Are ‘best of …’ lists useful or useless?

Do you bookmark long lists giving the best of this and the best of that? Do you ever actually go back and look in detail at each site / app on the list?

I have spent much of the last week going through my bookmarks on diigo and on the whole have been able to see how relevant each one has been and how I could use it in my teaching or CPD. However, I have also found that I have been bookmarking ‘best of’ lists over the last couple of years and never really looking at them. I think that there should be some guidelines for publishing best of lists.

1. Any list of more than 10 items is too many to go through and will invariably mean that the reader will bookmark the list but never actually dip into it.
2. Any list of more than 5 items is still probably too many although the reader will probably attempt to click through the first 5 so may find these useful.

This means that in my opinion a best of list is only any use if it has a maximum of 5 items on it. This makes it practical to click through and means that the creator has identified (hopefully) the ones that they use and know work. Like all rules there probably will be some exceptions especially where different tools achieve similar outcomes in different ways (e.g. PowerPoint / slide rocket / prezi).

I know that in the resources that I have been collecting for my revised #ictcurric (still not sure of the proposed name #digitalstudies) I need to make sure that I am not going against my own advice. One thing is for certain, I will no longer be bookmarking lists of more than 5 items as I know I won’t have the time to go through them (even if I did have the good intention).

Please leave a comment and let others know if you think best of lists are useful or useless?

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