the blog of dan pontefract | The Coming Listicle Apocalypse (Or … Six Ways Listicles Are Taking Over)
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The Coming Listicle Apocalypse (Or … Six Ways Listicles Are Taking Over)

Aside from the intended irony of this post’s title, the recent onslaught of listicle articles across the web has become so dense, so frequent, so pervasive, I am beginning to think that in the near future one of the following catastrophic outcomes might actually come to fruition:

  • No editor on any platform anywhere on the interwebs will accept an article unless there is a number in the title, and a corresponding number of items written about said title in the body of the article. (Sorry, it’s just the law now.)
  • If an article does get past the numerologist-like editors, unless there is a number in the article title, no one will even bother to read it. (Why read if I can’t count?)
  • Teachers and professors will begin assigning homework, insisting the titles of any paper contain a number.
    • e.g. “Six Similarities and Seven Differences of Van Gogh and Rembrandt”
  • Marriage vows will be numbered, spoken out loud by the couple to all in attendance.
    • Obviously, there would be a minimum of five.
  • Children will be named in the numerical order that they are born.
    • e.g. I would be called “One”, my sister would be named “Two” and my brother of course would be “Three”
  • Dinner conversations would only revolve around listicles. Examples below:
    • “What are the five things you did at school today?”
    • “Tell me three things you hate about your job.”
    • “Describe the six coolest things about walking across the street.”
    • “Remind me with twelve different examples why we’re still married?”

In the meantime, take a look at the collection of sites that are exasperating my very personal and picky bane.

Will it ever end?

 

entrepreneur inc forbes businessinsider marketwatch

4Comments

  • Dieter / 27 January 2016 12:05

    I have 2 words for you, Dan: Well done!

  • Roberta Gogos / 27 January 2016 12:51

    Haha thank you Dan! This made me chuckle. I have the feeling listicles evolved from the “SEO optimised post” as opposed to just writing to share info or for the heck of it! Perhaps listicles are an offshoot of social media posting and the need to provide “bite sized” “small chunks of info”. Urgh. Blogging has officially been dumbed down.

  • Gail Severini / 27 January 2016 5:22

    Well aside from the fact that I learned 1 new word I have 3 thoughts on this piece ;0

    I now realize I have been guilty of using listicles (and, by the way, it works of course – highest rated blog posts even tho I don’t think they were my best work!).

    I am taking a break from blogging. Even if I decided on something I felt was worthy of others’ attention it would never be seen in the current loooonnng tail of “personal publishing”. Double downing on the work instead.

    Dan, I applaud you for continuing to swim against the tide – for all the right reasons – keep going.

Want to leave a comment? I'd love to hear from you. Cheers, dp.