Meaningless: Lists of top ten 007 movies

"I'm sorry, 007. You're not generating enough clicks."

“I’m sorry, 007. You’re not generating enough clicks.”

Over the past 15 years, the Internet has turned journalism upside down (and then some). Example: “list-icles” such as Top 10 James Bond movies.

Background: there have been 23 films (soon to be 24) in the James Bond film series produced by Eon Productions. Top 10 means you’re almost halfway through the complete series. That’s like, say, bragging about getting a “Top 20” series in a NASCAR auto race when there are 43 cars to begin with.

Yet, the Internet has transformed “click bait” into a premium. You could do a “Top 10” Bond movie list at random but you’d get 007 fans to click on the link. They’d argue, debate, etc. That wouldn’t matter. As long as they clicked on the link, the purpose of the story would be served.

A few recent examples: a Top 10 list by a website CALLED ASKMEN. A James Bond countdown from THE ROTTEN TOMATOES website. A WHAT CULTURE list of the top 10 007 movies.

It doesn’t matter how these (or many other such stories) have done careful reasoning, informed analysis, etc. It’s all about the clicks. In the Internet “journalism” (such as it is) of the 21st century, it’s all’s about the clicks. The clicks drive traffic, the traffic drives advertising revenue, etc.

With that background, analysis takes a back seat to emotion, such emotion will spur people to agree or criticize. If an article generates enough clicks, it’s worth it.