real or photoshopped

The new online citizens are world savvy. You're not pulling one over their eyes – and they're not afraid to vocalize that either.

The obvious concern here is that the value of visual media such as videography and photography has changed if not diminished.

Recorded or registered reality is no longer that; it's merely recorded. And cut. And spliced. Edited.

What's left, somewhat, is the value of a live feed although Just In Time censorship is changing that too.


The copywriter's version of "Photoshopped!" might well become "linkbait!"

I've caught myself thinking that on various occasions this year.

A story that seemed too good to be true, linked to by someone who knows what they're doing; linkbait!

An opinion stick thrown in the hen house; linkbait!


Is Linkbait "Wrong"?

Those who have been around long enough say that there's nothing new under the sun and that what we call "linkbait" now is the "content is king" from back then; the solid 3000+ words research pieces, the backed by research stats, the indispensible resources.

But that's glossing over all the other things that linkbait can be. The FARK-ing of content, let's say.

The word linkbait has grown to leave an increasingly greasy, cheap aftertaste because we use the term to describe content not of a certain quality but a certain intent, making the content good and yucky at the same time.

Its defining quality is insincerity.

The piece was written to get links; the motive is insincere.

The opinion was forcefully stated to inflame and get angry links: the motive is dirty.

Perhaps – nay, most likely, this is something that currently only or mostly affects those in the SEO, SEM and neighboring marketing industries. We "know" what's going on and see evidence of marketing intent perhaps more often than is warranted.

But as time goes by and the next online generation arrives, "linkbait" will be almost as obvious as old-school in-your-face advertising is now.

This will cast doubt on written content the way doubt now exists regarding video and photos.

To the next generation posts like "100 Web Services To Write Better Copy" might be a clear indication at least 2 or 3 money links are hidden in there. Whether those are "sponsored" links or SEO links won't matter to them.

Linkbait: it's the next blasé.

What do you think?