1. Find something vaguely interesting, like the eccentric habits of geniuses (Tesla, Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci), common misconceptions (wooden teeth of Washington, lemmings committing suicide, etc), or hot chicks. 2. Find several more examples of it. 3. Put it in list form, like the one you're reading now. If the list items are too long, break each item down into a sub-list. 4. Loot Wikipedia or other pop-culture magazines as much as you can. Change a few words and phrases to feign expertise and to make it your own. 5. Give the article a title with an ironic twist, e.g., "5 Things you do in the bedroom that you think are sexy, but actually aren't." or "7 Things from space that could kill you at any moment." 6. Link-bait on social networks.The reason these shitty list articles have flooded the Internet is because they're cheap, easy to generate, quick to read and require no creative work; a pig with a stick in its mouth could tap one out in morse. Marketers then disseminate these shitty list articles (or mundane infographics) by emailing influential bloggers and "suggesting" links for their readers. And here's the part that makes my heart palpitate with anger:
YOU WILL NOT HAVE TO THINK ABOUT ANYTHING YOU READ FOR THE NEXT 2 MINUTES. YOU ARE GUARANTEED TO SEE A BUNCH OF PICTURES IN NUMERICAL ORDER. READING THIS LIST WILL NOT REQUIRE YOU TO EXPEL ENOUGH MENTAL ENERGY TO POWER A DIODE. ENJOY YOUR DORITO TACOS, POTATO.Sound stupid? THAT'S BECAUSE IT IS STUPID, YOU FUCKING MORONS. QUIT LINKING TO THIS SHIT. Last January, I started receiving spam from a site called "Ranker." At first I ignored it, but little by little, the emails grew from a trickle, to 2 or 3 per month. They were emails asking me to link to stupid list articles with titles like "13 People Who Married Inanimate Objects:"
742,716 people are conditioned to clicking on sentences that start with numbers.