Sep 17, 2009

Top X List of Y

If you're a fan of South Park, or even if you're not, maybe you've heard of the following business plan (courtesy of the Underpants Gnomes):

Step 1 - Collect underpants
Step 2 - ???
Step 3 - Profit!

Ahhh yes, Step 2 remains elusive for many of us, whether it applies to fiscal profit, or even social or emotional gains. Some of you may nod or smile as you recall your erstwhile ideas which you had failed to concretely realize. Those of us ("us" as a species, not as in... whatever I am) who do become noteworthy and appear in textbooks, magazines, tabloids or tweets.

Unfortunately, there are always people who's coveted Step 2 is to latch on to the coat tails of others and leech off their exposure. They are the Kevin Federlines of the digital realm. Why work when someone else can do it for you? They have replaced the above steps with the following similar formula:

Step 1 - Collect links to other people's articles on Y
Step 2 - Post a Top X of Y list on a blog
Step 3 - Profit!

This tedious concept is especially prevalent in the technology realm. How better to catch people's attention than by claiming that not only do you have information on X, you have more of X than the next person?!

Please, I beg of you, before you post a Top X list of your own, consider if you are bringing anything new or interesting to the table. A Top X list is fine if it is mostly your own content. Otherwise, don't bother, we have Google, and whatever your X and Y are, I'm comfortably sure Google has more.

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