They are everywhere. It doesn’t matter if the subject matter is serious or completely frivolous. Anything can and will be broken down into a list. Lists attract our attention. Lists are magnets for pageviews and sharing. In The New Yorker, Maria Konnikova shares a brief list of reasons why our brains love lists (written, oddly, in paragraph form). Apparently, reading everything in list form is fine “as long as we realize that our fast-food information diet is necessarily limited in content and nuance, and thus unlikely to contain the nutritional value of the more in-depth analysis of traditional articles that rely on paragraphs, not bullet points.”

+ Numbered lists are often accompanied by a catchy (mostly misleading) viral headline. From Hamish McKenzie: “This Story Will Make You Puke!” New media goes all Upworthy, all the time.

+ Ezra Klein: Being a viral genius is going viral.

+ There was a time when editors could convince themselves that the most important news stories were getting the most reads. Those days are over. Now editors have the data that tells them exactly how many times an article is being read. And that naturally drives a temptation to produce more of those articles. Take a look at a snapshot of the most popular stories at the NY Daily News yesterday.