Sensational and vicious readings have always attracted readers
Newspapers changed the moment that Benjamin Day launched the New York Sun in 1833. It was not so much his paper that changed everything but his way of selling it: on the street, one copy at a time. He hired the unemployed to hawk his papers and immediately solved a major problem that had plagued the party presses: unpaid subscriptions. Day's "cash and carry" method offered no credit. You bought and walked. The Sun, with this simple innovation in distribution, invented the news and the newspaper. A thousand imitators followed.
These papers weren't delivered to your doorstep. They had to be exciting and loud enough to fight for their sales on street corners, in barrooms, and at train stations.* Because of the change in distribution methods and the increased speed of the printing press, newspapers truly became newspapers. Their sole aim was to get new information, get it to print faster, get it more exclusively than their competition. It meant the decline of the editorial. These papers relied on gossip. Papers that resisted failed and went out of business—like abolitionist Horace Greeley's disastrous attempt at a gossip-free cash-and-carry paper shortly before Day's.
In 1835, shortly after Day began, James Gordon Bennett, Sr. launched the New York Herald. Within just a few years the Herald would be the largest circulation daily in the United States, perhaps in the world. It would also be the most sensational and vicious. It was all these things not because of Bennett’s personal beliefs but because of his business beliefs. He knew that the newspaper’s role was “not to instruct but to startle.” His paper was anti-black, anti-immigrant, and anti-subtlety. These causes sold papers—to both people who loved them for it and people who hated them for it. And they bought and they bought.
You're probably wondering when will things change? When will it start to get better? Well I have great news for ...
[About Angela Duckworth - American academic, psychologist - experiment]
Duckworth finds it useful to divide the mechanics of achievement into two separate dimensions: motivation and volition. Each one, she says, is necessary to achieve long-term goals, but neither is sufficient alone. Most of us are familiar with the experience of possessing motivation but lacking volition: You can be extremely motivated to lose weight, for example, but unless you have the volition— the willpower, the self-control— to put down the cherry Danish and pick up the free weights, you’re not going to succeed.
If a child is highly motivated, the self-control techniques and ...
(…) this chain-link of concepts and body parts and sensations creates what scientist Antonio Damasio calls a somatic marker—a kind of bookmark, or shortcut, in our brainssum. Sown by past experiences of reward and punishment, these markers serve to connect an experience or emotion with a specific, required reaction.
By instantaneously helping us narrow down the possibilities available in a situation, they shepherd us toward a decision that we know will yield the best, least painful outcome. Long after we've passed our sixth year, we "know" whether or not it's right to kiss a hostess we barely know good-bye after ...
How does it make people look to talk about a product or idea? Most people would rather look smart than dumb, rich than poor, and cool than geeky. Just like the clothes we wear and the cars we drive, what we talk about influences how others see us. It’s social currency. Knowing about cool things—like a blender that can tear through an iPhone—makes people seem sharp and in the know. So to get people talking we need to craft messages that help them achieve these desired impressions. We need to find our inner remarkability and make people feel like insiders. We need to leverage game mechanics to give people ways to achieve and provide visible symbols of status that they can show to others.