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27 January 9
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20 this and 10 that … 5 best of this and top 100 of that!

Under - Design, Miscellaneous, My Musings, Resources

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?

9 thoughts to “20 this and 10 that … 5 best of this and top 100 of that!”

  1. Tony Brown

    April 18, 2010 at 11:30 am

    I just got a tweet from smashing magazine, and found this wonderful site, I am a student ( in my early 40′s ) of web design and Interactive media,and have to say what brilliant in site you have. What advice to you have for someone like me, I am passionate about all things creative and want to learn it all, but not having all the time in the world design strikes my fancy. Should I pursue this or the development side, either way I am years behind, I guess I should just follow my heart ( which has almost always got me in trouble) well, sorry for babbling I am so fortunate as to have found your site, it’s bookmarked and will be looking to it for insight and guidance .

    Kind Regards

  2. Vincent Flanders

    April 18, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Actually, I came up with a formula to generate these worthless headlines – http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/how-to-write-bullshit-article-titles-that-sound-profound.html Copyblogger has their own stock variation, with a trillion article titles like “5 Things Depeche Mode Can Teach You About Effective Online Marketing.”

  3. ARN

    April 18, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    Vincent Flanders, that’s interesting. I just found another one called ‘60 Best Photographs of Jumpology‘!

  4. Arunan

    April 18, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Agreed… but also the bigger eyesore is people retweeting retweets of n number of best thingamajiggys

  5. ARN

    April 18, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    Tony Brown, many thanks for visiting LivingDesign.info and liking the site. You mentioned in your comment that ‘… design strikes my fancy’ so maybe that’s where to go! Why not explore what’s coming from inside. There’s YOU in-between heart and mind – isn’t it? And, btw it is never too late for anything in life.

  6. Johny Favourite

    April 19, 2010 at 2:18 am

    I found this site from the same tweet from Smashing Magazine (I echo the kudos in regards to the design btw) Ironically they are often described as the site that gave birth to this listarrhea.

    There was a wicked tweet from someone that said “Any blog post starting in a number I now automatically ignore” – wish I knew who said it. Or if there was an article of “20 best tweets about list articles”. But its good advice! :D

  7. Klaas

    April 20, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Very good point here! This tiredness will eventually lead to something better. Unique and valuable content should become the next trend.

  8. Johny Favourite

    April 21, 2010 at 1:29 am

    The thing is that is too much hard work and alot of people (not all) want to make a quick buck or instant fame or whatever. So the next trend will be something equally as easy. We’ve had css galleries. Now we have listorama.

  9. ARN

    April 21, 2010 at 3:50 am

    Totally agree with you on this Johny Favourite. It would be interesting to see what comes next.



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