Just recently I ran across or should I say stumbled across (Social Media Joke) a few posts and/or Twitter dialogues that were lashing out against list blogs. You know these blogs, they start with a topic and then list them off in order. For example, The 5 best, 10 worst, or I dunno 12 Most.
Some examples and conversation around the nay saying can be found below.
Margie Clayman – 5 Reasons Why List Blogs are Crap This is a good read and actually doesn’t knock list blogs but provides some great perspective to challenge the “Status Quo.” I so love that this was written by our lovely Community Manager at 12 Most – Oh the Irony or not!!!
One Twitter User who I choose to remain nameless tweeted – “I love dogs, love you thinking of me, but seriously think “10 things” & “Top 5 things” has damaged blogging” in reference to a post that was shared with the person. And yes, the person actually believes it is “Damaging” blogging.
The speculation that is being laid out in the posts above as well as in other circles is anywhere from the idea that list blogs are annoying that these blogs are the “The Death of Blogs” or that they are just clutter/noise/smoke or some other word that equates to not worthy of eyeballs.
I want to (completely objectively) disagree publicly, and take it one step further by refuting the naysayers with 5 Reasons that List Blogs (Do Not) Suck. I mean after all, can anyone think of a reason that I would be biased about this?
- They generally are easy to skim and point out relevant information in an easy to consume format.
- They capture your attention and properly set up expectations (even if you only read the title)
- They are fantastic for curating.
- They are great for starting the conversation and generating comments
- They often provide a ranking, and in Social Media that is a big deal!
We are busy people, at least some of us. While I would love to say that I read everything cover to cover, I don’t. Time is money and a quick list is something I can skim and check for content. At that point I can decide if I want to dig deeper.
The titles (usually) tell you EXACTLY what to expect and therefore make the decision to click through easier. If it is interesting then yes, if not then no. I see so many cryptic titles these days trying to provoke you to click. While every so often something creative wields me in, for the most part I pass because my attention hasn’t been caught.
If you are trying to curate some good content for your readers, what better way then to give them some good list type blogs. For the same reason most of us click on them, so will they. With that you gain friends and followers.
Since most list blogs are comprised of opinions, (especially of ratings of some sort) they tend to provoke discussion. when you put something in order people tend to want to agree or disagree. That is the sauce that comments are made from. Comments are a good way to continue the conversation and drive meaning from our time in social media.
People love anything that is ranked, whether what city to live in, college to attend, or the fastest shellfish on land. If you rank it, people will read it. After all, isn’t that why we write, to have people read it, share it, comment on it, and help you learn? If not, I’d love to know why you do?
So there you have it. From an unbiased (Ironic yet?) source, the verdict is in. The concept of a List blog definitely does not suck. But like all writing or other content types, some of it, whether list or not definitely does suck.
With that in mind, let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. Bottom line is, if your going to write, make it matter; List or not.