Top 10 Overkill

by Gayla Baer

top-10I’d never thought of myself as a follower of trends really – and it’s become more and more obvious in recent weeks.

As much as I’d love to learn the secret recipe for creating a post that everyone wants to link to, I’ve realized by taking a glimpse now and again, at the front page of Digg and see that most of what’s there is numbered posts.

I loved numbers when it was just David Letterman (he’s a Hoosier ya know?) giving his nightly Top 10. I’ve even subscribed to some highly visible bloggers that I genuinely admire when they’ve offered up their 10 Days or 20 Best

However, seems like everyone on the blogging playground is trying to come up with their own Top 10 and to be honest, I’ve no desire to create one of my own. In fact, if anything, I’ve grown somewhat conditioned to overlook them almost entirely.

They’ve become somewhat a constant piece of furniture in my feed reader and many times, unless the blogger is just someone I totally admire and adore, I’m going to breeze right on by them. I keep my most admired bloggers in one folder, while I have a more generalized, blogs of interest folder. If there’s a numbers post in my general folder, it’s getting marked as read without ever even taking a peek.

I’m wondering if I’m the only one feeling that we’re reaching a point of Top Ten Overkill? Perhaps I’m must being a girl and getting a tad hormonal – who knows?

I’ve a few bloggers that I truly admire and trust their opinions completely – I posed this very question to them. I kind of got the impression that they’re not real IN to the whole numbered posts either, but it’s a trend that IS working for them.

One stated that numbered posts tend to be more ‘scanable’ for those wishing to speed read through their daily blog fixes.

While that may be true, I’m certainly not one to want to create a traffic jam on Interstate Blogosphere, I just can’t find it in myself to follow that cool crowd that readers seem to really Digg!

As you can tell by my lack of posting in the last few days, something has been heavy on my mind. Well, you’ve caught me! This is the cause of my deep reflection and inspiration for future planning on what’s to become of MomGadget.

I’ve reached somewhat a plateau here on MomGadget and I’m in the process of deciding what I’m going to do with her. Don’t worry, she’s not going anywhere, just looking at possibilities and doing a little future planning is all.

More on that later. For now, I’d love to get the opinions of readers on what they think about numbered posts.

Do you like them?

Do you loathe them?

Do you read them?

Do you even care?

Do you think numbered post are reaching a level of overkill?

What?!?!?!?! WHY!?!?!?!?!

No related posts.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Char September 28, 2007 at 4:26 pm

Gayla – I also have a love/hate relationship with lists. If they are really good and really useful, then I love them. Otherwise, I hate them – especially if they are being written just to follow a trend or to test if your server is Digg-proof.

But I still find myself using them as a technique for writing.

Mike September 28, 2007 at 5:38 pm

Depends on the list. Just like most posts, good ones are good – bad ones are bad.

They do seem a little easier to write. Maybe it is the built in outline they provide.

I’ll probably end up writing a few once the baby is born. Or maybe I should crank out a few in advance for when she is born.

Nathania - Bold Interactive September 28, 2007 at 5:49 pm

Some top 10 lists are useful and some are just obvious linkbait.

What I really don’t like are big lists – like 99 resources for resizing a photo or something like that.

Instead – tell me the best one or the top 3 – I don’t want to have to look through them all to figure out which ones are good.

Or do a review of a resource and show me how to use it. Save me some time.

But I think the lists are really attractive to new bloggers and readers.

Having said all that, I do publish a list of quotes by bloggers in a certain niche each week. but the writing has to be superb and the number of quotes varies each week.

Angela September 29, 2007 at 7:44 pm

I HATE them!! I can’t stand them!! If you want people to click to the next blog without even bothering to read the first sentence then all you have to do is put up a sequential post OR a 31 day serious of SOMETHING… not only will it turn me off but I will delete your blog from my newsreader FOREVER!!

SL Lindens September 30, 2007 at 10:37 am

Some top 10 are corny already and that includes David Letterman’s. Well not most of the time.. only a few times. I don’t like this trend of top 10.

Erica September 30, 2007 at 5:34 pm

Angela, that’s a little overboard, but I know what you mean. I don’t like the top ten lists either unless it’s a topic I really like and am interested in. It doesn’t attract me because if it is something I really like, I’ll read it no matter if it’s a top 10 list or not.

Maybe we can start the anti-top 10 movement. :)

ses5909 October 1, 2007 at 12:46 am

I get more annoyed when I find myself writing them . I feel like I write in lists and any prose is out the window!

David Stopsky October 1, 2007 at 3:49 am

Numbered lists are nothing new, not even for Letterman. More than likely you’re always going to keep seeing them, so I don’t really see any reason to join the ongoing trend if you hate them too. Why care so much about getting onto Digg’s front page? I don’t see the worth of the 15 seconds of fame, and the task is just too daunting to accomplish unless you want to spend hundreds of hours wading through the junk on there. I think you’re better off sticking to your regular format because your readers will spend more time on your site than just skimming through top 10 lists.

Angela October 1, 2007 at 1:14 pm
Angela October 1, 2007 at 1:15 pm

Hi Erica,

I’m known for my “over-the-board” ways… LOL

Erica October 2, 2007 at 7:03 am

Don’t worry, Angela, my husband says I go overboard as well. Especially when something gets my goat.

Jennifer October 4, 2007 at 5:31 pm

Well, my channel has done lists with good success and so I like them. Still I don’t like lists just for the sake of a list — there has to be a theme or a reason behind it. Which sounds obvious but I see lists that don’t mesh with the rest of the blog and it makes me nuts. Lists, like regular posts have a place but unless you have an actual list blog than it should never be all you do.

Kate October 13, 2007 at 12:11 pm

You have a point, Jennifer, but just because something is successful doesn’t mean people like it. I don’t know how many people still dance the Macarena or wear a mullet. :)

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