I would like to propose a couple of criteria for writing good titles for our questions.
Does the title contain phrases that people might look for in a Google Search?
One of the criteria we use during site self-evaluation is whether or not our answers come up as hits in search on Google. Let's consider how the question title might look when it comes up as a Google Search result. My feeling is that a lot of the titles are too wordy and try to cram too much information into the title. I may be one of the worst offenders, so if you can think of a snappier title for any of my questions, please, let's tighten them up. This leads to my second rule of thumb, which is
How will the question appear when it is shared?
I have been making an effort over the past few weeks to be more active on Google+ and Twitter. I don't blog, but I do answer things, and sometimes write self-answered questions as a history of my research progress. So I might share these in the same way that others share new blog posts. If someone else writes an interesting question that I feel may attract others to the site, like the Titanic family legend question that came up recently, or someone writes a particularly good answer that will help a lot of people, I want to be able to tweet that out. There are also site-generated newsletters, posts from the site's Twitter account, and so on.
So let's take a moment to step back from the idea of "are we following the rules" evaluation where we discuss taking out the phrase 'how to' and other 'is it in the form of a question' evaluations and think about whether the title 1) addresses the point and 2) is coherent, interesting, and attractive.