No, I’m Not Changing the Title of This Blog


As my friends can probably tell from my desperate pleas to read new posts every other Monday on Facebook, this blog does not get a lot of readers. I concede that the daily readership averages below one, and recently, the hits often don’t reach double digits even on the Mondays that I put up a new post and the days immediately thereafter.

Apparently, in this age of instant gratification and Twitter, my 800 or so word pontification on anything from coins to taxis in Japan are too long. The purportedly excessive length of the posts have been a complaint by many, but recently, a friend took this a step further and griped that the length of the title of this blog, at a mere five words, is too long.  He then added that the two tag lines, one of which is in Latin, were his case in point.

This post is in response to his suggestion that I should change the title (and the tagline(s)) if I want more readers.

Here’s my non-lengthy reply:  No.

The title of this blog has a deep and rich history that dates back to days well before the blog itself (which, by the way, is closing in on a five year anniversary). In high school, I wrote a column for the school paper whose range of topics was even more random than this blog.  If I recall, I was called to the job because the editor needed a columnist and I agreed to do the job so long as I could choose the title of the column.  Since I was going to write about “my me my, what I think, what I like, what I know, what I want, what I see,” as Tobey Keith so rythematically put it in his catchy “I Wanna Talk About Me,” the phrase “The World According to Joe” seemed like the perfect fit.  The editor didn’t disagree, and he added more color to the column by adding a logo of a man standing on top of the world.

I actually tried the short title experiment in college and it was a rather resounding dud.  I wrote a column for a section of the paper called “Marketplace,” which was like being an orphan child in a family with an overachiever (the main editorials) and the popular (the sports) as older siblings.  No one at the paper cared to fight me for the column, so I had the distinction of being a college newspaper columnist for four years.  

If not too many people wanted my job, even fewer people cared to read my pieces.  People complained that the subject matter I covered were uninteresting or my thoughts and musings were too unsophisticated, or sometimes both, but I’d always suspected the title “Strictly Business” shared a lot of the blame.  The bland title actually summarized the column rather well, but I’d rather trick the people into reading my writing with a catchy title  than turn people away with a boring one.  Otherwise, what’s the point of being published?

Just because I refuse to listen to one friend doesn’t mean I ignore all friends.  I simply accept good suggestions.  A year or so after I started this blog, a friend sent a link to one of those discouraging quotes, which he undoubtedly thought of after reading a couple of my posts.  Having seen where he was coming from, I adopted the phrase as the new tagline.  The friend who complained about the length of the five word title called the fourteen word tagline as “verbose,” but I find the English tag line as a witty description of the past, current and perpetual state of the World According to Joe: so much to say on so little substance, and so few to listen.

A year or so ago, I added the Latin tagline “Si Tacuisses, Philosophus Mansisses.”  I felt the need to add a certain level of intellectual credence to the blog even though it has none.  Latin has an academic feel, even if I cannot read my Boston College diploma that is written in Latin. The new, Latin tagline is literally translated as “If you had been silent, you would have remained a philosopher,” or more humorously, “If you had kept your mouth shut, people would have thought you were clever.”  It certainly seemed like a witty, and non-verbose, translation of the English tagline that was worth adding to the  header of the blog.

And so, for that one person who cannot get past the length of the title of my blog, my message is to get over it, or at least be productive and propose an alternative.  I’m all open to suggestions, so long as it highlights what this blog is all about: me, myself and my ego.  

But whatever you do, please, please, please don’t let the lengthy title of the blog deter you from reading my blog.

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