You know what integer posts are—the ones where the title starts with an integer. I scorn them when I’m reading, so I tend not to write them. I’ve ended up writing a few, though. Seriously—sometimes they just pop out.

I knew I’d written three, but looking back over my list of Wise Bread posts, I see that I’ve actually written six, a fact that I’m somewhat ashamed of:

These last two are sliders. For one thing, the integer is spelled out, not written as a digit. For another, the posts are organized as a logical sequence, rather than as a lame list. I don’t know if they count or not, but the title begins with an integer, so I’m including them.

This next list, though, don’t count. They’re posts that quite legitimately include a number in the title because it’s part of what the post is about:

Those I’m not ashamed of at all. I mean, 401(k) isn’t even an integer!

Oh, and I almost missed this shameful integer post, because I’d hidden the integer in the middle:

And what about this one?

Shameful? Or shameless?

Sadly, integer posts do seem to work, if by “work” you mean “get more reads.” Perhaps the title of this post should have been “7 Shameful Integer Posts”! Hmm?

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2 thoughts on “My shameful integer posts—and my shameless ones

  1. What is shameful is that you reused the numbers “6” and “3”. I could easily come up with 7 ways to avoid running out of money in retirement.* And surely one of your “3 ways” could have been cut down to two.

    * 7 ways to avoid running out of money in retirement: 1. die young. 2. don’t retire. 3. inherit oodles of money from relatives. 4. Learn the art of dumpster diving so as to live on 43 cents per day. 5. Murder somebody you don’t like so you get free accomodations in the state pen. 6. use your spare time in a lucrative hobby, like writing a bestseller; what are you waiting for? 7. have a working spouse. Easy. (I didn’t say that they would be 7 good ways.)

  2. It would be interesting to see the distribution of integers in integer posts.

    It probably starts off high (if you include posts titled “The One Trick” or “The One Rule” for something). Then dips a bit at 2, then goes back up for 3–5 or so. Then I expect it declines and remains at a low level, with spikes at 10 and then again at 99–101.

    But I’m just guessing.

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