Is the ubiquitous slideshow truly a "Faustian bargain" for online journalism? Yes, but it doesn't have to be, Chadwick Matlin says at the Columbia Journalism Review. News sites that have evolved past Matt Drudge's '90s-esque link dump and desperately need the traffic that brings in advertiser dollars are increasingly relying on the slideshow, a gallery that, through its clicky slides, makes one reader look like a dozen.
Matlin says the slideshow is both a savior and a scourge, with its blatant pandering to the mindless clicking instincts in all of us. But it doesn't have to be the latter. He offers some lessons in what makes the groan-inducing slideshow terrible, and how it can be better. We've decided to emphasize Matlin's point about the dangers of the slideshow in slideshow form, accompanied by the best clickbait this family-friendly site can provide: adorable kittens. Please don't throw things at us. We're only trying to feed our families. And our kittens.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.