With the average attention span of readers’ down to eight seconds (shorter than that of a goldfish), it’s no wonder the listicle’s easily digestible morsels of information have taken over as the preferred news format for many. You know the ilk: “7 Ways You’ll Know He’s The One,” or “21 Reasons to Try Poke Now.”
The argument on both sides of the listicle issue is fierce. The New York Times, for example, came to the listicle’s defense, after noticing the format achieved more organic traffic and clicks on one of its articles.
Here’s an excerpt: “Aaron Carroll’s ‘simple rules for healthy eating.’ It attracted a big audience, and it did so largely organically, through social media. It was smart and, yes, nuanced. People read it, found it useful and shared it with others. To put it bluntly, it was a better, more useful piece than it would have been as a 1,000-word essay or news article. Human beings often think in terms of lists, and there is nothing wrong with that.” [Read more…]