I saw an interview of Namrata Shrestha published in an online magazine Ujyalo Online. The title looked interesting but, I later realized that it was totally deceiving. After reading the whole interview, I felt I was cheated by the website.
Do deceiving titles work in online media?
The title, when translated, reads "My character represents the current generation – Namrata Shrestha"
The actress Namrata Shrestha is known for being a talented actress and she gained a lot of popularity due to a video scandal of 2008. But, in none of the interviews that were published after the incident, mention about the scandal. I can understand, she might want to forget about it. But, the title of this article seem so crafted that it seem to mean that Namrata was talking about the scandal and her personal character.
But, like other interviewers, Surya Kumar Chhetri also didn’t talk about the incident. But, he tried to act smart by manipulating the title to hide what he couldn’t gather his courage to ask. Namrata did tell the statement in interview, but it was in different context.
The interview is an "advertisement" type interview (without any disclosure, of course). Such types of interviews are offered by actors before the release of their movies. Namrata’s "Miss U" is going to be released around Valentine and it is the right time Namrata to be liberal in giving interviews.
Coming back to the original question: Do such titles work in online media? :
We had seen that such misleading titles have been a good selling point for newspapers, radio and TV. But, I think, online media is a totally different creature because:
- People didn’t have much options in traditional media. Online media have innumerous amount of options. For example, there are only a few newspaper one can buy or only a few Radio, TV stations one can listen to, or watch.
- Switching between the traditional media is difficult. But, switching an online media is only a click away. Switching between traditional media involves elaborate bodily movement (e.g. reaching for remote to change the channel) or monetary cost (e.g. buying another newspaper). Switching in online media is a click away as the mouse is usually in the users hand, the whole time.
- Nobody likes being cheated.
- Nobody likes being made a fool of.
- Users of online media have less time and are usually in a hurry to finish one thing and start another.
I agree, catchy heading is a must. But, deceiving headings do more harm than benefit.