Jun
23





10 Reasons This Design Blog Will Not Use Lists

Ten Reasons This Design Blog Will Not Use Lists - bkmacdaddy designs

Over the past few months as I have dived into the social media realm I have discovered a wealth of graphic and web design blogs and resources on the internet that I never before knew existed. In future articles I will share my experiences and delight I have had meeting and sharing with various people online that I otherwise would have never met. But in this article I want to focus on one thing: the never ending abundance of lists. It seems that someone somewhere determined at some point that the key to a successful design (or any other type of) blog is to put it in the format of a list.

40+ examples of this.

Top 10 tutorials of that.

Ultimate list of fill in the blank.

Someone probably saw the success of the first few list-based blog posts and decided it was the best way to go. Soon everyone was doing it. Now the lists have become a staple in the blogging world. In fact, even some more news-oriented websites have caught on and are utilizing lists to generate traffic.

I have to admit, I am personally attracted to the lists. I mean, when I see that there is a collection of 25 sets of social media icons I can download, I am first in line to add it to my Delicious links and tweet the heck out of it. So let me be clear that I am not begging the list-makers to stop. I believe there is a place and a time for everything under the sun (where have I heard that before?) and lists on design blogs are a wonderful thing that satisfy some OCD hunger in all of us.

So for the first and last time on this blog I want to give you a list of reasons that this blog will not use lists. Does anyone else find that amusing?

10 REASONS THIS DESIGN BLOG WILL NOT USE LISTS

1. Way too organized. Lists would require me to organize my thoughts and plan out an article. I’m more of an “off-the-cuff” writer. Can you tell?

2. If I have to put things in list form then there would have to be enough items or points to necessitate a list. Not sure I could handle that kind of pressure. I mean, I’m already getting nervous about coming up with the next 8 items on THIS list! Maybe I should change it to five reasons…

3. There is what some might call a ‘sickness’ in me that refuses to follow the pack, even when the pack is on a proven successful track. No doubt resource lists work, and work well. But how much fun will it be trying to figure out new and different ways to provide a number of resources or suggestions? I love a challenge!

4. While it is not my desire to make people angry or upset, it is always my passion to approach from a different angle. To question what others may blindly accept. To risk mistakes and failure with the hope of discovery and invention. To fall flat attempting change, all the while rejoicing in the thrill of the journey. Personally, I prefer risking the rocking of the boat and the ramifications of it over closing my eyes and enjoying a deceptively smooth sail.

5. I’m just a guy who designs and builds websites, logos, and other media. Sometimes I enjoy writing about what’s on my mind. That could be any number of things. Latest design tricks and skills I’ve learned in the hopes that someone else will learn from them too. Social media-related links. Twitter tips and tools. My kids’ current accomplishments. My wife’s latest photo shoot. Do I really need lists for those things? (Okay, sometimes it might be hard NOT to put them in a list.)

6. One of the reasons some lists are created is to generate traffic – to attract new readers and subscribers to the list-maker’s blog or website, motivated by the desire to sell advertisements and generate income. While I am absolutely not opposed to making money, I am an idealistic artist first. When it comes to expressing oneself in a creative manner, it has been my own experience that once revenue generation becomes a part of the motivation for creative expression it can dramatically impact the output. Seriously, just look at pop music. Need I say more? Because this blog’s purpose is for me an outlet of creative expression and (hopefully) community interaction, I will stand firm at avoiding revenue generation as a motivation for its existence. Maybe if I end up with thousands of subscribers I’ll sing a different tune. Ask me about it then, would you?

7. What about all those people, websites, tutorials, etc. that didn’t make the list? I have an admittedly soft spot in my heart for those that didn’t make the list of the next greatest thing because as of this writing I have only made one such list. It’s a sad existence.

Picture this: I’m scrolling through the latest feeds or tweets and see there’s a new list of the top designers to follow on Twitter. Or the most creative website portfolios. Or the designer with the longest nose. Anything I might possibly qualify for! Anxiously I click on the title and impatiently wait for the page to load. Frantically I scroll down the page to see if my name is anywhere on it. After the first pass I go ahead and open a search window and begin to type “bkmacdaddy”, just in case I may have missed it. I’m getting older. My eyes aren’t what they used to be. Maybe it’s there somewhere and I scrolled too fast. Finally, dejectedly, I scroll back through the list to see who IS on it. As usual, it’s those peers that I definitely admire (and long to be when I grow up.) Another GREAT list to bookmark. Without my name or website or Twitter background on it.

I can’t bear to put anyone else through that.

8. Google me this:
7,340,000 results for “design roundup”
120,000,000 results for “design blog list”
178,000,000 results for “twitter list”
231,000,000 results for “social media list”
245,000,000 results for “design ultimate list”

9. Okay, there is not really a legitimate reason number nine in this list. But the simple fact that I feel the need to make it to ten list items for a nice even number and a better-sounding title is reason enough for me. So I guess there IS a reason number nine!

10. Seriously, the bottom line for me: there are so many GREAT design blogs out there with roundups and lists of top tutorials, inspirations, free downloads and more – do we really NEED another one? I can’t keep up with the ones we have! My bookmarks are FULL of them and it will take me a lifetime to ever read and sort through them all. Plus there will be scores more before I even write the next post to this blog.

So I will graciously do my part in letting those who have already perfected the art of the list continue their craft, while I anxiously await their presence in my feed reader. And I humbly request that the list-makers never stop providing us, the hungry masses, with their next greatest ultimate roundup of all that is design.

As for me and my blog, we will refrain from the lists and instead strive to be a place of expression for myself and anyone else who wants to join in.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this and future articles. Won’t you please subscribe to the feed so you can keep up to date and in touch with whatever’s going on here? In return I can assure you that I will do my best to keep you entertained, amused, challenged, informed, involved, connected and inspired. And if enough of you sign up, I can sell advertising and get rich without ever having written more than one list!

  • http://www.landoncreative.com Sharon Landon

    Brian, from one idealistic artist to another – excellent first post! Great points made throughout. I love lists as much as the next designer, however, I also enjoy reading interesting posts. I’m confident you’ll provide us with some real gems! No pressure or anything! HA!

  • bkmacdaddy

    Thanks for being the first to comment on my new blog, Sharon! I will try keep from succumbing to the overwhelming pressure of a fellow idealistic artist. (Is that correct, to call a female peer a ‘fellow’ artist?) Thanks much for taking the time to stop by, read & comment!

  • http://buzzedition.net Susan (@BuzzEdition)

    LOL…but sweetheart…you do realize that this was “a list”

  • http://z3bb.net/blog/ z3bbster

    Good to see that you are handling this in the opposite direction! List and roundups are indeed a big trend. Good luck with your blog and the next posts.

  • Susie

    Well balanced post, Brian. I like that you gave concrete reasons for not listing but still embraced those that do! Bravo!

    I look forward to future posts…I’ve missed catching glimpses into the mind of Brian McDaniel!

  • bkmacdaddy

    Susan: Glad it gave you a laugh & a smile. Yes, the whole point is that it’s a list. I amuse myself sometimes…lol

    z3bbster: I’m actually a list fan, but I am always one to spot a trend and look for ways to avoid it. Thanks for stopping by & reading! =)

  • http://www.candicemyee.com Candice M. Yee

    Top 5 Thoughts on Your 1st Blog Post (well, technically 2nd, but y’know…)

    1. First off, props on using the Wayne’s World graphic reference! Way to start off on the right foot! I like! :)

    2. Love the intentional irony… a list of reasons to not use lists.

    3. Thinking we might be students of the same school of writing. In other words, I likes ya style, brah!

    4. It’s really nice to see a well thought out blog post, and it is evident that you thought this one through.

    5. You make me proud to be your blogging sponsor. Gonna make sure you don’t fall off the non-blogging wagon (which also means I need to keep up with the blogging duties… crap.)

    Keep up the good work! You keep writing, I’ll keep reading, deal? :)

  • bkmacdaddy

    Candice: LOVE your list response! You crack me up! Thanks for the feedback & the blog sponsorship. Guess we’ll both be holding each other accountable. I’ll write mine & read yours if you’ll do the same. Deal?

  • http://pqrdesigns.com/wordpress Pamela R.

    Brian,

    Kudos!

    I think my first blog post will be a list of the lists that list the best of the best designers to follow on twitter.

    Thoughts?
    Pamela

  • bkmacdaddy

    Pamela: Thank you! I think you’re on the right track with that 1st blog post idea. And I’ll be the first to tweet & retweet the heck out of it! Of course, I probably won’t be on it. LOL

  • bkmacdaddy

    Susie: you know my past experiences & how I continue to strive for seeing both sides of an issue. (wink wink) Thanks for stopping by! Be careful catching these glimpses. My mind can be a strange place to visit…

  • http://www.jamiecroft.com Jamie

    Thanks,
    I to have noticed nothing but lists ALL OVER the nets. And the sad part is most of them are the same as others. Why can’t people, create original content. It’s like every designer you know putting the nike logo in their portfolio saying its fresh and new.
    Soon these list will disappear. I hope.

    Thanks,
    Jamie

  • Steve

    Great first post! I think it’s been too long since I have had a glimpse into the mind of Brian. I look forward to your future posts.

  • bkmacdaddy

    Steve: I am flattered yet a little disturbed that those who have had past experiential glimpses into my mind actually want to have another go at it! Are you a glutton for punishment?!? Hehe…glad you stopped by, my friend!

  • http://filipematos.com Filipe Matos

    Great 10-point-list about not using lists on your blog :-)
    You’ve once again proved your sense of humor, while making a well stated point.
    Happy blogging.

  • http://kovshenin.com kovshenin

    Hey Brian. Really glad that you finally started this blog, way to go man! Best of luck!

    ~ K.

    P.S. About the lists.. I agree with you on that one. Read tonnes of articles about “the perfect name for a blog post” and the 2009 trends say that 37+ 50+ 102+ 339+ bla bla bla are attractive =)

  • http://www.ruhanirabin.com Ruhani Rabin

    Dude! U did used the list hahaha! waynes Top 10 is not bad tho.. keep rockin’

  • http://www.teddy-o-ted.com Teddy

    Towards the end of the article only I realized that you’ve just listed the ten reasons why your blog won’t be using lists… ah, I dig your humour and irony. Cracked me up!

    I do love going through lists posted by others – organized and all, but sometimes I prefer those one-on-one kind of post, where the writer discusses about a certain design or something. Or even tutorials! Yea, they’re good.

    What a great start!

  • http://www.buildinternet.com Zach Dunn

    I always get turned off from a blog when I see the homepage littered with numbers in the title.

    That being said, I think there’s often a difference between a list and a roundup.

    I’ve actually enjoyed a lot of posts in the model of “10 Tweaks to make WordPress Run Faster”, where the content is actually in the post as opposed to linking out.

    On Build Internet, we do occasionally do design roundups (Like themed logos and single page site designs) but the focus is never to make a giant link list for the sake of being “comprehensive”.

    If I want to link to other great posts on the internet, I include a “Further Reading” section. I think that if you’re not generating any new content in the process (and it’s consistent trend in your posts) you need to re-evaluate.

    So that’s my rant. I guess I’m just tired of the 20% of people making content, and 80% of them running blogs that just link to it. It’s litter.

    • bkmacdaddy

      Zach,

      First off, let me say I LOVE your site! Visit it often and subscribe to the feed.

      Second, I think you summed this up better and more succinctly than I came close to. “I think that if you’re not generating any new content in the process (and it’s consistent trend in your posts) you need to re-evaluate.” I could not more heartily agree!

      Thanks for the visit and great input!

  • http://www.therobinsonsmusic.net/flash/ flash

    Nice!

  • http://www.ecstewart.com EC (Lisa) Stewart

    I’m a big fan of irony.

  • http://rachelnpepper.co.uk Rachel

    Made me smile.

    Lists are always disappointing when you aren’t on them and even more disappointing when there is no personal or useful input.

    Must resist looking

  • http://acommonsea.wordpress.com/ Lynn

    I had a client for whom I wrote content who was enamored with lists. And it wasn’t that she wanted to provide really useful recommendations or content, either. The instructions would be to “just Google X” and then make a list out of the top searches. Made me cringe. I try to use lists sparingly. I want my blog posts to be relevant and useful, not just a steaming pile of linkbait.