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An Open Complaint: Top Nth Lists

An understandable staple of gaming and news sites in general, the go-to fluff piece on a slow news day, I personally am beginning to find top list becoming a growing pet peeve. Not for their very and often trivial nature, but how they are being utilized.

While possibly an issue with coding, the first thing that comes to mind when going to the source of an N4G submission concerning a top lists with a single entry on a single page regardless of the list being five ten fifteen and more entries comes off as being exploitative. An impolite method to artificially beef up traffic numbers, taking those numbers to advertisers to get higher prices for ads. Essentially to reduce visitors to data farmers, more accurately data farm animals, with the crop being site hits.

Well I say enough's enough.

Now I am not calling for a full on end to the practice of lists - that would just be plain stupid - but what I am requesting now is an attempt to call to task sites which do one-entry-one-page lists. As I've stated in posts before there's nothing wrong with lists broken into multiple site-pages, in fact I frequently visit for their 5-entry lists which are two pages, but unlike Cracked which offers amusing mini-essays for each entry to back up and explain the points, I want to deliver notice to sites that have top thirty lists and past a short opening paragraph - if that - support said list-entry with less than a full sentence of non-reason.

Quite frankly what I would like to see happen to sites which engage in such practices on N4G, is that they no longer be on N4G. That they be voted off unless they change their ways. Nothing wrong with a top ten list being broken into three entries per page with number one given its own as a way of presenting tension, besides of course the loss of six site-hits. Even two entries per page is alright, so long as there are non-vapid statements supporting what will likely be an in-game pic seen millions of times before.

I would also like to present some suggestions to get things started, but since I also reckon that many of these sites know who they are and already have reason to flag this call of common courtesy, logic and free will versus being treated as farming chattel, I don't want to give them more so I wont. I suspect that if this does get approved there will be plenty of suggestions in comments.

To summarize: Vote one-entry-one-page Top Lists off of N4G.

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TopDudeMan1547d ago

Awesome. I'll put this article on my "Top ten articles about top ten lists" list. ;D

Menashe1546d ago

I agree with the main notion of what you just said. Top Ten Lists used to be interesting because they were infrequent and well-written. Now, they are:

1) Mostly common knowledge or super-obscure
2) Too frequent.
3) Exploitative.

The two sites that have caused this Top Ten proliferation are N4G and Zergnet. Most smaller sites these days are part of the Zergnet network and basically, the only articles that get accepted into their system are Top Ten lists.

MidnytRain1544d ago

Sorry, bro. Great idea and all, but, for the most part, the admins ignore any suggestions users make. You'll be neither the first nor the last to complain. Aside from some site redesigns, it's been the same for years. N4G never really changes. Your nobility is nice to see, though.

Godmars2901544d ago

I'm not asking the admins - I'm asking the people who's votes approve stories.

Check under the link to the actual article which has the submitting site's address. You can both rate the quality of the story as well as the site itself. Vote it down enough and the site will effectively be banned.

If the admins don't remove the option if such a thing becomes widely used. Could as well offer something like editing descriptions to let the site, or those submitting stories from it, why submissions from it are no longer being taken.

MidnytRain1544d ago

Well, then there's the second problem. This site is user-run. While that is good in some ways, it's bad in others. Submitting stories is almost like a contest to a lot of people here. If it gets approved and hot, then that's all that matters apparently.

ShiftyLookingCow1542d ago (Edited 1542d ago )

Only 10 people(or less) are required to approve a story.

I think if the number is increased to say 50(given this site's growth and popularity, that wouldn't be unreasonable) then we would have better quality content.

JD_Shadow1544d ago

Have to be careful, though, of who you end up banning from N4G based solely on that (and we have enough topic that come up on this site that people don't think before posting or acting on as it is). That site that could post a top 10 like that could also be a creditable site that would otherwise get good stories, or it could be a site that needs the exposure and clicks to get into that threshold, and when it's hard to GET that exposure or anyone to actually read what you're posting (because of fanboyism or spite or whatever else), you're going to need to do something to get people to click.

Yeah, they might be fodder and might exaggerate the clicks, but it might be a necessary evil for some sites that need to get exposure and/or revenue from somewhere in order to survive.

It's a good idea, but we need to think it through and make sure we're not just getting every single person who dares to do a list with that tactic in mind (especially when N4G is the only real good site of its kind).

Godmars2901543d ago (Edited 1543d ago )

Again for what its worth, since I don't expect anything to come of this, I'm not asking for a total end to top lists, especially the vapid shallow ones, but rather the exploitative vapidly shallow ones.

This one for example:
or direct:

Basic retread of something that's literally been done dozens of times but at least its all on one page. Now if it were on 15 or even 16 separate, then I'd say the site needs to go. I honestly can't imagine anything of any real worth being published on a site which feels that it can get away with making a top fifteen list made up of a stock photo, a paragraph or sentence for description, and then a next button which loads another page.