Friday, January 11, 2008

Your Top 10 List Is Worthless: The Top 10 Reasons

Often introduced with time-wasting, content-devoid, redundant lead-ins, your Top 10 Lists* fail to deliver. Allow us to show you why:
  1. Readers cannot remember 10 things.
    Your audience can barely remember one concept, let alone ten. Focus on one precise, concise thought per post: it is more likely to attract dedicated readers and not click-through junkies.

  2. Your list caters to Digg, not to your audience.
    A well-focused blog serves as a Top 10 List (and more) without arbitrary consolidation and bounded enumeration. Your list is simply self-serving and masterbatory.

  3. Itemized conceptualization abstracts concrete, actionable utility.
    Stick to grocery lists.

  4. Reverse-ordered lists are difficult to format in HTML.
    Aesthetics and order matter. Countdowns, however, give the illusion that your Top 10 list features relative ranking. Even Letterman knows in practice that's bullshit.

  5. They are predictable.
    And explanations are trivial and obviously written hastily.

  6. The Number "10" is completely arbitrary.
    Be honest: you decided to write a Top 10 list. Then, you wrote down the first 10 things that came to you. If you couldn't make it to 10, you merely cut it to whatever number's the flavor of the month.

  7. One item (or more) merely pads the list.
    Casually included somewhere near the middle, this witless numeral brings the list to a tidy 10. It is loosely relevant and summarily forgotten.

  8. There are already too many Top 10 Lists.
    Because there are too many blogs, there are too many Top 10 Lists. Most readers have grown tired of the format. If they are still reading them, they're delusional or asleep. Most readers tune out by number eight.

  9. They fade.
    You simply don't have the stamina to hold anyone's interest. No wonder you're alone.

  10. You cannot remember 10 things.
    Your audience can barely remember one concept, let alone ten. And neither can you.

    Déjà vu?

Top 10 lists are predictable, arbitrary, and difficult to remember; thus, their authors conclude with clever quips to tie it all together. Inasmuch, the final note could replace the entire list as it is usually thoughtful and more delicately written than the list itself.

Top 10 Lists are worthless. Stop Blogging.


*including the web's favorite variations: The Top 8, The Top 5, and the Top 20.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh can I make a request. can you lambast the 'my favourite google hits' post, that one gets done fifty times a week, and the ' i am not a stats bore but here are my numbers' post. oh and the 'what i did today post' and 'the what my pets did today post' oh and and and... Rage on, you, I love your work,