I really was going to let this slide. But something pushed me over the edge today.
I’m not the first to complain about this; Matt Haughey said it a year ago. But since then things have only gotten worse.
Blogging is a trade far more respectable than its silly name would suggest, folks. I understand that traffic equals money. I don’t mind that you’re using a gimmick to get people to click on your link. I mind that you’ve been using the same gimmick for a year and a half. Find something different! Hell, fall back on the old “CLICK HERE FOR GIRLS MAKING OUT” ruse! You’ve only begun to explore ways to manipulate your readers!
“Protest programming,” as a form of agitprop, is at least a generation old. Its earliest recorded practitioner was the anonymous soul who uploaded a simple GW‐BASIC program to a BBS in 1986:
10 PRINT "REAGAN SUCKS" 20 GOTO 10
Profound commentary for its time.
My contribution to the art form is a Greasemonkey script that will “redact,” CIA-style, those posts that are deemed to use the “list format” crutch. It does this by checking for a numeral at the beginning of the link. It also jumps through a few hoops to catch edge cases like a preceding article (“The 9 Best Ways to Blog Your Meals”), spelled‐out words (“Thirteen Productivity Habits of Insomniacs (Tip 1: Sleep Less)”), and preceding blog titles (“WorkflowSynergies » Blog Archive » 4 Ways to Synergize Your Workflows”).
To illustrate, here’s a before/after screenshot of del.icio.us’s popular links tagged with “lists.” (Fish in a barrel, I know. But I needed something to test against.)