Here at Listnerd.com, we’re passionate about lists. We’ve invested a lot of time and effort into making the best social list web-app we possibly could; so that our users can create exciting, interactive and time consuming lists. But what makes a list good? What makes it interesting, both for the creator and curator – and the readers of the list? And what separates Listnerd’s approach to lists, to that of our forerunners?
To answer all of those questions, we have to take a step back – and take a look at the evolution of lists.
The most basic type of list is the static text list. A static text list is basicly just a numbered list, decending from the top one position and downwards. It’s an archetype. Lists of this kind are found all over the internet – and in our purses and wallets, in the form of shopping lists. It’s a very one-dimensional type of list. It doesn’t carry any data or metric, other than the list position and the name of each item. It’s where all lists hail from.
Until the internet came around, lists were pretty boring as far as multimedia went. Lists were text, nothing more, nothing less. With the arrival of the internet and lolcats, lists could suddenly include pictures – or even sound. People magazine’s annual Sexiest Man Alive, Cracked.com’s 9 Disturbing Christmas Ads You Won’t Believe Are Real and Listverse’s 10 Greatest Enemies of Godzilla are three great examples of combining lists with multimedia to enhance the presentation. Note that they’re all still written by an editor, with totalitarian control over the actual list order.
The user-contributed list adds another dimension to lists. In addition to the list position and the name of each item, user contributed lists are backed up by data: The users help determine the position of each item on the list. IMDB Top 250 movies list is a great example of this. It’s still a boring kind of list, but at least the position of each item on the list is based on the average user rating of that specific movie. At the time IMDB’s Top 250 Movies list was launched, it was pretty progressive as far as lists go. TripAdvisor and their Top hotels in New York-style lists should also be mentioned; in the way that the position of each hotel on the list is ultimately determined by the users.
With the arrival of “web 2.0″-type web applications, user’s could have a say in the actual list order – as opposed to just contributing data. Finally we’re getting somewhere.
Top10.com offers a great example of this kind of list. On Top10.com, users can create lists and rate stuff on that list - but they can’t actually add list items freely. They have to choose between a selection of pre-defined list items. It’s like telling a man in a straitjacket he’s free to do whatever he wants. But it’s still a great step forward for lists.
5. The user generated and freely editable list
Originated: Cirka 2009
Ranker.com offers another take on lists. On Ranker.com, users create the lists and - unlike Top10.com – they can add new items freely. However, their votes on the individual items on the list doesn’t actually count – they have to “re-rank” the list to be able to have a say in the order of the list. The result are countless variations of the same list, each with their own order.
6. The user generated, user contributed and freely editable list
Originated: 15th of November 2012
Enter Listnerd. Listnerd is our try at revolutionizing the world of lists. With Listnerd, users create the lists, they can add new items freely and their votes actually influence the order of the list. The result is a centralized, democratic and social source of information. Top animated movies? Best video games? Top dubstep artists? Or the greatest Formula 1 cars of all time? Our users created these lists, our users added the items to these lists – and our users determine the positions for all the items on all the lists. We truly believe this represents the next step in the evolution of lists.
PS: Ironically, this entire blog post is a multimedia list. Visit our main site Listnerd.com for social, interactive lists.