We like top 100 lists. The best films of all time, the most influential books, the best baseball players and the best cars. We like the best, the best is good. The problem is figuring out what the best means. Mahalo wants to create portals to the top 20,000 Web pages. “Top” in terms of most requests. Calacanis bemoans the it next list. Techmeme has begun to rank its “contributors.” Scoble thinks that it’s the end of blogging. Frankly, not appearing on a list is not the same as death.
Cole Porter had an interesting list of the “top.” It included Mahatma Gandhi, cellophane, turkey dinners and Garbo’s salary.
You’re the top!
You’re the Louvre Museum.
You’re a melody from a symphony by Strauss
You’re a Bendel bonnet,
A Shakespeare’s sonnet,
You’re Mickey Mouse.
You’re the Nile,
You’re the Tower of Pisa,
You’re the smile on the Mona Lisa
I’m a worthless check, a total wreck, a flop,
But if, baby, I’m the bottom you’re the top!
Top stuff lists are meant to drive traffic. The popular is by definition popular. But the popular is, as Leonard Cohen says, just what everybody knows.