Websites like Buzzfeed have made the Internet a listier place (and one in which people can apparently just make up words like “listier”). Here are some reasons why online content works in that format.
- Just like breaking up big, boring blocks of text up into paragraphs, quantifying the info in your online article will make it much easier for people to read and digest
- Telling the reader the number of points you are making in your article is also useful – the reader knows what to expect upfront, before even clicking on anything
- Lists do not have to be made up of a nice, rounded-off number of points. Odd numbers work just fine. (And yes, somebody has researched this)
- You have a better chance of somebody clicking through to your article if they know upfront that it is written in a shorter, more digestible format, like a list
- The format lends itself to skim-reading, which a lot of people do online. The easier you can make your content to read, and read quickly, the better
- As the writer of the list, you have to discipline yourself: lists force you to be brief, and to have separate, clear-cut ideas for each point you make Erm ...
- If you start running out of ideas, you can simply change the original number of the list Ummmm ...
- If words fail you, resort to funny gifs
- If gifs fail you, resort to LOLCATS!