Today happens to be Agatha Christie's birthday. Well, the queen of crime in her brilliant book "And then there were none" conjured up a story about an odd mix of people stuck on an island with no room for escape and no place to hide as the killer silently chooses the victims one by one till none remain. The chilling suspense of the book and its arresting title will forever remain a testimony to her unmatched mastery over her art.
So, if you had a way to murder something till there really were none left, what would you choose? I would choose the list of top 10 ways to do, well, almost anything.
See a quick search result from buzzusmo on this topic - a website which claims to give the social buzz on any trending topic. Well, there seem to be top 10 lists for just about anything from losing weight to am sure losing your mind as well. There is even a list of 10 ten ways to stay alive. Just in case we forgot that we are not dead yet.
Quite paradoxically, if you run a search on Google Trends on the same topic, the result you get is quite contrary. It actually says the trend of top ten lists is on the wane over time; though you wouldn't believe it with all the top 10 lists you are forced to see everyday unfailingly, even if you manage to avoid reading them.
Now this article is meant for my fellow struggling writer-in-waiting souls who write content at work apart from writing fiction in their inspired moments. It is not enough that we stare at the clock, sweating beads of frustration, gulping our 5th cup of cold tea as we wait for that perfect phrase to reign sunshine on our content darkened souls?
Wait, the world tells us now. Before we hit publish, we have to do buzz check; how good really is our content? Does it have the potential to become trending content? Don't publish unless it's a top 10 list. Why not 12 or 13, you ask? It has to be 10, you see. That's what sells.
Did I hear right? Now, did they just discover a way to predict the next best-seller blockbuster content? Did Salman Khan and Chetan Bhagat just compile a joint book of top 10 dummy ways to best-seller success?
Or are we just chasing the shadow of trending content before it vanishes in the trail of its own tiny scroll bar, lost till another tweet or link claims the fantasy of the reader? Who decides permanence or success of content? Who can predict the mind of the reader through the lens of the top 10 lists?
You decide. And yes, till we do that, if anyone else talks about 10 lists on the Queen of Crimes' birthday, it is as good a day as any to get started on the top 10 ways to kill that person. Now that would be a good list, I guess. The Queen of Crime has more than 10 lessons for that.