Monday, 14 April 2008

Listmania (blog assigment 1)

Mister potato thinks...
List are everywhere. You can notice that without leaving this blog: I've added a list of my most listened bands of the week, blogger makes a list with my published posts,... If you look outside of this blog (you should do it sometimes), you will find lists such as"my favourite movies", "the 10 best guitar players ever" or "things that I want to do before dying" not only in other blogs but in newspapers or magazines, too. Why everybody enjoys making (or reading) lists so much? I'll make a list of possible reasons:

  • In the last years of the 1990's, lists of "the TOP (insert number here) (insert category here) of the century/millenium " started appearing everywhere, for a new century was going to arrive and people wanted to summarize the ending one. However, that cannot be a good reason, since lists where popular way before the millenium change.
  • Lists are visual. They are more attractive than a plain paragraph and show the information faster, since they organize the information. There are some other better visual ways to organize information that are not so popular, so this might not be the most powerful reason.
  • Lists are, most of all, easy. They are easy to make, easy to read and easy to memorize (maybe not so much the longest such as "the 1000 books that everyone should read"). If, e.g., someone creates an ordered list of his "Top rock bands", he is giving a lot of information with few words. The order in which the bands are shown itself reflects the author's preference without saying "I prefer this band to this one and this one to that one". In brief, they simplify things. You can give all (and maybe even more) information that you want to your reader with few words and in a more clear way than with a bunch of huge paragraphs.
Those are only some possible reasons for lists popularity. The list can be longer and some more complicated forces (psychological , for example) might be involved. But this is a humble blog from a humble potato and I am not able to explain this phenomenon alone.

PS: Picture made from Playschool's coloring game.


Nico said...

Another list. "The Top 13 Toys of All Time" Oh surprise!, who is the number 1?
top 13 toys

Mister Potato said...

Of course I am the first. I've been sold since 1949, that should mean something :D

Thanks for your comment.

Nico said...

I'll add your blog to my blogroll.