You’ve Got To Have That Hook (Don’t You?)


The best songs have hooks that snag and hold the listener: a riff, sometimes found in the chorus, that is compelling.

The best websites seem to have hooks related to their name and url: Twitter is instantly identifiable. HuffPost is too. A word, or phrase that grabs the user, pulls her in. Connotes in a word the website’s world.

Hooks can also be part of design on a website — for instance the block-y groups of opinions and news items consistently laid out so that the user knows: This is where I go to check out what’s happening in Hollywood, or Egypt, or with Obama.

Watch Those Metaphors!

I am a songwriter when I’m not working as a reporter. If I can bring my love of music to bear on this topic of usability, I just might. But should I?

Writing this post has just made me aware that I probably should, in fact, use the language that usability analysts use as I explore this topic. After all, every subject has its own lingo.

That might mean more jargon than any self-respecting blogger should use, and that worries me.

So I will try and walk this tightrope stretched between conversational and authoritative language. I am not an authority, but if I’d like to be one someday, it behooves me to write right. Right?

3 thoughts on “You’ve Got To Have That Hook (Don’t You?)

  1. rdkalm

    Jargon is an attitude. It’s being exclusive or inclusive. Do you want to show off how much smarter you are and drive people away or do you want to share your knowledge and bring people in.

  2. You are so right: I do want to be identified with the culture I choose to immerse myself in. Still, I think it’s a tightrope to walk: too much jargon and you lose people, too little and they don’t consider you authoritative. Thanks for the devil’s advocate perspective!;-)

  3. Don’t be afraid of jargon. That’s what separates blogging from reporting. If you don’t define your blog as a news blog, the reader will come to your site looking for your opinion, or your personality. Jargon brings that personality out.

    It shows your reader that you are actually a part of the culture. That will speak to your authority on the subject. Just don’t forget to offer small explanations for us people one the outside.

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