PODCAST EPISODE #17: Ryan Shmeizer, on why we love lists


I know you can’t help it.

I can’t help it, either.

I am a journalist by trade, a person who values the craft and importance of storytelling, and a big believer in complex, rich reporting … and I can’t help it.

I always click on lists.

You know the articles: “6 Great Moments in Seinfeld History”, “The 27 Best Foods for a Picnic”, “32 Reasons To Love Summer”. These days, lists populate the web.

That is because we click on them.

My guest on this edition of the Telling The Story podcast explains why.

Ryan Shmeizer is not a professional journalist. He is a venture capitalist in New York who only recently decided to display his writing for the world.

And on his first try, he scored big.

Writing on the Medium platform, Shmeizer wrote a piece called, 10 Reasons You Will Read This Medium Post”. One by one, he delineated the reasons why we click on lists and then read them to completion.

The article was quickly named an Editor’s Pick on Medium and proceeded to go relatively viral. I recently mentioned it as one of my 3 Great Stories of the week.

On the podcast, Shmeizer offers the same insight and analysis as he does in his writing.

We discuss why lists are so popular, what role storytelling plays in them, what attracts him about Medium, and how he views the landscape of journalism. As a bonus, Shmeizer — a native of South Africa — compares the media of his home country to that of the United States.

Listen to the podcast at the top of the page or download it and listen to it later. And subscribe to the podcast – and rate and review it – on iTunes!

Matt Pearl is the author of the Telling the Story blog and podcast. Feel free to comment below or e-mail Matt at matt@tellingthestoryblog.com.

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