The Verge 50: What A Weird Feature
So the piece opens with a concession: that the staffers at The Verge are not masters of the almighty listicle, but they wanted to produce a concluding feature on the year's most influential people. Entirely fair, go for it. So I go to the next page and I find there's no clickable space to actually go anywhere (note: I'm reading on a 1080p desktop monitor) until I find the tiny arrows hidden in the top right corner. With all the "white space" in the layout, I'm surprised these weren't utilized for navigation. By the way, it's so beautiful. So gorgeous, the whole thing.
The list starts off with the most important person first, which is the opposite of how you want to do these because everyone who follows are going to be A) less important and B) less exciting to read about. You put Elon Musk at the end. Speaking of which, all of these people up front are safe bets that weren't necessarily world changers this year. Musk, Bezos, Mayer, Degrasse-Tyson, all safe. Then we dive into the weird selection of everyone else.
Hastings has had a good year at Netflix, no doubt, but there's no mention of Sarandos in his brief.
Wojcicki is an interesting choice because the FDA decision may undo a lot of what her company's been working on so far, which was only possible because advancing tech, out of her hands, allowed her to drop the price on the screening tests.
Then we get into catalog favorites: person favorites who haven't done anything this year of note, but it seems The Verge wanted to hit 50 people.
Lena Dunham? Read about her in 2012, not 2013.
Pussy Riot? Ditto
Nate Silver? I mean, seriously, are we covering the 2012 election again?
Notch? The only thing he did this year was cancel a game.
Rian Johnson? Great director, but Looper was also 2012.
The most shocking pick, after The Verge has spent so much editorial resources covering him and the NSA reach he uncovered, was that Snowden wasn't number one, he was fourteen. What?
I would consider this to be the Windows Phone of annual best-of lists: very cool aesthetic, but missing many of the bones that make other lists a better read.