You won't believe these three incredible list-making websites we found!


What people don’t realize is how much insane manpower is put into these sites. Many of them have forums where people compete and work on these list for months to try to get up on the site. There was recently a plagiarism uproar and I was shocked to find who communities of people competing to make these stupid pointless lists.

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You won’t believe this auto-clickbait generator in ~40 lines of code.

For example:

4 amazing auto-generated clickbait lists

  1. The 12 Most Durable Tax-exempts

  2. The 13 Most Corrugated Actualities

  3. The 17 Most Stentorian Admirers

  4. The 18 Most Organic Suppositions


McSweeney’s did a clever parody of these recently.

In one of the first occurrences I can recall of McSweeney’s making larger headlines, BuzzFeed proved it was not to be outdone.


How about a series selecting the best blog posts from 1, 5, and 10 years in the past?



FWIW, wearing an owl on your head is pretty metal.


I like owls.


I don’t really understand. How does clickbait work? Is there advertising on the page, or is revenue just beside the point?

Meanwhile, Boing Boing has a list of three things, with only one thing on the second page. Then you have to click again to go to comments.

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85 dogs that are 24 cats

Four things after the jump. Also, no ads on the comments page. Whats up with us, can’t even do a list right?

That is one weird trick!



I love you.

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Advertising dollars, which are driven by page-views.
“Ideally” the lists are spread over multiple pages – each item appearing on its own page if at all possible.
This drives the clicks up and up. Plus, there are internal “ads” promoting other multi-page lists, to keep you clicking ALL DAY.

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Uhm what’s with that paperwhite dig at the end? Presumably some of the “three” sales were encouraged by boingboing’s own promotional giveaway of a signed paperwhite. Are they now denounced as DRM-laden evilware?

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