Lists are the bread and butter of any blogger's content strategy. They're quick to read, easy to digest, and deliver on very specific promises. They're also an irresistible way to summarise and celebrate the events of a year as it comes to an end.
So with that in mind and because it's nearly Christmas, and we're all feeling a bit festive and irreverent in the office today I'm proud to present, in no particular order, Redhouse Lane's Top Ten Top Ten Lists of 2010 List of 2010.
Google's mission to assimilate and catalogue the entire internet (and by extension the universe as we know it) continues apace in this cornucopia of Top Tens. Disasters, pop stars and technology dominated our Google search behaviour in 2010.
"HMU" shorthand for "Hit Me Up" is the surprisingly banal number one in Facebook's list of the ten phrases most often occurring in status updates in 2010, beating even the World Cup and the omnipresent adolescent popstar Justin Bieber.
2010 was the year that Twitter became important, and the microblogging platform's year-end Top Tens reveal the most important topics and updates posted there. The Ten Most Retweeted Tweets list proves we like to share laughs; the Ten Most Powerful shows that Twitter can save lives and define international relations. The internet is breaking out into the Real World, peopleâ€¦
Which makes it all the easier for spectacular mistakes and misjudgements to sneak through. Witness Dr Pepper posting porn-related status updates on young fans' Facebook profiles.
The number one most viewed 'People' video on YouTube this year was an advertisement: Old Spice's 'The Man Your Man Could Smell Like' (on which topic I am self-imposing an embargo for 2011; I've talked about it quite enough!). But the number one most viewed 'Vehicle' video was also an ad: part of DC Shoes' Gymkhana campaign. Advertising is becoming about engagement as well as awareness; it's blending ever more deeply with marketing. Content is king, and all that.
Daniel Nations bases his list purely on unique visits, which puts Facebook first (no surprises there), but allows in a few relative unknowns (Classmates? MyLife? Anyone?) and some networks we early adopters might consider old hat (MySpace at a respectable number two, LiveJournal sneaking in at eight). Clearly we shouldn't be ruling these older, less snazzy-looking sites out of our marketing strategies just yet.
In which the personal insight of an individual, Chris Brogan, triumphs over a number of well-staffed blogs like Mashable and CopyBlogger. Does a single, consistent voice make for more engaging content than the clamouring torrent of a prolific blogging team?
It turns out you can't go wrong with Eastern European meerkats. Who knew?
An eclectic list encompassing products and events alongside content and trends, from the birth of location-based marketing to the death of Big Brother.
The IMDb editor recommends a mixed bag of family animation, gritty realism, and a number of presumably last-minute entries released towards the tail end of 2010, at least here in the UK (True Grit, Black Swan, 127 Hours) but the top spot is reserved for Inception, possibly the most intelligent Big Stupid Summer Blockbuster ever released.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and here's looking forward to the many Top Tens of 2011!