Please Click on This Post! (Vagina! Penis!)
In the old days, you simply wrote an article and if it was acceptable, it was published, and then you went on to the next article.
There was no way to measure exactly how popular your stuff was -- except for some vague signs of response -- so as long as you didn't totally disgrace yourself, you were pretty much deemed to have done OK and encouraged to do more.
But nowadays, it's easy to find out exactly how popular your writing is based on how many clicks it got!
While you used to delude yourself that billions savored your every word, you now can get the actual statistics.
And you respond by trying to lure in extra clickers next time.
The result is that journalism has become a frenetic horse race whereby everyone's anxious to get noticed, from making everything super-dirty to begging other sites to link you to practically offering inducements in exchange for one little clickie-poo.
Out of necessity, I've become part of this race, but I've actually come to enjoy it because knowledge equals power, and competition can be stimulating, after all.
And I'm big enough to share exactly what I've learned about the click-baiting process.
I've found that putting "vagina" or "penis" in a headline always helps you get clicks, even if the article has nothing whatsoever to do with genitals.
Those two magic words guarantee interest in the literary public, so I try to use them as often as possible -- and fortunately for me, I already used them for decades, so no extra effort is required.
So thank you for not minding when a piece is called "Mo'Nique's Vagina" and it turns out to be about Dunkin' Donuts' new coolata flavors.
And thanks for clicking!