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.