Top 5 criteria for making a top 10 list

I’ve noticed that a lot of bloggers and web 2.0 gurus like making top 10 lists for different things. I can’t get ‘High Fidelity‘ by Nick Hornby out of my head when I see a top 10 list. Admittedly, in High Fidelity, Rob Fleming, the main character makes only top 5 lists – you’ve got to do twice the thinking for a top 10 list – but I’m about to challenge myself to do it. Yes, unheard of before, I’m going to make a list of my top 10 educational games. OK, so maybe lots of people have done that, but I might as well throw my money in the top 10 games hat. Anyway, here are my top 5 criteria for making my top 10 list.


  1. Make sure you have some experience of items on your list. People can find stuff out from Wikipedia, so don’t just be academically right. You’ve got have lived it…
  2. Try to put your list in some kind of order. It may only be a list, but it can still have a narrative. I love it when I get to about item 6 and the tension is broken with some witty humour or self-deprecating reflection. Or when point 3 comes along and you can’t help nodding sagely at the thoughtful insight.
  3. Remember that nobody really bothers much with the middle of the list. So you don’t need to write much for that point.
  4. Make sure you have some experience of items on your list. It sounds obvious, but you wouldn’t guess the amount of people who just look things up on Wikipedia and then pretend they know all about it.
  5. Don’t repeat yourself. You may think you’re making a point, but you could have just made a shorter list.
I hope everyone finds that helpful.
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