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Topic: Clickbait articles

Posts 41 to 60 of 73

Malanta7

@Damo

If you genuinely believe that then I have no idea what else to say

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Damo

@Malanta7 I do genuinely believe that, cos I added that bit to the headline

Editorial Director
Nintendo Life | Push Square | KINECTaku

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subpopz

@Damo We've also known Nintendo wants to get more mobile games out there. That's how we know it's a controversial subject. Strangely, even though we knew that and it was old news, it was the sub title, but other known information was disregarded and unimportant? This is the problem, it selectively picks out the most reactionary and makes it headline.

I believe you knew people would make that assumption in that Gold Coins "guide" and click on it based on that wording. Which is the point of this thread. It was a "stylistic choice to make the title more interesting". Purposeful clickbait wording. The "stylistic choice" of wording implies one thing to get people to click on it. Do you honestly not see how the wording is implying something unrelated that people would be interested in clicking on?
Other sites do the clickbait thing too. That's hardly news nor a position. NL used to stand apart from that and it's not limited to this thread as it comes up in comment sections (and Twitter) with more frequency now.

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dew12333

I have to agree that Nl has followed the internet in general with the way it reports some of the news stories and definitely in the case of some of the article / guide pieces which are plainly click bait. In this case it seems the story was sensationalised in a way to draw readers, ie. click bait, or to some degree 'fake news'. In my opinion this is disappointing direction for the site and I hope it doesn't take over and destroy what I enjoy.

@Damo I am shocked that you list such shameless websites as benchmarks that you doing something right.,those site are run based on click baiting / fake news reports and your using them as a benchmark, I hold NL in a much higher regard than that.

dew12333

Damo

@subpopz Believe it or not, when I hear "Gold Coins" the first thing that enters my head is Super Mario Bros (34 years old) and not My Nintendo (2 years old)

Editorial Director
Nintendo Life | Push Square | KINECTaku

Nintendo Network ID: damienmcferran | Twitter:

NEStalgia

For some reason every time I post this I get a "you've been blocked" error. Freudian slip of the server perhaps.... Yet I'm posting in other threads fine. We'll see if it goes through this time.

Argh, I keep trying to post this, and it keeps ending up giving me the error. Then it somehow posted it in the Switch thread.....I kept editing and adding to it, and then realized it was the wrong thread. Not sure what's going on with posting. Apologies if you got tagged multiple times on this, I'll keep trying to post in pieces.

@Damo In this case, the subheading, which is meant to provide context to the headline, is what explicitly creates a false headline (along with a serious problem in the article content which informed the subheading.) Like the few more reliable sites of the ones you listed, the initial headline was leading but technically fine. It included "future", "could see", and "home console" (specifically.) With just that, you were fine on the headline.

The subtitle causes the damage. If you wrote the subtitle, you're partly a cause for it, however, I do not know if you used your own research on the topic to create that subtitle, or if you let Liam's story text guide you. If the latter, his text mislead and misinformed you into creating a misleading subtitle. In either case, I don't think it's fair to point fingers of blame here, as this sort of thing has become an organizational issue, whether it's you or Dom in the Editor's chair, and across various writers, it's clear that it's a tone approved or recommended by Ant and that the whole staff is participating, not any individual. That's why people were trying to communicate with him on this in this thread. I've never got the feeling in my few conversations with him that he's ruthless in this space, and I do believe he does want the site to be quality as well as profitable, so this feedback truly is important, no matter what the page view numbers show. Reputations are easy to destroy, but quite difficult to build. Pageviews fluctuate with the winds, but the reputation of the site is more likely to draw long term repeat visits over the long haul.

In this case, the subtitle directly connects the potential future without consoles to the growth in smartphone apps, presenting Nintendo's suggested future direction as a shift from one to the other. Yet no part of the interview actually suggests this, and the two topics were addressed as replies to separate unrelated questions, where the possibility of no consoles was a response to Nintendo's long term flexibility with the future changes in technology, while the smartphone apps were a response to a question regarding current and near-future strategies for dealing with the inherent instabilities of the entertainment market, and using more smartphone content to generate additional revenues to stabilize overall cashflow, in addition to themeparks and merchandising contributing to the same. I.E. the shift to consoles was regarding long term future of the console space in general, while smartphone apps was regarding the present means of managing the numbers with the natural volatility of console game release cycles. The subtitle attempts to connect to unrelated matters to form a suggested future that Furukawa did not suggest, but is known to be a hot button among internet gamers.

The blame falls not only on the subtitle, but that the subtitle accurately sets up the content of the article. The real problem then is the article, which through selective quoting of another source's coverage of the interview, actually manages to connect those passages to create a relationship between those topics in Furukawa's own words, where he did not actually do so.

That begins to move from mere tabloidization of NL, which is a fate worth avoiding on its own, into what the US calls "yellow journalism." And citing other organizations doing the same does not affect it. There have been multiple cases where major news outlets (NBC, CBS) in the US in recent years have been caught with editors selectively taking snippets of interviews, video footage, etc to build the message they want to send, politically or socially, rather than the context of the actual interviews. It happens at other outlets. And it's wrong at other outlets. And when caught, it's a scandal at other outlets. NL may not be covering politics, but in this case, NL is covering international business, and the same standards that apply, or should, when given the light of day, at BBC, Wall St. Journal, or the like should apply, not the standards that apply to Variety and The Telegraph. In the gaming space, NL has a position to be a leader in content, rather than a tabloid. I understand the business angle. Tabloids sell and newspapers go bankrupt before getting bought out by billionaires as propaganda outlets. But not a lot of people are actually looking for a gaming tabloid to frequent. The unfortunate irony is what the article text communicated most clearly is that NintendoEverything is an excellent news source for Nintendo fans.

I've said before, NL needs to decide what it wants to be. It has been all over the place over the years. Is it a reliable eZine that fills the shoes of what Nintendo Power, ONM, and other print magazines used to be? That seems to be it's ideal format, and it has a unique ability to cover such things. That is what it built its reputation on. Is it a tabloid rag built on quick click headlines to draw eyeballs and pageviews into the ad mill based on sensational coverage, Kotaku style? Is it a real time informational site like....NintendoEverything? As a daily visitor I feel like it keeps oscillating between these things and has lost a sense of identity in the process. Many days it's a lowly tabloid, but some days it has great eZine style articles, most written by yourself, that remind me of what used to be great about it on a more consistent basis. I'm a regular in the comments and forums, but if I'm honest, were it not for the community of people here, I would have probably stopped visiting long ago based on the actual front page content, and visited only by links from other sites when those great articles do arrive and are listed elsewhere.

For context, I came here, as a non-posting lurker/reader in the 3DS and pre-WiiU era after following some other sites. The content on NL was leagues ahead of what was elsewhere. It wasn't real-time, but it was consistently interesting content when content did arrive. The content brought me here from there, and I stopped visiting those other sites entirely, no contest. The community keeps me here. But the content that brought me here is now less frequent, the filler is lower grade, and were it not for the community, there would be no reason to make this a daily destination. Defending that slide doesn't help correct it. And it's not a direct criticism against you, as you were writing some of that quality content then, and you still are now. This slide happened before your turn, it was during Dom's turn, and even at the end of Tom's turn it had started. It clear it comes from the top, and I'm sure Ant is conflicted between his knowledge of "new media" management versus what he wants the site to be, I don't fault his choices based on his position, explicitly, but it's getting to the point of an impasse where if he doesn't choose NL's direction, the internet will choose it for him....much like the internet chose the fate of the direction-impaired WiiU.

With a declining reputation comes a shift of the commentariat to new venues, MySpace style, and the transfer happens fast. Once the community hollows out, it becomes increasingly harder to draw audience or content based on sensationalism alone.

Edited on by NEStalgia

NEStalgia

NEStalgia

Attempt to post second portion - somehow it's triggering the error in these paragraphs:

We're not calling out these transgressions because we just want to complain to NL about NL, but because these are both serious incidents (selectively quoting the CEO of the most profitable company in the world's 3rd largest economy is very serious), and a part of a larger trend of minor and major incidents, while we're watching a publication we care about as committed readers appear to be going through a long, painful decline in standards, while knowing it can be fixed, if fixed in time. If that decline is part of an intended new direction, then it is what it is, and that direction deserves to be made known. If it's incidental failings resulting from mistakes being made in policy that conflict with the intended direction, that certainly needs to be known within the staff.

In either case "Aha! See, we're not really doing it wrong, because, look, The Telegraph did it nearly as wrong!" doesn't help the problem, unless the "problem" is in fact the target destination.

Edit: Finally got it all to post! That was weird. it wouldn't let me past the last two paragraphs at once, but if I updated and added it a few times it worked. Apologies again for the multiple tags and the lengthy post, but ultimately we're here because we do care about NL and it's existence and it's quality. We make it a part of our daily lives. It's important that you understand why we do, and what works for and against that kind of loyalty.

Edited on by NEStalgia

NEStalgia

Quarth

@Damo "Again, what was misleading about the headline in this case? Given that you feel so strongly about it, I'd assume you can tell me?"

Read my response to Ant, post #12, to see what I think is misleading about the headline: it's the headline and the subheading COMBINED that is the problem.

Have you read the comments to the article, with so many people flipping out over it? One guy even claimed to have mailed Nintendo an angry mail. You could have avoided much of this confusion with a clearer story and headline. The article missed the whole part about synergy.

Edited on by Quarth

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ReaderRagfihs

I still don't think this site is too clickbaity. I relooked at all the article titles on the front page right now, and there are none that made me say "This headline has nothing to do with the content of the article" or "This article title was clearly spruced up to make it seem more interesting".

If you want a good example of real clickbait, check out this
Untitled

There's nothing on Nintendo Life even remotely as bad as this.

Still waiting for Atlus to make Snowboard Kids 3

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subpopz

@NEStalgia Wow, that was a fantastic and well written post.

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Malanta7

@Damo

The problem is, that it says to spend YOUR gold coinage on - gold coins might go back 30 years but nowadays they actually mean something tangible that you can spend your money on, they are something that, while not "physically" owned, are something that you get from buying games to then spend on more games - gold coins mean to people exactly what they are and if you cannot see that and are blaming us for reading it in that manner and calling it on click bait then you really need to think about things before you write them.

Your issue is that you seem to think the best form of defensive is just to go on the offensive and to blame everyone else - it doesn't matter what people say to you on here because at the end of the day they are the joe public and you are meant to be a professional, I am sure we can all remember times when you have gone on personal attacks against people because they have criticisms, I thought you would have learnt from those past mistakes but it seems you haven't and it makes me question if you are actually fit for role, or at the very least in dealing with your public. I know you will see this as a personal attack and no doubt be stewing and want to type some sort of attack back but you really need to think about it - it wouldn't have been difficult to have just held your hands up and say sorry I can see how it seems like that but i genuinely meant it this way...but the fact is you didn't, you felt the need to blame everyone else for misreading it. I personally think the reason for this is because you actually knew what you was doing with the title/subtitle/whatever but don't want to admit it. It is a shame because I have been coming here for many years and quite frankly the amount of click bait and so called "guides of where to get cheap games" (all of which point solely to amazon even if they are double the price) prove that this website is actually becoming out of touch with what made it great to start with and is instead not becoming the Nintendo haven that everyone loved but just the same old regular site out that no longer has any form of integrity and is swapping quality with pointless click bait articles and guides to stuff that is incredibly expensive. Trying to dance around facts and not showing people things for how they really are is going to do more harm than good in the long term - frankly I personally would be more likely to click on links and go through to amazon from your links so you get some small percentage of the sale if it wasn't just constantly shoved in my face and made out like you are doing me a favour and finding me stuff as if I can't just type mario into amazon search anyway, because at the end of the day it makes no difference to me if I shop there anyway if you get a percentage or not.

The way you go about it is so incredibly shady, regardless of if you tell people they are affiliate links or not and so back handed.

The way I used to see this site was of the EA of old where you used to think they cared about games and doing good quality content, however like EA you seem to have lost your way and now just seem to care about money and click bait and you seem to have turned into EA of new.

I really don't need a reply to this and I don't need you to get in a huff and feel like you need to defend yourself, because at the end of the day it is my opinion and nothing you can say with change it...much like when one of your reviewers does a score on a game that I don't agree with...its his opinion.

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antdickens

@NEStalgia thanks for taking the time, I'm not sure what was blocking you from posting - I'd be interested in knowing though, so if you have any screenshots that would have been useful! I'm curious as to whether it was a block by CloudFlare or by our server.

Anyway, I think I now understand where you (and some others) are coming from on this specific matter. And I can assure you it was an innocent act and not intended to cause any kind of "panic" with readers. It certainly isn't part of any change of policy either.

Our policies on content haven't really changed at all since the site was started and whilst we're not trying to do hard hitting journalism on a daily basis but naturally there are times when that is called for. We always want to provide fun, entertaining, engaging but accurate Nintendo-themed content across all of life. We're also not trying to be a real time link farm, we try to add some flavour to everything we post and whilst timeliness is important, it's not our number one priory.

Therefore I think we're pretty clear as to what we want to be, and that hasn't really changed for me since day one.

Hopefully we can draw a line under this now on the basis that we've listened and understood each other so that we can all move forward

Cheers!

@antdickens
Nintendo Life | Push Square

Switch Friend Code: SW-7806-7257-0597 | My Nintendo: antdickens | Nintendo Network ID: anthonyd | Twitter:

NEStalgia

@antdickens I don't have any screenshots, unfortunately. I do believe it was CloudFlare, though it was a somewhat different screen than I've seen other times when it errors on a post. The error listed that content, words, etc maybe the cause, contact the site admin, etc, etc. But it only affected attempting to post to this thread, and not others, and, obviously, once I broke it down into numerous edits of pasting it piecemeal, it went through, so I'm not quite sure what about the post may have been triggering the block beyond length, or length + certain "trigger" words of some sort.

On content, I've always received a positive vibe about your intent for the site from the few conversations we've had on the matter, though I do also have the sense that you're willing to play close to the edge at times in favor of the business aspects, and to a point I understand that . But if your directional intentions haven't changed, the only thing I can say is that the intended direction may not be the direction things have been going since shortly into the Switch era, many have noticed and been disappointed by that, and if it's not actually the direction you intend, that's probably something you want to keep a closer eye on. The one key thing I said to @Damo (or meant to, the whole copy/paste issue may have cut that line out) is that if the general changes are across the staff and not tied to one particular writer or editor, it implies it's a directional change either actively encouraged by you, or being passively enabled by you. If it's not a change you're actively promoting within the staff, then it may mean there's a need, at least for a time, of a little more hands-on direction to set the trends in tone and make sure the staff (as a whole) isn't trending in directions you don't intend. There's been a decent churn in staff in the Switch era, so if you're not trying to change the nature and tone of the site, it may be simply a matter of an overall staff used to other tones and constructs without a general guidepost for what the tone of NL is supposed to be.

To many (not just the hardcore regulars in this thread, but many driveby sarcastic comments in various articles by less regular visitors), there's the appearance that the site has pivoted toward the sensational, click-baiting, "new media" direction in chase of viewers and revenues. The pivot isn't just an appearance, it's actual. But if it's not an intentional change for revenue reasons, then it's an accidental pivot that over the long haul is damaging.

I know the day-to-day consumes most of your time between here and PS, and taking a more active role in working with Damien on setting a more focused and consistent tone with the staff writers is something that seems like you don't have time for, but I believe the effect of it on improving NL would be very noticeable.

NEStalgia

antdickens

@NEStalgia thanks again for sharing. Like you say, I think there will always be variations over time with different staff and different personalities, but ultimately the main direction hasn't shifted at a management level. We're going through some further staff changes at the moment and therefore will no doubt shift once again. However, rest assured that we'll never condone intentional misleading click-bait that seems to be so prevalent in "new media", but we naturally want to present our content in a way that looks attractive, which it sounds like it would be the cause of the issues you are concerned about.

@antdickens
Nintendo Life | Push Square

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Quarth

@antdickens "Hopefully we can draw a line under this now on the basis that we've listened and understood each other so that we can all move forward"

I'm not sure that we've all understood each other, as I don't think that Damo have listened to our criticism regarding that specific headline + subheading and instead he reacted in a defensive way, when all we (or at least I) want are clearer headlines and articles, and I don't buy his argumentation, it sounds as if he's blaming us. Just because we criticize one thing, doesn't mean we're criticizing everything on here. I know some people are unnecessarily harsh on you, but not all of us. For example, I think my posts in this thread have been fair, even if I got a little bit impatient at first when no one was responding to my longer post in which I argued WHY this headline was clickbaity.

I'm not saying all of your articles are this way, but this one left a bad taste in my mouth. I still think a lot of confusion could've been avoided if the headline and the subheading were worded otherwise and the article was showing the full story. Sure, even with a more accurate headline, some people would still misinterpret the information, but then the fault would be entirely theirs. Now I think both NL's article and the readers jumping to conclusions are to blame

But if you say it was unintentional, then who am I to argue further? I still think that the article in question is misleading and I stand for it, but if you say your intention wasn't to fool anyone into clicking, then I have to trust your word.

This is the last I have to say on this matter, but I will continue to react when I see stuff here that I think are wrong. We must be allowed to criticize. Sure, you sometimes get some unfair criticism, for example regarding your game reviews, but it isn't unfair in this particular case.

Have a nice weekend!

Edited on by Quarth

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Quarth

This I missed:

@PuppyToucher "As for the COD article, it was clearly marked as random and not once did the article say the developer or publisher claimed this portable to be a tribute to the switch, all the article said is a poster on resetera said this and that is true. While some may not think that portable looks like the switch, others do so I don’t see the harm in reporting on it since it is being talked about and this website clearly labeled it as random."

The article isn't wrong in itself, but the headline is, as it is saying "Random: Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 Pays Respects To The Nintendo Switch". So when you read that, you might think "Oh, cool, did Activision actually put a tribute to the Switch in the game? Sounds interesting, let me check it out!", but when you have clicked on the link and read the article, you understand that the article is just based on some forum users posts and that it could be a nod to the Switch, but it might as well be something else. That I call clickbait.

Edited on by Quarth

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BlueOcean

@antdickens If what you say is true then you certainly have been missing much. You are a web developer, perhaps you have been busy with the technical side of things and have been missing the obvious content decline, I don't blame you. I do not know why all the good staff left and why things have changed radically. It could be because of business or personal choices but, whatever the reasons, the results are here for everyone to see.

Allow me to say this, to make things more "attractive" is not what is being done here. Readers are not stupid, now less than ever because they have access to more tools and sources. Readers can see the differences between "attractive" and "sensationalist" or between "stylistic" and "fake". Of course, this aggressive capitalism applied to a news and articles site like Nintendo Life may work in the short term but the price to pay is the good reputation of a good old thing, which is damaged already. Many people just click on the articles because they become indignant when they read the tendentious headlines and they want to voice their opinion. The fact that they are clicking doesn't mean that they are being fooled; on the contrary, it means that they are seeing through as is reflected on the comments.

The feedback on this thread is consistent and constructive. The question is, what is more important, the new cheap and apparently profitable editorial or the website's good reputation? Sadly, seeing the way that feedback is being received, I think it's the former. As we have seen on this thread, there are several ways to answer this very important question but only one answer will be true, the one that is really implemented.

BlueOcean

ReaderRagfihs

I'm honestly gonna have to side with the staff on this one. If you guys genuinely believe that Nintendo Life is frequently guilty of clickbait, then I'd hate to see you react to the rest of the internet.

Nintendo Life article: Turns Out Blue Toad Is In New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe After All

Gamespot article: New Super Mario Bros U. Deluxe Has A Secret Character; Here's How To Unlock Them

Eurogamer article: New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe hides a secret playable character

Digital Trends article: There’s a secret character in ‘New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe’

Still waiting for Atlus to make Snowboard Kids 3

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antdickens

@ReaderRagfihs thanks for the example, whilst I can understand where some people are coming from in this thread I don't believe it's a widespread or systemic issue amongst my staff. It's useful to hear both sides of the story though

@antdickens
Nintendo Life | Push Square

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