2013 was the year of lists. Will 2014 continue the heavy use of lists? Yes, 2014 will bring more lists. Specifically for the masses, there will be more lists in 2014. However, for the more attuned reader, lists will become less popular. Perhaps instead we will see more interdisciplinary articles. Topics that merge various fields together.
Take a look at the rise of brainpickings with 873,532 Facebook fans. The last paragraph on their about page says:
Brain Pickings — which remains ad-free and supported by readers — is a cross-disciplinary LEGO treasure chest, full of pieces spanning art, design, science, technology, philosophy, history, politics, psychology, sociology, ecology, anthropology, and more; pieces that enrich your mental pool of resources and empower combinatorial ideas that are stronger, smarter, richer, deeper and more impactful.
Lately the focus in the blogging and publishing world seems to have been on the niche, the focused, the laser expertise on specific topics.
Which all end up being rather dry. Lists are like a row of threads hanging off one topic. The same point repeated over and over. I love lists for their simplicity and focus. But what about synthesis?
Interdisciplinary articles reach across several topics and combine them into one fabric. Intersections are much more interesting than a single repeated line.
The very act of creativity involves synectics–the combining of two different things together.
Interdisciplinary examples (appreciate the irony that these are presented in a list):
- “Second that Emotion” that combine historical, political, cultural and commercial movements.
- “Pigeons: The Fascinating Saga of the World’s Most Revered and Reviled Bird” touches on topics of history, evolutionary science, sport of pigeon racing, pigeon hunters, breeders, and killers.
- Blog posts
- Supernova at Wrigley Field captured in 1958 Topps baseball card combines baseball, world history, pop culture, and science all from 1958. Plus a little creative theorizing thrown in.
- Art exhibits
- Even art museums are getting into the interdisciplinary mix. The title of a recent show by the Art Insitute of Chicago implies a combination of areas: “Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity“
- TV shows
- While Storage Wars may not seem like an example of the high-minded level of interdisciplinary tv shows, it does cross several genres of tv. Reality show with various personalities; Antiques Roadshow evaluations with history and pop culture; and game show with competition and a little bit of mystery.
Interdisciplinary methods have been used throughout media. Hopefully 2014 will see blogs implement more creative acts connecting various fields.