You might have noticed that BoiseDev isn’t a place the trumpets a lot of those magazine or online lists. We profiled one this week – but it’s a rare thing.
On Idaho Matters this week, I chatted with host Gemma Gaudette about the cottage industry that popped up around making “best of” lists.
Once upon a time, a high ranking on a prominent list might make the average Idaho resident feel a sense of pride. But these days, sentiment seems… a little less excited.
The Boise Valley Economic Partnership maintains a list of lists – and they run the gamut. From #6 Happiest State to Unexpectedly Awesome Coffee Cities to Best City for Eclectic Travelers… if there’s a list, it seems Boise or Idaho pops up.
Earlier this week, Fox Business hosted Gov. Brad Little for a segment about two lists Idaho showed up on. One, the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Laffer Economic Outlook named Idaho second. The network also touted Boise’s fast-growing real estate market.
Two key factors mix together to make the glut of lists less interesting or important than they used to be.
- Many websites are trying to generate rankings to attract news coverage. Just about every day in my inbox, I have an email from a credit card offer website touting some list. This summer they trumpeted Boise being the 8th best city in the country for renters. Really?
- Most of the rankings don’t add much to the conversation. Once in a while, it might illuminate something unique or newsworthy (this is the case I made for Inc. Magazine’s list), but generally, the lists use an opaque jumble of data and math that don’t mean much.
We do like data – and regularly feature interesting information that helps drive the conversation. From Census nuggets to commercial real estate stats, this type of detail helps. But a list ginned up to sell a credit card? No, thanks.