Chris Pirillo – top lists suck

Posted in Blogging, Other

The list thing is not dying out yet. Chris Pirillo has a go at why the A list debate sucks – basically, according to Chris, all lists of top this or top that suck. Period.

Here is why:

1. Mindshare is ethereal. Numbers alone will never, EVER tell the full tale.

2. A list is only as strong as its deveoper, structure, validity (mindshare), and taxonomy. You may not even rank on the “X list” because the indexer doesn’t know about you.

3. Apathy. People don’t always vote. A user-driven tally isn’t necessarily representative of overall popularity – especially if a would-be active participant isn’t aware of the opportunity to play along.

4. Follow the money. List positions and nominations can be and ARE sold on a regular basis. This is the case more often than not, sadly.

5. Popularity contests hurt feelings and create unwarranted animosity. It’s a lot like high school, only there’s much more at stake when you don’t make a seemingly-important list. Exclusivity is only cool when you’re included.

6. Rankings are arbitrary. Popular by who’s standards? Why are they popular? According to what metrics? Are the metrics valid? Have they covered every base? Value is relative.

7. Technology sucks. No, seriously – it sucks. It doesn’t work when you need it to work, and doesn’t work they way you want it to work. Ever.

8. Rankings aren’t measured cross-medium. You may be more popular offline than online in a certain category, but if the numbers aren’t merged properly (or at all), the results will be skewed and wholly inaccurate. You wisdom may be genius-level in audio form, but you may not rank in a list that ranks your general subject matter.

9. Human error. How many newspaper, magazine, newsletter, site editors just didn’t get it right? The bigger their reach, the more silly their “top X lists” seem to be.

10. You are your own list. You only use the products and services you feel are best for you. New lists might influence your decisions, but ultimately, you’re defining what remains on your radar.

Yep. I agree. Getting on a list is an ego boost, but it does not truly reflect any value. Are you providing value to people? Great. Screw the list. That’s what matters. And that’s why this debate is roaring – the lists don’t show value.

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