Toddler Overcomes Dwarfism: Is Singing Sensation

By JohnnyZ on January 27, 2014//Leave a comment

We were kicking around theories of Internet post post success last week. The main idea was to create teaser headlines that make you want to click on them.  One co-worker gave the example of a child battling but overcoming some horrible disease despite all odds.  Imagine my surprise when I turned to mainstream ABC news to find:


Toddler Overcomes Spine-Crushing Dwarfism to Become Internet Singing Sensation


Written by , the uplifting story recounts how Grace was born with crushing scoliosis that would usually prevent her from hearing, but despite all odds she has been singing since she was 16 months old. She became a YouTube sensation for her rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner.” The video has been seen by nearly 350,000 people around the world.


But Grace’s condition — as serious and as painful as that is — is not the point of this post.  The point is that I had to click on this.  It was almost too weird to believe. I mean, I certainly believed that the story attached to this headline was going to deliver on its content. But the juxtaposition of the words toddler, dwarfism, and singing sensation made me want to know more.


 What could the law library do to ever match the power and interest created by Grace’s story?  We certainly have people who come in every day with amazing true-life legal cases that we try to help them with.  If we captured the essence of each of their stories, would we become the viral sensation like Grace? We can produce similarf heart-tugging and important content, but the question is — should we?


 I wonder. Maybe this is the beginning of a new communication angle to explain what we do, and trumpet the importance of the public law library. Stay tuned as I ponder.



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  1. Al Podboy

    Try it … what do you have to lose? Also … press releases? Time to exit the shadows?

  2. R.OLeary

    Although you focused on constructing headlines to build community in the law library, your example makes some work from disability studies seems relevant (and perhaps important) to note in passing. If you look at this article on disability studies (that is kind of dated but not behind a pay-wall) and do a word search for “overcome” you can see how stories about individuals overcoming disabilities don’t do much very good.

    It’s also a bit funny that making a good headline and making a good index term seem to overlap a bit — I mean making good headline seems another, more sensational, angle on library work.

    • JohnnyZ

      I agree with your comment that good index terms do overlap with the good (or sensational) headline. It is all a way for connecting readers to the information that interests them, as long as you also provide something that relates to who you are and what you do (like “law library”!). Thanks for commenting.

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