Pick titles carefully. When you create a new node, choose a short title that describes the item succinctly and elegantly. This makes it easier for others to link to your writeups, and easier for others to find your writeups.

Use Occam's Razor. If a word isn't crucial to the title, omit it. In almost all cases, use the singular form of a noun or noun phrase, and use the unmarked, simplest form of a verb or verb phrase. Try to anticipate what other people would call your subject.

The most useful and informative writeups on E2 tend to have titles of one, two or three words. The silliest getting to know you nodes usually have amazingly long titles. This is not to say that an informative writeup never appears under a long title, or that bullshit never appears under a short title, but it's a general trend and you wouldn't want your serious work to be treated as fluff because of its name.

The word "metanode" is almost always unnecessary. If you see the need for a metanode about a particular subject, use that subject for the title of your writeup. After all, the ideas in a metanode about eponymous laws are not *about* an eponymous laws metanode -- they are about "eponymous laws" themselves. A textbook about psychology would be called Psychology, not Psychology Textbook. The term metanode is completely unnecessary and should be left out.

In other words, choose short titles (and put stuff where it goes! -- dem bones).

Most of Sylvar's writeup is good advice.
BUT:

  1. The title of this node should probably be choose short titles -- you shouldn't capitalise without good cause.
  2. Metanodes should generally include that word in the title. A textbook of psychology would not be called Psychology Textbook, because it is about psychology not textbooks. But an index of psychological literature probably would be called Psychology Index, because it is not about psychology!

But still, when you pick titles carefully, you should choose short titles.

People tend not to choose short titles because they know that the longer a node title is, the more likely it is to get noticed -- in New Writeups, in Cool User Picks, or in the softlinks below another node. Consequently we have nodes like "Don't kill your invisible husband to see what he looks like or you'll sob your heart out. But don't worry about the millions of invisible men coming to attack your village because they won't kill you if you don't know how to fight them." which are visited and voted up highly out of proportion to their actual content.

And yet...

...After I had been on E2 for several months, I realized that I'd already visited and voted on all the funny and extremely-long node titles that existed. It's like the feeling that you've seen every videotape in your movie collection ten times, and you have nothing interesting to watch this weekend without leaving the house.

So I went looking for some new nodes, and over time I discovered some of "the sleeper hits." Templeton's writeup under air conditioning. Rancid_Pickle's contribution to incorrigible. Pseudo_Intellectual's anecdote under sea otter. NightShadow's extraordinary experiences with Halcion. These highly experienced noders knew what so few others seem to know: that if you add an intriguing writeup to a common word or phrase, you are truly noding for the ages. Those writeups are located in places where they're likely to be stumbled upon, providing a fresh and interesting surprise to someone who just expected a few sentences of boring and commonly-known facts.

Time and again I see dramatic poetry or personal dramas noded under lengthy and attention-getting titles; I visit them, vote on them, perhaps add a softlink or two, and then forget about them. Eventually someone gives it a C! for an extra ten XP and a little extra attention from the voting public. I imagine that in later months, other noders will spot that node title as a softlink somewhere and visit it, but no one will ever actually Search for it. It's hard to create a truly eye-catching softlink any longer. But it's the one- and two-word nodes, the pleasant surprises, that people stumble onto and vote up again and again.

If you must node for XP, remember that long and interesting titles are usually just get-rich-quick schemes, while the short and simple ones are true long-term investments.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.