"A unique, wry and often satirical look at the Internet, the modern age and life in general" (there is way too much search-engine competition for the phrase "incoherent ramblings")

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Top 6 list of top lists to list on your blog

It's a Well-Known Fact (I read it in some Top 10 list of top list tips) that "lists" are The Future if you want to "drive traffic" to your site/blog, so here we go - this is a Top 5 List of Top Lists that I desperately hope will top the list lists:

  1. Top 10 lists - the original, the Granddaddy of all lists, the figure 10 suggesting an authoritative and comprehensive, if not exhaustive overview of the matter in hand. These always carry the risk of a couple of lamers towards the end just to bump up the total.
  2. Top 5 lists - a shorter, more compact, snappy form of list. Less comprehensive but better suited to a low-attention-span readership. Always the danger something really important might get left out.
  3. Unnumbered lists - these show a touch of daring. They suggest that you are a mine of useful information and would not be so petty as to try to enumerate the treasure-trove of wisdom you have at your disposal. Only problem is you can't really then call it a Top n list (where n is the number of items) - it has to be something like Essential list of....bla bla which defeats the attention-grabbing purpose of Top Lists.
  4. Top 9 lists - this is a no-no, tantamount to publicly confessing that you were essentially scraping the barrel and could not think of a 10th thing to put in your list.
  5. Lists longer than 10 - these can be a double-edged sword. They can make you seem frightfully knowledgeable, but at the same time nobody actually reads beyond about 7 anyway (did I not mention that under Top 10 lists?). Also, you don't want to use up all your ideas on one list. A Top 15 list can almost certainly be broken down into a couple of manageable Top 10 lists by adding a few more items, or better still, into three Top 5 lists - now they really could go a long way!
  6. Wrongly-numbered lists - an avant-garde approach whereby the title of the article refers to, say a Top 12 list of ways to make stacks of filthy cash off the Internet, when in fact the article only contains 11 such tips. Though you may appreciate the post-modern irony of this, your visitors may be forgiven for thinking you just forgot to count them, or couldn't think of any more clever things to write.
  7. Top 6 lists - to be avoided at all costs. A top 6 list is an open admission that you thought the 6th item was just way too clever/witty/important to be left out in favour of a straightforward Top 5 list. Even a Top 7 list is the lesser of these two evils.
Well, we must conclude our list of Top Lists before we get too carried away. Until next time, happy listing.