I know how blogging works, sort of. I did it as part of my job once which included editing and cutting things down in a very formulaic way to attract as many views and readers as possible.
One thing I know is that lists work really well for the short attention span of the casual browser. It cuts posts up nicely into bite sized portions of info.
Often those lists are countdowns or include useful information or just some funny stuff. As a frequent reader of such posts, I am a fan. However what makes me laugh to the point of actually wanting to contact the writer to tell them they’re a twat is when I see really badly done list posts.
There are several, and believe me, they are all awful in different ways. Now let’s have my very own list post of the worst kind of list posts:
1. The Useless Ones
I understand that a lot of those list posts are there to entertain and might not deliver the level of intelligence and facts like a good news article, but there needs to be some consistency and maybe a running theme otherwise it gets confusing.
This one here is titled 37 Reasons Everyone Should Love Charlie Brooker and believe me, counting is not this writer’s strength, nor apparently is knowing the meaning of the word “reasons”.
She starts off her first reason with a statement that [he]…is a lucky git. Ok.
But the reason why he is lucky is stated only in reason 2: He gets paid to watch TV.
I don’t know about you, but that’s one reason, not two and it actually makes me envious and want to punch his face with my tiny fist and not love him.
The list continues with stating that he can regularly hang out with David Mitchell.
So to reiterate,
You should love Charlie Brooker because he gets to hang out with someone.
Disregarding the fact that Mitchell is probably someone cool to spend some time with, that’s again not a reason to love him. I think the pattern we start seeing here is that the writer is confusing “reasons to love” with “reasons to be envious”
It goes on with lots of tumblr gifs and lots of images where half the picture is filled with writing. The point of captions is to keep it fucking short.
It’s easy to see that it’s less like a list and more like some bimbo’s brain vomit who probably furiously wanks over anything Brooker pulls out of his teeth and smears onto the Guardian website.
2. The Wrongly Targeted Ones
Giving good advice is great. We all learn a little bit each day and thanks to some very good life hacks (and I really despise that word) my life has improved..slightly…in an almost unnoticeable way. For example, I don’t have trouble getting single Tic Tacs out anymore:
But then there are useful information lists written by people who think the subject may be a bit dry so they try to put their own spin on it. Top 10 Google Analytics Dashboard Widgets For Ecommerce Websites is quite a useful list but the writer thought it would be a great idea to make some ‘funny’ memes and clutter the post with them.
The method of using memes to explain and add humour to an otherwise dull subject has been employed by many in the past. And it worked… a few years ago. Now it just seems so outdated that I can’t take any advice seriously when I am presented with a badly done meme. How are you going to teach me something new when you seem to be out of touch with the internet?!
People searching for this sort of subject don’t need convincing that it is interesting, they probably specifically looked for this! Know who you write for.
3. The Nostalgic Ones
We all love looking back to the time when we were kids and the stuff that was around us. It’s nice to remember the sweets you had, the music you listened to and the clothes you wore. But the issue with this is not how good or bad the lists are, it’s more how saturated the internet is with this concept.
29 Things From the ’90s You Might’ve Forgotten About – or would’ve forgotten about if only the internet let me!
Almost every week I read about things from the ’90s as if they were the best fucking decade that ever happened to humanity. This has been going on for a while too, surely we must run out of stuff by now.
It’s not nostalgic, just depressing how unimaginative bloggers are, the worst offender being Buzzfeed and their millions of content churners.
4. The Non-list Lists
One thing I expect from a promise like “Top 10” “7 Dwarfs you need to…” and “Countdown of the biggest cheeses…” is that I will be presented with a list. One that I can scroll down and up and down again.
What I don’t want, EVER is something like this: Top 50 Scariest Horror Movies of All Time
It’s not a list, it’s a gallery. I have to click “next” to see the next entry! It may make absolutely no difference to you but to me, I hate unnecessarily having to load a new page to see more. You have my attention website person, I don’t need to be spoon-fed the suspense!
The other hassle I have is when I get to the end of the list and try to remember what position Texas Chainsaw Massacre was, I have to go and reload each page again to find it.
Now go and make your own list! Or Tweet me your hate list of all time: @missconfig