Listly, which first launched around two years ago, encourages community interaction with lists with social sharing, commenting per entry and a voting mechanism to enable them to have a say in the final selection.
"People just love lists," co-founder Nick Kellet told Journalism.co.uk. "Something like 30 per cent of content on the web is in the form of a list."
But he said many list posts created by online publishers today are not fulfilling their social potential. Users generally can only comment on a list post in the comment section underneath, he explained, and they cannot usually "like or dislike" specific entries or often add your own suggestions directly into the mix.
"I think at the moment we look at it that the publisher is like the band on stage", he added, while the audience is "standing watching".
But, he said, "your average consumer today thinks I'm not a consumer any more, I'm a participant, I want to be on stage too".
"If they have something to say on the subject, they could be even more of an expert than the actual journalist on that topic."
With Listly, lists are driven by social features. "So you can actually comment directly on it, you can vote on it, you can filter on it, you can sort on it and then most importantly of all you can actually add to it," Kellet said.
Lists can also be embedded onto the creator's website, or by others. However the original creator can still moderate entries and comments, and Kellet said the list can also feature branding for the original publisher as well as links to their site.
He added that once users have contributed to a list, they are also more like to "share it with a much more fervent passion", and this has benefits for the publisher when it comes to others finding their content.
"Social sharing are all factors in search results so your discoverability is improved when people actually re-share your content," he explained. The social sharing is also available at a list entry level, as opposed to the list in its entirety.
Kellet added that by making lists social, it helps to extend their shelf-life.
Publishers are "so focused on pushing out new content, and they're so focused on the publish event, and then they forget all about their existing content and move on to creating more content to create more noise the next day," he said.
"We believe strongly that content has a life cycle that can be elongated and enhanced and the investment that you pay to build content can be retained over a long period of time if you basically don't do publishing as a one-off moment."
The latest version of Listly, unveiled today, includes a new responsive design. The lists themselves were already responsive based on where the final list was embedded on a publisher's website, but the new update means Listly itself is now also responsive to the device it is being used on to build and interact with lists.
Other new features include a link-up with Facebook OpenGraph and "additional user voting options" beyond like and dislike.
Listly is available via a free version or a premium version. According to the website the premium version, which costs $99 a year, includes features such as "advanced moderation", a "draft mode" and a "no ads" option.
Free daily newsletter
- How international collaboration helps investigative journalists overcome challenges
- Slovakia’s first investigative journalism centre honours legacy of murdered reporter
- University of Birmingham receives WhatsApp grant to find out how to reduce the spread of misinformation during elections
- Tool for journalists: INJECT, for finding unexpected new angles for your stories
- Tool for journalists: Auto Futures, the free digital hub for reporting on the automotive industry