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The Media

Taylor Momsen Did Not Write This Slashdot Headline 192

Hugh Pickens writes "David Carr writes that headlines in newspapers and magazines were once written with readers in mind, to be clever or catchy or evocative, but now headlines are just there to get the search engines to notice. Hence the headline for this story that includes a prized key word for one of the 'Gossip Girls' — just the thing to push this Slashdot summary to the top of Google rankings. 'All of the things that make headlines meaningful in print — photographs, placement, and context — are nowhere in sight on the Web,' writes Carr. Headlines have become, as Gabriel Snyder, the recently appointed executive editor of Newsweek.com, says, 'naked little creatures that have to go out into the world to stand and fight on their own.' In this context, 'Jon Stewart Slams Glenn Beck' is the ideal headline, guaranteed to pull in thousands of pageviews. And while nobody is suggesting that the Web should somehow accommodate the glories of The New York Post's headlines in that paper's prime, some of its classics would still work. 'Remember "Headless Body in Topless Bar," perhaps the most memorable New York Post headline ever? It's direct, it's descriptive, and it's oh-so-search-engine-friendly. And not a Taylor Momsen in sight.'"

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In any formula, constants (especially those obtained from handbooks) are to be treated as variables.