“The Five Things Post” Phenomenon

Apparently in blogging world it’s “hip” to write top 5 or top 10 lists about certain things.  Apparently it’s also cool to then tag others who are somehow obligated to do the same thing.  Almost a month ago, my dear friend Alissa tagged me and I’ve been trying to think of whether and how to respond to that.  It made me immediately uneasy: “you can’t tell me what or how to blog!”  Look soon for another post entitled “the privacy of blogging.” 

So when you do a google search for this phenomenon, pages upon pages pop up with people listing five things about themselves that others don’t know.  Many start with “I haven’t played tag in ages, but here goes…”  or “I’m not sure why I’m doing this, but hey I was tagged.”  “I hate you for tagging me…”  “I’m sooo boring, honestly, untag me?”

Jeff Pulver is widely blamed (or credited) with getting this activity re-started, though it’s hard to find much info going back before him; he didn’t list the originators. 

Then of course, people began just blogging about their five things without ever being tagged.  I suppose that’s where these activities remind me of Facebook and Friendster, and start measuring how many real friends you have:
“you were never tagged?”
“oh no, but that’s ok.”
“I can’t believe nobody tagged you.”
“what does that mean?”
“well, just, you know, you seemed to have plenty of friends…”
“that’s it!  I don’t need to be tagged, I’m writing it on my own!”

Someone here even started following a whole tagging tree, detailing who was tagged and whom they then tagged.  Thankfully I’m not the only one who fails to continue the madness!  Though I will note an interesting trend, which is that the closer to the originator you are, the more likely you are to actually continue the tag.  I suppose that after that it becomes a matter of “do I follow the crowd?” or “do I choose to rebel?”  (or, I suppose “do I really have time for this?”)

So there you have it.  I’d have spent less time listing five things, but hope this might have been more thought-provoking.  Let me know if you know more about this phenomenon pre-Jeff Pulver. 



  1. alissa said,

    May 8, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    sorry jane! i’m glad you made you’re own choice and didn’t do something that you didn’t want to do. and you made some really interesting points to boot!

  2. amy said,

    May 9, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    I think you’re hilarious!

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