20 this and 10 that … 5 best of this and top 100 of that!
Sorry, didn’t have anything to write today so I thought of a cliché post title. I don’t know who exactly started this trend but I started noticing it on MSN few years back on their homepage and Yahoo followed soon after. This kind of articles appeared after logging out from email accounts such as Hotmail and Yahoo when you are automatically redirected to MSN or Yahoo homepages with some attention-grabbing top stories.
Those everyday articles used to be interesting, catchy and somewhat spicy. I bet they helped cutting down bounce rate and increased visitor retention on those sites but, the practice of such an approach within online creative community has now gone beyond acceptable. Smashing Magazine could be called trend setter within the creative industry and sort of sole responsible for the influx of such a nonsense that we have to deal with on everyday bases.
Just look at the article/post titles below that I accumulated from just one design resource:
- 130+ Awesome Photoshop Tutorials
- 7 Online Form Creation Solutions
- 14 Great Posts on jQuery Plugins
- 75+ Top jQuery Plugins to improve Your HTML Forms
- 22 Stunning Free Download E-Commerce Icon Sets
- 10 Amazing Avatar movie Photoshop Tutorials
- 23 sites where to download free icons
- Top 31 Most Creative and Interesting Movie Websites Designs
- 20 Amazing Creature Illustrations by Imaginism
- 35 Amazing Fantasy Art 3D Wallpapers
- 10 Tips to Create a Motivating Working Environment at Home
- 10 Beautiful Video Blogging WordPress Themes
- 50+ Amazing Creatiive & Original Logos
- 30 Cutting Edge Examples Of CSS Navigation
- 60 Extremely Creative Movie Posters
- 50+ Essential Techniques and Tools for Visualizing your Data
- 40 Mind Blowing Surreal Photo Manipulations
- 111 Best Online Web Design Tools
- 27 hilarious stuff you wish, were Photoshopped
- 27 Outstanding Car HDR Photos
- 40 best photoshop tutorials for web layouts
Is there any number or combination of mind boggling words left? There were indeed hundreds of such posts/articles on that particular resource but I only picked a few to give an example here. The good thing about Smashing Magazine articles was that they were original, but the SEO orientated minds soon picked up the hidden benefit in such content and the rest is history now.
The type of material seen these days on lots of design/creative resources is meaningless. Although some of such posts provide valuable information (a tiny fraction may be) but most of the time their content is nowhere near to whatever claimed in their titles. Such posts are mostly used as fillers. It is also disrespectful and derogatory to senior designers, artists and creative people when their work is labelled and reviewed under 150 websites with beautiful background or something.
Having such content is supposedly one of the easiest ways to grab user attention and to generate content without much effort – and perhaps earning big plus from SEO point of view. I can generate at least five new articles, or may be more, out of the list above just by shuffling their content but is this what we really want to give to our audience or is this what people really want to see all the time?