Tag Archives: knowledge

How to Make a GOOD Top 5 List

Geek!This is Jack Brolly’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

  1. Choose a topic that you are knowledgeable on. There is no point in getting all of your information from somewhere like “Wikipedia” and then making a list. Lack of knowledge shows. Also try to have experience in your chosen topic. It would be stupid to choose a topic that you know nothing about. You would be trying to advise people on something that you don’t even know about and that is never going to work. Knowledge is power.
  2. Be Original. Being original is very important! If it is a list that can be easily found by “googling” it then it is not an original topic. Being original also allows you to get more readers as they would have never seen a list on your chosen topic before. Before I chose this topic I googled it and I got no results that match this title, thus this is an original top 5 list. There is a lot of almost “Clich├ęd ” lists. Keep away from these. An example is “Top 5 tips for losing weight”. There are whole websites devoted to topics like that so it is therefore unoriginal and decreases the chances of your list getting hits. At the end of the day the success of your list will be judged on how many views or hits your list gets. Another part of being original is making sure the list is made up of your own content and your content only; this means do not plagiarize.
  3. Plan your top 5 list before you type it. Don’t rush into it, there is no race. By not rushing you might think of better points to put into your list. Type out 2 or 3 drafts until you are happy with the finished product. When you see a list that hasn’t been planned to tends to go off topic, points tend to be strewn about and it is very repetitive. So planning is another aspect of list making. The plan also helps give it a good structure which makes the points easier to follow.
  4. Spelling, grammar, punctuation and a varied vocabulary are important. If you want people to take your list seriously try to type full words and sentences. So instead of writing “u shud” write “you should”. It makes the whole list clearer. Good grammar also gives the impression of intelligence. It’s hard to take list seriously when someone is misspelling every second word. Punctuation also makes the whole list clearer. If you don’t punctuate then every paragraph would be a sentence. It is important that full stops and commas are there to give the reader a break to take in a point at once rather than a full paragraph. When varying your vocabulary there is no need to overuse big words. Try to keep the language intelligent and accessible at the same time.
  5. Don’t ramble, but don’t be too vague. Keep your sentences short and to the point. Don’t feel the need to go into a huge amount of detail. If you ramble on and go into a huge amount of detail when you don’t need to then you are possible boring the reader. Don’t be too vague. That way you are not effectively getting your point across. There is a delicate balance that you must find.

Google's Knol is Knowledge

Google unleashed Knol today, which is essentially aiming to be collection of authoritative articles written with attribution. Knowledge is certainly everywhere these days, but I believe Google is trying to add wisdom to the equation – doing it somewhat differently than the competition.

Just about anybody and everybody is welcome to contribute, and even if you don’t contribute to Knol – they’ve got great guidelines for just about any writer, or just about any information network (kinda like what I’d love Lockergnome to be someday). Here’s their Best Practices – worth scanning. What’s most interesting in this knol on writing Knols is that they clearly state that an article should not be written like a blog.

Google Knol

They say that “Sharing your knowledge with the world is rewarding for everyone,” but it remains to be seen whether this is going to be anything more than a potential resume booster for contributors. Credentials are important, but as I’ve come to discover over time… credentials are not built in a centralized fashion anymore. You have to spread your intelligence wisely, in more than one location, to be discovered and sought after as someone who knows what they’re talking about. It’s not necessarily about WHO you know, but WHERE you participate throughout the Internet.

I think it’s awesome to have yet another resource for research on a topic; Wikipedia, Mahalo, and Knol should be quite complementary. I’d never look to one over another as THE authoritative resource for anything or everything. Perspectives matter, but you need to seek several before that knowledge can grow into true wisdom.

Some of my friends seem disappointed but seemingly hopeful. Maybe we were expecting more from Google?