Sunday, January 5, 2014

Numbers, Use Numbers. And the magic words Why and How

I've just returned from another trip into my land of Facebook newsfeed, searching for another worthy story to fill up an otherwise dull Sunday evening (you just have to drizzle for the entire day, don't you). Like any other great thinkers going for a walk, with his minds filled with nothing but fleeting thoughts, soon an interesting thought came to my mind. As I wandered among the field of articles being shared by the other adventurers, I couldn't help but notice that all of them had numbers.

Each article that was put up in the open, endorsed by the ones who had clicked the share button, contained a number in their title. From '8 Ways to Convince You of a Man's Character' to '7 Reasons Why You Lose So Many Friends in Your 20s' to '25 Things You Must Try at Least Once in Your 20s' to 'Top 23 Wedding Photos of 2013'; I seemed to have realized one thing.




That posts with numbers in their title gets more shares. Numbers seem to have more viral power. Or so it seems.






Maybe because the way articles are styled into sub points offers readers choice. Or perhaps simplicity. Maybe articles in point form allows us to structure our thoughts better, both as readers and writers. After all, our brains seemed wired towards Powerpoint presentations with all their pointers, so why shouldn't it be the same for online articles as well. Living in a society with not enough time to spare, sometimes all we want is to just get the main points and move on with our life.

I have my opinions against articles who overly rely on using point form (think Buzzfeed and EliteDaily) but I think that instead of opposing them, maybe I am going to join them. After all, no matter how much I whine ain't going to change anything, and I would be interested to see if it changes my stats too. So perhaps from tomorrow onwards, you might be seeing more articles with numbers in it. Coupled with magic words like 'Why' and 'How' too. Somehow this two features sell like hot cakes on the internet.

I blame the human brain. Or the dumbing down of society. But heck, if others are going to exploit it, I don't see why I shouldn't.


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