention? What's your take?

By Mitch Joel