I have to tell you, if I were making a list of the most innovative things I could think up, I don't know that lists themselves would be included. The irony in this is that we are well aware of how well lists work, and that's why we find ourselves relying on them so much. And here's the innovative part: when lists are born in the online world, there is so much we can attach to each item, they almost become even more actionable online. The brain behind this revelation, a man on a mission to bring the underutilized medium of lists to the world wide web, is Jon Vlassopulos, the CEO of Tribalist .

Sharing Content Is Getting Tricky

The challenges we see with sharing content through social media platforms, which is often where our consumers are by choice, are most often:

  1. Social media platforms are chronological in nature, which means essentially you must keep sharing, keep posting, keep repeating. You're really stuck in a loop of expressing yourself every minute, or repeatedly, to be seen, which lends to my second point.

  2. The speed at which content is rolled over, cycling, and archived is rapid. With Tribalist, there is no chronological rollover, which allows evergreen content to make an impact, and then continue making an impact, through the easy and digestible medium of lists.

Is List Making Really All That Innovative?

Tribalist's investors sure think so. Matt Cheng investor in Tribalist, had this to say, "The internet has become overwhelming for most people, there is just too much information and we all have less and less time to sift through it all. We think lists will be the next major organizational unit on the web. Lists are easy to create, easy to consume, easy to share, and easy to action."

So easy, I made you a Tribalist list - The Top 10 Product Launch Podcasts.

Let's Talk About Influence

Here's the deal, the perception with influence, especially on social media platforms, is generally "the bigger, the better" meaning, the more followers the higher conversion rates, but this simply isn't the case. The reason nano or micro influencers are showing up everywhere is because, they might only have an audience of 5,000 but those 5,000 are their people, they are engaged, and they are loyal. On my podcasting platform I have noticed that 500,000 listeners and above is where we see the conversion rates drop off. When advertisers come to me and are basing their interest off of downloads, we have this conversation about engagement over downloads, and how that actually converts. The real opportunity is with the most engaged audience, and I feel like this is lost in the world of influence. Vlassopulos agreed, pointing out that Tribalist is a way for everyone to be an influencer, not matter how macro or micro their following.

Best Of: 3 Reasons Why Lists Are About to Take Over the Internet

  1. Lists are the overlooked, undervalued media we have been missing. Pinterest brought us image boards and a way to curate collections, and aesthetics that meant something, but where Pinterest and other social media really falls off the map is with action. Tribalist lists are actionable, shoppable, and shareable, something social media doesn't always offer in a way that isn't exhausting.

  2. Lists will allow our influencers to partner directly with brands without all the messy steps affiliates and partnerships have required in the past, or through social media.

  3. Lists specificity will allow creators and product launchers to more easily find influencers that might be a great fit to help promote their product. While we know the major influencers online and on social media today, it isn't always easy to find the micro influencers in the targeted niche areas we need.

Bringing in the new era, beyond the Yelps and the Trip Advisors and the mass review platforms, beyond the constant chronological recycling of social media, where we will see more commoditized offerings, and more editorializing, Tribalist is at the front of the line. As we seek a more simplified and transparent online existence, we will begin to see platforms, just like Tribalist, match that demand and win big for paying attention to the gaps.  

Published on: Mar 18, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.