Twitter held so much promise for the world.  The character limit should have resulted in tight, clear prose to make a point in the allotted 140-characters.  Instead, we get multi-tweet novels full of spite, rancor, and anger.  That seems to be working so well for Twitter’s goals that they’ve doubled the character limit.  Ugh.

Headlines held so much promise for the world.  Hey reader! Here’s a quick synopsis of what’s below … r u interested?  Instead, we get brash click bait attention grabbers that typically have little to do with or even contradict the content below.  That seems to be working so well for corporate media that the Google “trends” tool is now used to score headlines before publication.  Argh.

So how to restore the value of brevity to our communications world?

  1. Outlaw headlines.  Reinstate the “lead” as the accurate and summary intro to an article.
  2. Require readers who want to share the article to prove they read the article.  Facebook and Reddit can do the engineering.
  3. Readers can be rewarded with gamified points.  Reputations can be built on solid recommendations.

Let’s give it a try.