The 21st Century's Worst Media Trend (So Far)

It's not downsizing, or bias, or general shallowness (though those are all contenders).

It's the click bait top 10 list, which requires 10+ clicks to see what could be shown in a table taking about 2 column-inches of space.

Here is a particularly irritating example, as it was a topic I was interested in.  Here is a taste of the article:

To measure the states that are most attractive to Americans on the move, we developed an “attraction” ratio that measures the number of domestic in-migrants per 100 out-migrants. A state that has a rating of 100 would be perfectly balanced between those leaving and coming.

Overall, the biggest winner — both in absolute numbers and in our ranking —  is Texas. In 2014 the Lone Star State posted a remarkable 156 attraction ratio, gaining 229,000 more migrants than it lost, roughly twice as many as went to No. 3 Florida, which clocked an impressive 126.7 attraction ratio.

Most of the top gainers of domestic migrants are low-tax, low-regulation states, including No. 2 South Carolina, with an attraction ratio of 127.3, as well as No. 5 North Dakota, and No. 7 Nevada. These states generally have lower housing costs than the states losing the most migrants.

So what would you expect to see next?  A nice graphic -- a bar chart perhaps but at least a color-coded map -- showing the data for all 50 states.  But no, we can't have that.  All we get is this clicky thing -- the same technology used by web sites to show the "you won't believe what these 10 child actors look like today" results.  20+ page views to see 20% of the data.


  1. ToddF:

    You could make a case that auto-refresh is a worse trend. The Drudge Report reloads about every 10 seconds, now, followed by a self serving headline about a new record for page views.

  2. Thane_Eichenauer:

    I imagine that irritating examples will self-eliminate over time.

  3. John Moore:

    It inflates the number of page views. I guess some advertisers are still dumb enough to believe that page views mean something. And then there's the Drudge Report with it's frequent refreshes - I suspect it is so Drudge can always brag about having the most hits on the net.

  4. Conqueror of All Foes Cheese:

    I hate list click throughs more than I hate Illinois Nazis. And I really, really hate Illinois Nazis.

  5. CruisingTroll:

    I contend that there Is one thing worse than that annoying "Top 10". it's when they combine the annoying Top 10 with a click-bait and switch, more more accurately, bait that is a lie.
    The autoplay video is a definite contender, as are the over abundant reloads and the content that comes from 87 different places, so page loads take forever.