Google Analytics reveals that one of our most popular blogs over the last few weeks was Top ten surprising psychological ideas which was basically a link to another site, prompted by somebody else's tweet, with just a tiny bit of commentary from me.
Our Head of Media, Luke Robinson, was quick to explain the reason for this blog's particular success:
1) It's lists.
2) The internet loves a list.
1) Lists generate suspense.
Once you know the number of things on the list, there is a 'gap' in your mind to find out what is on them.
2) Lists are relatively easy to read.
More precisely, they are easy to skim- you get your 'meaning fix' without effort.
3) Lists give you a sense of control.
You know where you are with a list- you are not getting to get lost in dense prose and end up in a different subject. There are rarely nasty surprises.
4) Lists give a nice sense of completion.
They make you feel like you have learned a certain number of things.
5) Lists are tidy
We prefer things that look organised, especially when somebody else has done the organising for us.
6) Lists are shareable
Because everybody loves a list...
This time I thought for myself before surfing for content to link to, but for those who are hungry for more please read: 10 reasons why list-based posts work so well online! Just don't get get carried away, or before you know it we'll all have pinaciphobia, and I'm sure there are at least seven reasons why you would want to avoid that.