39 responses

  1. Andy Hayes | Sharing Travel Experiences
    April 13, 2010

    Great points. What people really need is a “Top 10 Places that I’d Love to Visit.” Guess what: the only person that can write that list is you.

    It’s not about how friendly or how dangerous a place is. It’s also about the more important question: does the destination offer the experiences you’re looking for?

    Once you’ve answered that, then look at the details of safety and budget. Not saying they aren’t important, but isn’t the whole idea to go somewhere and have some fun?

    Reply

    • Anil Polat
      April 13, 2010

      I agree – traveling is in a way a sort of selfish act. We all do it for ourselves and to get something out of it in a manner of speaking. The best very subjective lists are the ones we create for ourselves.

      Reply

  2. Stephanie
    April 13, 2010

    I’m glad you wrote this. I have a problem with “Best Places to Visit” and also “Places to See Before you Die.” So much of it is up to your own personal taste and priorities. People should be figuring that out for themselves not following some arbitrary list.

    Reply

    • Anil Polat
      April 13, 2010

      It’s hard to talk in absolutes with anything – especially travel.

      Reply

  3. Cate
    April 13, 2010

    Good post Anil. Deciding where to go should be more about using common sense and not leaving it up to some stupid set of lists that a stranger made up over breakfast. Usually they’re wanting to grab attention and traffic and that’s about it.

    When I see a list heading I skip the post or article and opt for guidebooks, news relating to current situations and expat blogs.These give you insights which generic lists won’t.

    Reply

    • Anil Polat
      April 13, 2010

      Some of the lists are very bland – they probably could be creatively done and still be useful. I don’t mind the list format but I think often the interesting part stops at the headline. I guess as long as people (and search engines) continue to be drawn to them, they’ll stick around.

      Reply

  4. Kirsty – No Place To Be
    April 13, 2010

    I agree with Stephanie these four lists are extremely subjective and sometimes are incredibly unimaginative. Much better to go and find out for yourself, at least then you will have no preconceptions.

    Reply

    • Anil Polat
      April 13, 2010

      I think we/people have a need to break things down – to simplify them as much as we can. Sometimes though it ends up being watered down to the point that all of the good information is washed away. These subjective lists reflect that.

      Reply

  5. Dina VagabondQuest
    April 13, 2010

    I agree. I haven’t written a list yet, perhaps when I make one, I should title it “Top # Places …. that I’ve visited” or something like that.

    Reply

    • Anil Polat
      April 13, 2010

      I’m ok with lists and the format, what you put in them is far more important 🙂

      Reply

  6. Peter J
    April 13, 2010

    Nice post bro. I agree that those four lists wouldn’t help much. I’m a fan of lists though due to their quick and easy reading style.

    I’d love to see a future post discussing a few lists that you think help a lot.

    Reply

    • Anil Polat
      April 13, 2010

      Sure thing Peter, I’ll add it to my list of topics and will post it for you in the upcoming weeks.

      Reply

  7. Amy @ The Q Family
    April 13, 2010

    Very good points! I agree with all other comment that most lists are subjective and very personal especially when it comes to travel. What’s with Friendliest places? It’s the people and how you interact with them that make it friendly or not to you. If you are grumpy, then you will find any place is the least friendly to you. 🙂

    Reply

    • Anil Polat
      April 13, 2010

      A bad mood can make even paradise seem like hell 🙂

      Reply

  8. Runaway Juno
    April 13, 2010

    Totally agreed! Nice article
    those lists can give us a little bit of informations but it really don’t “help”. Because, we have different perspective, don’t we?
    Like everybody says, there’s no right or wrong way to travel.
    Thanks for nice article.

    Juno.

    Reply

    • Anil Polat
      April 13, 2010

      Subjectivity has its place and it’s good to hear the writer’s voice – too bad many of those lists lack a good character behind them.

      Reply

  9. anjuli
    April 13, 2010

    Such a superb post- I’m always amazed at the very true saying “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”- there are places I will never visit again because I’ve tried a few times and didn’t like them- but then I meet a myriad of other people who LOVE them to bits and go every chance they get. On the other hand there are places I adore and others despise those places. So such lists are useless because they only point out certain people’s opinions.

    Reply

    • Anil Polat
      April 13, 2010

      For every place I love there are 10 people who hate it and for every place I don’t like 20 more who would disagree 😉

      Reply

  10. anjuli
    April 13, 2010

    on a totally different note- I’m trying to find any blog entries you made on Rome- I looked in the archives but couldn’t find a category under countries or cities- browsed through other parts of the blog and didn’t come across what I was looking for- could you point me in the right direction– I’m sure the signs are RIGHT in front of me- :)- but I could use a bit of pointing.

    Reply

    • Anil Polat
      April 13, 2010

      I haven’t posted on Rome specifically but let me know what kind of information you’re looking for and I’ll see if I can help or find someone who can 🙂

      Reply

  11. Akila
    April 13, 2010

    Great post, Anil. I get a little tired of the “list” posts because they are all subjective. I met people who didn’t find the Taj Mahal all that impressive while I continue to be amazed by it. Amy makes a great point about “friendly” places — I am yet to find a place where people aren’t friendly once you get beneath their shell — the issue is trying to figure out how to make the connection with them.

    Reply

    • Anil Polat
      April 13, 2010

      Thanks Akila. Yes, I think most people are good in general and friendly – it’s how they display those attributes and how we interpret them that vary quite a bit. Figuring it out is part of the fun of traveling 🙂

      Reply

  12. Priyank
    April 13, 2010

    Haha, that is smart, Anil! I like this list you posted here. 🙂

    Reply

    • Anil Polat
      April 13, 2010

      A list about bad lists!

      Reply

  13. Mark H
    April 13, 2010

    I love the idea of a list of lists that people don’t find helpful. I partially agree – clearly a list is in the mind of the author but many human’s naturally follow lists and mark things off lists. For example, I have found on entering overwhelming museums like the British Museum or several of the major European art galleries (Uffizi, Prado, Louvre, Vatican) that a brochure on the “highlights” gives the visitor a sporting chance of seeing some of the major offerings and not drown in the enormity of the displays. Good article.

    Reply

    • Anil Polat
      April 14, 2010

      I thought it was a bit ironic 🙂

      Reply

  14. T-roy
    April 13, 2010

    Hands down one of the best list I have read in a while man! All the time I see these list of Top 10 “whatever” places and to me they are simply only written for a Google search and twitter re-twitt. They have merit sometimes but overall the lack any real info when it comes to countries only. Like you said if it was more specific to cities “Top 10 things to see in London” it would be more useful. Thanks for writing it man!

    Reply

    • Anil Polat
      April 14, 2010

      Thanks, it’s hard to do a list that stands out 🙂

      Reply

  15. Earl
    April 13, 2010

    Hey Anil – I’m ok with reading lists as long as they avoid trying to please a wide audience. I would much prefer to hear about the author’s specific experiences and why they feel the way they do, as opposed to some general paragraph telling me that Panama is a fun destination, even if I don’t agree with the author’s perspective. That is far more appealing to me.

    And thanks for the link, much appreciated!

    Reply

    • Anil Polat
      April 14, 2010

      You’re welcome Earl 🙂

      I like the format for a number of topics, it’s a good way to digest information quickly. A bit specific and with some of the author’s voice makes for a good article like you say. Lists need useful information and good writing too 🙂

      Reply

  16. Gourmantic
    April 15, 2010

    I find most lists to be a lazy blogger’s way to put up a post. They might be easy to digest when we seem to have a low attention span, but they don’t reflect quality writing most of the time. Sadly, they seem to attract traffic and google hits but offer little substance.

    Reply

    • Anil Polat
      April 15, 2010

      People and search engines love lists both good and bad.

      Reply

  17. Suzy
    April 17, 2010

    Couldn’t agree more. Honestly, all of those “Most wonderful places” etc. lists just run together in my mind. They don’t stand out to me, and therefore don’t make an impact. I think if you can come at a travel list with a unique angle and are always upfront with the reader that these are you tips or favorites and throw in your personal experiences, there is more of an impact. However, those “friendliest places” list are just something someone wants stumbled.

    Reply

    • Anil Polat
      April 17, 2010

      I think we all like to rank and rate stuff and Stumble loves those articles – which is fine, there’s a place for that too. Lists like those are good for clicks but like you say, just wash over the reader almost instantly.

      Reply

  18. Nellie
    April 18, 2010

    Your article made me laugh a little, haha thanks for including my post in your list. Great one Anil!

    Reply

    • Anil Polat
      April 19, 2010

      😀

      Reply

  19. Sherry Ott
    April 20, 2010

    Great – I just posted a best/worst list on my site…ha!

    Super analysis of the ever-popular lists – it really does come down to knowing your author and understanding that it’s just an opinion.
    Anil – you’re certainly on my best travel blogger list! 🙂

    Reply

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