As a linkbait title, you have to admit it’s pretty intriguing.
One of the toughest things for me about writing this site is article titles. I try to make them interesting when the best thing to do is make them effective for search engines, which is a very different thing. The best titles are a combination of the two. Either way though, I generally fail.
I was looking at a so-called idea generator. I plugged in the word swimming as a test and this article title was my favourite result.
Now I only have to find a way to write an article that explains why there is a Global Swimming Crisis that Threatens The World! I am however confident I can do so, though I am as intrigued as you to what the threat could be. Collapse of the global food chain as sheep are grown for optimum lanolin instead of meat? Could Trent Grimsey’s plastic cup cause the North Atlantic drift to shift and freeze Northern Europe solid and affect the Thermohaline Circulation System? Will the hot air from Diana Nyad, Darren Jaundrill, Ripley Davenport and all similar blow-hards cause a sudden spike in global carbon dioxide levels? Will swimmers and triathletes go to war over wetsuits or skin swimming in open water? Will Finis’ rubbish electronics actually be shown to be an elaborate ruse that masks a signal-emitting device that sterilises everyone who doesn’t have chlorine-impregnated skin?
The idea generator’s almost entirely useless list of click-bait type (probably where SwimSwam have been getting their more recent article ideas) includes:
- “19 Rules to Make Swimming Effective, Cool and Viral“. I know I’ve written long lists before, particularly the perennially popular Rules of Swimming Etiquette, a list that is longer than the Ten Commandments (because organised swimming is more important than organised society), but the 19 number really intrigued me. (You can have “Why Swimming Etiquette is More Important Than The Ten Commandments” as my contribution to this list). And it seems the only way to make swimming viral is to lie about what you’ve swum.
- “How I use swimming to make money“. I don’t. Does reviewing two swimming watches and a pair of paddles for free count?
- “How swimming will always be better than the opposite“. What’s the opposite of swimming? Is it walking…or drowning? I’m going with drowning and saying Yes, swimming is better than drowning, because drowning. Another article done.
- “A Guide to the World’s Weirdest Swimming“. Well I can use that old NSFW picture of Channel swimmer Gabor Molnar for that at least. What’s weirder than covering yourself in sheep grease and getting into cold water in the middle of the night, having actually paid someone to do so? That’s normal in our world.
- “Why American swimming is better than Canadian“. Well laudy-dah. Later though the list later suggests “Why Canadian Swimming Is Better Than Australian Swimming”. ]. So the Aussies really are on the bottom.
- “How to Speak Swimming“. I plan to have the staff here at LoneSwimmer Lighthouse record the next visiting swimmer, and transcribe the results, which will be full of gossip and moaning. Otherwise, I suggest copious use of the word togs and you all should know that it’s a swimming hat, and not a swimming cap, as I’ve retrained myself to say cap and swimsuit for my American (and Canadian of course) readers, and lost a little of my Irish spirit in the process. In the meantime though there is the Cynical Devil’s Dictionary of Open Water Swimming Terms. Or just repeat confidently “10 by 200’s free, on the red top with an RI of 5, hypoxic 3,5,7,3 every 4th as b-stroke”.
- “34 Things You Learn About Swimming After An Hour in London“. 34? Really? That’s even more than 19 Rules. I did the maths. I am not American so I will continue to say maths, not math. Do I have to swim for that hour? Have you ever seen Jenny Landreth’s blog about swimming in every pool in London?
- “Is your swimming better than Nicholas Cage’s?” I swear I did not make that or any of these up, but I’m going to hazard a “Yes, my swimming is better than Nicholas Cage’s”. And so is yours! Come on Nic Cage, those crazy eyes of yours won’t matter to me in a 4 metre onshore swim between reefs.
- Then there’s the similar ones of “The Ultimate Cheat Sheet to Hot Swimming“. I may be displaying my age when my first thought was dehydrating while swimming Around Manhattan ’cause I wasn’t used to such warm water, rather than the aforementioned Gabor in his thong. Swimming Cheat Sheet, an Ultimate Reference For Anyone Who Wants To Succeed“, which I think we would all read, then get annoyed at. And which I definitely will not use as an article title. Absolutely not, ever.
- “Old School Swimming vs Modern Swimming” which I would definitely read, and seems like a good idea and so will probably even use, but isn’t funny so I don’t know why it’s on this list.
- Another for the potentials list “What’s your Swimming Personality“. Though I don’t know how to turn “I whinge my way through swims” into a full article, as it’s been sitting in my drafts pile for two years. (It does remind me of an early short LoneSwimmer article here about swimming and introversion).
- The Truth About Swimming. If I had written that article early I’d have had to stop writing any subsequent articles because there would be nothing left. Truth?. It’s Cold, Boring, Repetitive. Fun, Exciting, Life-changing. See? Easy-peasy.
- Ending this list is “This Is What Happens When You Use Swimming in Outer Space“. Now, yes, that’s bizarre. You think I can’t write on this? But did you ever read about the first astronaut to almost drown in space? And secondly, decades ago, prolific Science Fiction author Isaac Asimov wrote a short story called For the Birds which I read when I was teenager and which this title recalled, about a fashion designer who figures out that best to move around in a low gravity space habitat is not to try to move like a bird (which is wrong anyway) but to move instead like a fish, and which has the line “wings, he said, are for the birds“. LoneSwimmer.com, where no swimming subject is too stupid for me to waste time on. I’m going to suggest that whatever his merits, Isaac Asimov was neither a great astronaut, nor a swimmer.
You know what’s really sneaky? I’ve used most of these titles as tags to screw with Google for anyone who tries them.
Make sure to read next week’s article, “Open Water Swimming Cheat Sheet, an Ultimate Reference For Anyone Who Wants To Succeed in Open Water Swimming”. I am so using that. Totes. With an infographic.