'List' Evaluation Criteria & Standards

Evaluation Standards + Criteria + Journalistic Integrity + Consistency = Author Legitimacy.



More lists! More Top 10, Top 25, Top 100... Top WHATEVER lists! MORE MORE MORE!!!!!!!!!!

Hey everyone, I was in the latrine last night and decided to write a list of my Top 25 WHATEVER and 'publish' it onto the web!

Honestly, that is how it feels sometimes on internet-based authorship sites.


It is consistently disappointing whenever authors publish lists without any supporting criteria as to 'how' or 'why' the entries on their 'lists' are gauged. Simply making a list of TV shows, or movies or songs, et al, and calling them a ‘Top 10', ‘Top 100' or ‘Top Whatever' without providing the reader any criteria by which the author arrived said selections is an insult to the reader.

Anyone can dash off a Top Ten List, just as anyone can dash off a shopping list. The commonality between the two is that, without evaluation criteria for ‘This Top List' or ‘That top List' there is no difference between the two. In many instances a person's shopping list is far more interesting and revealing.

For instance... cigarettes, a cucumber and a bottle of Jagermeister. Now if I found THAT crumpled up on the floor of my local grocery store, I'd say those could be the ingredients for a damn good time. Or a damn fine, uh, tossed salad.


This is an official call to all 'listers' to establish standards and criteria by which your lists are ajudicated. Or, if you have them, to at least inform your potential readers of what, exactly, they might be. In essence, this is a call for good old fashioned Journalistic iIntegrity, to resurrect a term from my college professors, all those years ago.

For instance.....

It is for this reason that cinematic consideration for inclusion into (or in most instances, exclusion from) R. Martin Basso's list of MODERN AMERICA'S TOP 100 CULTURALLY SIGNIFICANT MOVIES, (reference other articles) is based upon the following three evaluation criteria: (1) SOCIETAL THEMES, (2) HOLY VIRTUES, and (3) DEADLY SINS.

SOCIETAL THEMES. The author recognizes seven 'Societal Themes' which bind our civilization together; sort of like the "glue" of our culture, so to speak, which constitutes our modern American society. These seven Societal Themes are: (1) Religious Identity, (2) Sexual Identity, (3) Political Affiliation, (4) Escapism, (5) Creative Ingenuity, (6) Social Consciousness, and (7) Financial Soundness.

As the author believes, we all encompass at least one of these seven societal theme elements in that which makes us who, individually, we are. Of course, we more than likely are comprised of several themes blended together. If we look at where our Modern American culture stands today, we can see anything from any one of these societal themes, up to all seven collectively representing Modern America in the most pronounced medium that represents our culture: Cinema.

Cinema is the only medium capable of delivering all other supporting creative mediums - art, dance, music, drama, comedy - that tell our respective 'stories' all at once. Any of these individually come close to defining our species, but only cinema is capable of melding all together at once into one collective sensory experience.

HOLY VIRTUES & DEADLY SINS: As a tool to gauge a society's progression and development of self, the author uses Societal Themes as one of three gauges (the other two being the traditional Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Holy Virtues) by which the significance of each film on this list is evaluated for inclusion into R. Martin Basso's list-inclusive.

There are Seven Holy Virtues which both religious tradition, and later Western idealism, recognize as being facets of our human condition: (1) Chastity, (2) Temperance, (3) Charity, (4) Diligence, (5) Patience, (6) Kindness, and (7) Humility.

The Holy Virtues are the second of three tools used to gauge a movie's placement or inclusion, as well as exclusion, on or from Basso's list.

The third gauge used to evaluate each movie on this list is the Seven Deadly Sins. These are our respective Achilles' Heels, as a species, to which we are all subject. As with their cousins, the Seven Holy Virtues (which exalt the goodness in humanity), the Seven Deadly Sins do essentially the opposite; they reveal our dark side. Initially published as religious doctrine, these 'sins' have today evolved far beyond mere religion and have equally come to represent humanity, or in our specific case, Modern America.

The Seven Deadly Sins: (1) Lust, (2) Gluttony, (3) Greed, (4) Sloth, (5) Wrath, (6) Envy, and (7) Pride.


© 2008 - R. MARTIN BASSO & 3 Doves Media


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R. Martin Basso 8 years ago from California Author


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Ananta65 8 years ago

Apparently you met the criteria to make it to the first page of Hot Hubs! Good work :)

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R. Martin Basso 8 years ago from California Author

Interesting and fascinating. Thank you for sharing and involving me Lori. I appreciate your kind words of support.

lori763 profile image

lori763 8 years ago from SWFL


You have just given a synopsis of what "multiculturalism" is - seriously. I am a graduate student in mental health counseling and we have been discussing how to get behind someone else's perspective (and all the barriers to being able to do just that since we still have our own perspectives as a filter). Great cinema does that!

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R. Martin Basso 8 years ago from California Author

Fabulous Anan... THank you for the kind words. I greatly regard your insight.

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Ananta65 8 years ago

I understand and I support the effort. It’s way better than just list a few things. That IS the easy way and I’ve been there when I wrote my hub at top x things to kill time.

I’ve read a great part of your review on The Wall and judging that I think 12 months to do a hundred is an ambitious planning! You certainly take your task seriously and that shows. Keep up the good work.

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R. Martin Basso 8 years ago from California Author

Hi Shirley... Your input is always of the highest value to me... You and Constant Walker. Thanks for your insight and feedback. I'll email you in a bit.

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Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Very well said, Reid. If nothing else, the fact that you care enough to explain why your choice is your choice, then I care enough to read it. After all, you may point out something that escaped me when I saw the film, or present another interesting viewpoint from my own.

I admire your journalistic integrity.

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R. Martin Basso 8 years ago from California Author

Hi Ananta... Good points you make and thank you for the rapid input! Yes, but these are MY own criteria. You have your own and others have their own.

What I find so frustrating is that people make the equivalent of little more than shopping lists and publish them as some sort of 'informed Top XYZ listing'. Um, ok, so whatever... It's the same as people who publish song lyrics and then try to say "look at me I'm a writer." I've actually seen that on here (HubPages)! To this I say, no, that is not writing... um, it's actually plagurism, lol.

But it's the same with people who dash off meaningless lists without any substance. My son makes a list every year for what he hopes Santa will bring him... So, should I publish that?

I have just begun a massive undertaking last week which, upon honest evaluation, will probably take me 12 months to complete. I'm referring to my new series MODERN AMERICA'S TOP 100 CULTURALLY SIGNIFICANT MOVIES.

I could so easily just publish the list and be done with it, but to me that is irresponsible journalism. Because I am a writer and social commentator, this is more than a list to me. This is is actually done - my closes friends and relatives know what movies fall where and why on my list. It is also my closest friends, colleagues, my publisher and relatives who have pushed me to commit to this new series. In doing so, I hope to get out 2 new articles a week. What's so involved is the research and investigation I am putting into each entry on the list.

I am conducting this research into each movie I have selected, and then having to construct logical arguments to support my decisions using the criteria I am evaluating with... It's a task, but I have a readership of over 13,000 and it is my journalistic duty to respect that.

So, I agree with you. I am pleased that you agree with me. The important take-away from this conversation is that a reviewer's criteria ia a personal thing. As an author myself I can't shortchange my readers by not thoroughly investigating... As a reader of other's works and articles, I want to feel important enough as a reader to know the criteria by which someone decides to call this selection or that selection on their Top xyz list whatever number they chose.

Because I guarantee you, Ananta, when my readers eventually read my #1 choice for Modern America's Most Influential Movie, there will definitely be questions and eyebrows raised. But that is a long way off. In the mean while it is my task to create informative and compelling articles.

Thanks you for this.

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Ananta65 8 years ago

I can relate to that. It almost seems that publishing a top 25 is the key to success. This phenomenon inspired me to write a hub, some 5 weeks ago: http://hubpages.com/hub/The-ultimate-guide-to-infi...

Mind you, rating anything using the gauges you suggest still allows for a lot of subjectivity. But I do think that’s by far better than just listing whatever it is you want to list without providing any form of justification. I think you’ve drawn up a good set of criteria and I’m looking forward to the next Top X review :)

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