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Thursday, August 18, 2005

Comparing Within The Category

Chris Anderson writes, it is a mistake to see the world through Top 10, 100, and 500 lists
more evil headism.There's nothing wrong with ranking by popularity-after all, that's just another example of a "wisdom of crowds" filter-but all too often these lists lump together all sorts of niches, genres, sub-genres and categories into one unholy mess.
The Feedster Top 500 blogs & Technorati Top 100 list shows there are a couple of gadget blogs in each list, two or three political blogs, some uncategorizeable subculture ones (BoingBoing, FARK), a personal blog (dooce) and a Flash developers site (Albino Blacksheep). Clearly this is a semi – random collection of totally disparate things. To use an analogy, top-blog lists are akin to saying that the bestsellers in the supermarket today were:
1. DairyFresh 2% Vitamin D Milk
2. Hayseed Farms mixed grain Bread
3. Bananas, assorted bunches
4. Crunchios cereal, large size
5. DietWhoopsy, 12-pack, cans
Chris concludes,lists only make sense in context, comparing like with like within a category.


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