Tired of all the lists pointing out interesting things to look out for? Here’s a list that explains why those lists are losing their edge.
- They’re everywhere.
- You can hardly differentiate between them because their titles are so similar, not to mention they’re everywhere.
- The most interesting ones stick out, barely — because they’re everywhere — making it hard for people to take them seriously.
- They’ve lost their touch because they’re running out of things to say — and because they’re everywhere.
- When something is repeated and recycled all the time, it becomes boring and hard to notice. 6. When something is repeated and recycled all the time, it becomes boring and hard to notice. 6. When something is repeated and recycled all the time, it becomes boring and hard to notice.
- Lists repeat themselves, sometimes by recycling the same material, other times by cloning the next best list.
- Reason 8 will be included in The Second List Of 12 Reasons Why Lists With Reasons, Facts And Other Trivia Are A Pain In The Neck.
- No matter how useful a list is, or any article is, it becomes less salient and effective when all one comes across is standardized, predictable, dry content, with little scope or variation. Lists that cite useful and interesting stuff are hard to stick out when surrounded by a dozen other lists that cite useful and interesting stuff, with titles that sound exactly the same as the ones next to them.
(Note: If you feel that this list is repeating the same thing by expressing the same point in a slightly different manner over and over again, and that it’s harder to stay focused as you go down the list, jackpot!) Moving on …
- They’re like Hollywood Blockbuster movies, cloning one another, trying to outdo each other while offering nothing new. They’re lazy and insulting, presuming they can garner more hits on account of their easy-to-read format and their SEO hooks, turning readers into mindless clickers, much like studios and TV stations turn viewers into mindless subscribers.
- They blend the meat and vegetables with the sweet stuff, mixing sugar with tang, fibre and caution, adding water and ammonia to keep things clean and cute: five things for a good diet, five ways to enjoy London, seven ways to be happy, ten reasons why we love cats, ten reasons why we must protect the environment and eight buildings everyone should live in. Everything loses its meaning as the material comes crashing through your newsfeeds in an endless stream of lighthearted information that de-differentiates the lot.
- They become hard to digest, making people look for something fresh, different and substantial, like longer articles, or lists with pics and an opinion at the end, or an opening argument to frame the points to follow, something, anything that doesn’t take readers for granted by presenting them with the same format and material over and over again.
There! I hope that did it for you.
Before I go, let me add that Reason 12 is not a reason that fits this list, as some of you have already noticed. It belongs to another list called 12 Reasons Why Having The Web Inundated With Tiresome And Annoying Lists Can Be a Good Thing For Readers And Writers Everywhere.
I like that list. It mentions how all these lists force people to search the web for longer articles and fresh material. It reveals how readers are looking for writings that involve developed narratives, a plot, a setting, a few characters and an arc, an intriguing thesis that bothers to string together a few paragraphs, something more than just points on the page. Writers will be compelled to write such stuff, and editors will be obliged to post them, and list-lovers looking for lists mentioning why all this is happening will love and hate them.
Yet, in the midst of the mayhem, as the barrage of new writing inundates — and eventually saturates — the web, this list-culling will make lists noticeable and interesting again. Web users across the world will understand that there’s Life After The List, and that you don’t have to be on the list to be cool, and that a listless world doesn’t have to be an exhausted one, and that lists will make a comeback, stronger than ever, once the air clears and the web is replenished.
I’ll be writing about all this, and more, in my long form pieces, or in my Gonzo articles, even in articles containing pics, points and reasons on why we do what we do, and how we do it, and when and where we do it.
See, I like variety. It’s what I do — mix things up. Not blend. Mix!
From your 18-point-cooking-plan Spin Doctor,
Eyes open, mind sharp.