Earlier today I shared a link on ParisLime (my Tumblr link/misc blog) of David Pogue's review of the new BlackBerry Storm. I shared it mainly because his title was brilliant: "BlackBerry Storm Downgraded to a Depression." But now I see the title has been changed to the infinitely lamer "No Keyboard? And You Call This a BlackBerry?"
Hard to know exactly why the change, but I'd be willing to bet it was one of three things: 1) The New York Times didn't like Pogue's snarky title 2) NYT didn't think the title was clear enough or 3) NYT didn't like "Depression" in the title given the rough economic times. No matter what it was, how lame is that?
Titles are important. In the age of endless online news, they pull a reader in. While the new title is clearer I suppose, it's boring. It sounds like a tagline for the Storm's new advertising campaign.
This switcheroo today also got me thinking about another mainstream media journalist, Dan Lyons (the artist formerly known as Fake Steve Jobs). Lyons had some hilarious titles/posts ripping on Yahoo (and AllThingsD's Kara Swisher) on his blog, but was forced to take them down by his employer, Newsweek.
The incident apparently has even made Lyons reconsider blogging entirely.
I say again, how lame. The mainstream media still doesn't seem to get how the game is being played nowadays. If Lyons felt that Yahoo lied to him about something (in this case, CEO Jerry Yang stepping down), he should be able to express that. Yahoo, in turn, should be able to respond publicly to that charge and let the reader's decide.
That's much better than all this behind-the-scenes political bullshit that goes on. Many of you out there is readership land may not realize it, but it goes on -- a lot.
Update: Pogue has left a comment clarifying the change. Looks to be a case of a final draft joke change derailing the headline (so basically #2), but I would have kept the title intact, it works by itself as a compelling title joke.