March 14, 2007

5 Most Interesting Things You Should Be Sick Of By Now

  1. Blog posts in list form, simply to garner links.
    • It’s a clever idea, which I have used in the past — though not under the illusion it would increase traffic. People seem to love lists, and they’re always popping up on Digg and reddit, two of the places I frequently visit in my quest to find links for Friday’s Shotgun.
  2. Blog posts that tell you what you should do or think.
    • What do I know about what you should be sick of? Way to insult my readers. People love to read what they should think, because they want to know if they disagree. It’s drama!
  3. Blog posts that tell you what’s “most interesting”.
    • A ton of people find football to be the most interesting thing going on on a Sunday afternoon. Right there, that proves that people are screwed up in their ability to evaluate “most interesting”. Of course, if you’re trying ot get your blog post up-modded on popular social linking sites, you have to really sell it with the title. “5 Marginally Interesting Things” may be honest, but it probably doesn’t sell.
  4. Blog posts that don’t deliver on their titles
    • This general rule covers the rest of the broken promises of over-hyped blog post titles and descriptions on social linking sites. Saying you’ve got a jaw-dropping picture and showing me some screenshot from a game is just about as lame as saying you’re going to list 5 things and only listing 4.
Posted by James at March 14, 2007 8:52 AM
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Comments

And I was just starting to come around to the idea of lists as weblog posts. They're still good if we don't care about traffic.

Posted by: Mike at March 14, 2007 9:32 AM

At this time of year, it's NASCAR on Sunday afternoons, rather than football. I hate it because it delays my cartoons. And because it's a waste of fuel.

Posted by: Julie at March 14, 2007 12:14 PM

Heck, I don't mean to pick on all lists. I like lists. I use lists all the time. I will continue to use lists. But they're becoming a cliche on social bookmarking sites. Someone posted an article a while ago about how to get promoted at those sites, and using lists was one of the ways.

Posted by: James at March 14, 2007 12:31 PM

Julie, I agree: NASCAR is a huge waste of fuel.

And by the way, it's not a sport (unless I get to call myself an athlete for driving to work every day).

Posted by: Patti M. at March 14, 2007 12:35 PM

I've never called NASCAR a sport. :)

Posted by: Julie at March 14, 2007 12:57 PM

If it's a sport, then poker is a sport.

I tell you, one day poker will be considered a sport.

Posted by: James at March 14, 2007 2:11 PM

Well, how is shooting something a "sport?" And yet, a "sportsman" is somebody who shoots things. So if shooting something is a sport, then I don't see why driving and shuffling cards can't be sports.

Does sport mean competition? Does it mean something loses (or dies)? Is athletic prowess necessarily a component?

I really don't know. I don't care if NASCAR drivers consider NASCAR a "sport," that doesn't mean it isn't stupid or unathletic, it just means I adjust my definition of "sport" into the meaningless umbrella term range and start using other words. If they say they're athletes (and some probably do), then I'll start complaining. (Or laughing.)

Posted by: Maggie at March 14, 2007 2:35 PM

I like lists too, when they're meaningful. Often, they are a gimmick to catch your interest. When I was unemployed (and therefore didn't have money to burn) I used to get so many brochures in the mail for "courses" that would supposedly improve my standing in the job market, such as "Ten Secrets Executive Assistants Should Know."

I've never been an exec assistant, but that's beside the point. I realized that I was supposed to immediately begin racking (wracking?) my brain over what these ten things were. Then perhaps I should break into a cold sweat and realize that I'm a fraud in the workplace, and then call these people and beg them to let me into their class.

Magazine covers and books tantalize you with lists like "Ten Things to Drive Him/Her/Them crazy in Bed." (I wonder if "crumbs" is one of them.) Or "Seven Habits of Very Diligent Dwarves."

Sometimes I suspect that the Ten Commandments were padded a bit just to come up with a round number.

So, I take lists - especially numbered lists - with a grain of several highly effective seasonings.

Posted by: Julie at March 14, 2007 2:37 PM

You know what I'm realizing now?

I don't use lists enough.

Posted by: James at March 14, 2007 2:40 PM

Shooting and driving both require physical skill - dexterity. So does painting. I wouldn't consider either of them sports on their own, personally, although if they're included in an athletic competition (I'm thinking like the biathlon) then that's a little different. The ability to shoot straight in a hurry in between laps of skiing is not quite the same as just shooting an old pal in the face because he looks like a duck after you've had a few beers.

Ahem. For example.

Posted by: julie at March 14, 2007 2:44 PM

Julie, you're killing me! (No pun intended, I assure you.)

Posted by: Patti M. at March 14, 2007 3:16 PM

Hey, I don't *invent* the terms, I'm just sayin'! Shooting your buddy in the face instead of the bird bred specifically for that purpose and flushed in front of the barrel of your gun (if only you could shee shtraight!) makes you a "shportsman."

Posted by: Maggie at March 14, 2007 5:42 PM

This brings up an interesting question. What *is* a sport?

Posted by: briwei at March 14, 2007 5:52 PM

Shportsman. Tee hee hee hee. :o)

Posted by: Julie at March 14, 2007 6:25 PM

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