The 29 reasons you’re reading this article

Medium writer Gilad Lotan argues that as addicted as we are to lists in articles, we are particularly prone to odd numbers. Especially 29.

And I thought the reason we saw so many of these articles was just that they are easy for the writers. Write a list, forget bothering to have a structure or any reason for the reader to read on through the whole piece. I have obviously never done this ever, ever.

But if I were to do it, I would use lists. Let me give you 29 reasons why:

You make a Listicle. How long should it be? 5 items feels a bit short. 30 Feels a tad long, and way too even. But 29 seems like a good, shareable length. What if I tell you that using data we’ve found statistically significant difference between performance of odd vs. even numbers? Sounds odd? Read on.

Lists have been around for a long time. From the Bible to the Billboard charts, packaging items in lists is an effective way to gain heightened attention from a broader audience. The format makes content more easily consumable, promising an effortless way to get through a finite amount of information. Choosing the right length involves a dash of voodoo magic and a lot of speculation.

The 29 reasons you’re reading this article – Gilad Lotan, Medium (1 July 2014)

For once, the speculation seems sound and backed up by experimental data. Do have a read of the full piece.