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Infonaut's Journal: A Rant Against Lists 3

Journal by Infonaut

Am I the only person in the world who is being driven to madness by the profusion of blog posts that are nothing more than lists?

Here's a great example: 101 Resources to Help You Build a Better Web Form. WTF? This is a LIST OF LINKS. If I wanted lists of links, I'd go back in time to 1994 and use Yahoo!

Every time I check the del.icio.us home page, it's the same thing. Half the bookmarks are to blog posts with titles like, "15 Ways to Make Your Life Better." Why not 16? Why not 20? Are each of the methods in this list of equal value? What are the selection criteria?

Yes, I understand that this is really all about SEO whoring. Yes, I understand that some posts with titles like, "25 Rounded Corners Techniques with CSS" are helpful. But creating lists of links isn't writing. It's duplicating what directories and search engines already do.

Lists are easy. Lists require no serious critical thinking or discrimination. But they're not terribly helpful either. I don't want 25 rounded corners techniques any more than I want to use 25 different email applications. If you're going to talk about rounded corners or fixing my life or fixing my life with rounded corners, give me some human analysis and some context. Otherwise you're giving me nothing I couldn't get from an automated query.

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A Rant Against Lists

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  • by HTH NE1 (675604)
    But, 53 More Things to Do in Zero Gravity was a best-seller!
  • I agree. Unfortunately they keep getting voted up by people. So they seem to be what people want. On many webmaster forums where they talk about various ways to get your blog posts to the top of these social networking sites a common tip is to make a top 10 list. It works. But I fail to see why people like them.
    • On many webmaster forums where they talk about various ways to get your blog posts to the top of these social networking sites a common tip is to make a top 10 list.

      Indeed people want fast food, content-free TV news, and style over substance in just about everything else in popular culture, so why not in the blogosphere?

      I think you're right that social networking, social bookmarking, and feed aggregators have fueled the phenomenon. Perhaps we're seeing the evolution of a trend: Lots of amateur list mo

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