If you read stuff on the internet, I expect you already know there are loads of list posts. List posts CAN be handy, but there are also quite a few problems with them, too. Here are, in my opinion, some of them main problems.
- Despite having numbers, they hardly ever give a reason for their selected order. Is number one the best, or the worst? Are they in any sort of order at all? You just don’t know!
- Content is duplicated. If list posts appear when searching, the content is ALWAYS duplicated across different sites. It’s very difficult, if not impossible, to find the blog that originally started compiling an awesome list.
- The number doesn’t really matter. If there are loads in a list, the quality is probably lower. While this sounds obvious, people will still click through to posts that have a higher number because we often wrongly assume more is better.
- They can be impersonal. Let’s be honest, anyone can probably compile a list of “jQuery slider plugins” without too much trouble. With graphical related lists, the attributed author of the post probably pinched most of the content from elsewhere, without giving much thought to WHY those items were in the list. I’m not going to learn anything much about the person behind that blog today.
- There are so many of them!
- Grrrr—the previous point actually makes me like them slightly. At least when you want to find a curated list of something, you often can.
- They are out of date! I may be getting a bit too specific here: one example, WordPress plugins. A list several years old may be totally useless as chances are none of them will work with the current version—fantastically useful.
- Hyperbole is used way too much! I’m pretty sure out of the 50 running applications you say are “AWESOME”, probably only about 5 of them are.
- They never live up to expectations.
Agree? Disagree? Got any I missed?
Also, if you can come up with some reasons why you like list posts, be my guest.