I wrote in an earlier post that I didn’t want to fall into writing blog posts that have the list style that is popular across the blogosphere. But as it turns out, the list style post is one of the features that makes blog posts sharable. That’s what Jonah Berger found in his research into what makes a blog post shareable and potentially viral. According to Berger, lists get shared because they hold the promise of practical value.
As he said, “We see top-ten lists on Buzzfeed and the like all the time. It allows people to feel like there’s a nice packet of useful information that they can share with others.” The thing is, we want to feel smart and we want other people to perceive us as smart and helpful.
Berger teamed up with professor Katherine Milkman to study content sharing. They studied 7000 published articles over a 3 month period, and what they found was that there are two distinct factors that make an article shareable: positivity and arousal. What made the articles more shareable was how positive it’s message was, and how much it excited its reader.
So it looks like I need to revise my view of the list style post, especially as I am on a mission to make myself and my readers smarter.
Here’s a link the full article: