Updates to the Ranker Widget

Wickey, Wickey Widget! Welcome to The Ranker Widget 2.0. With the Ranker Widget, publishers can use Ranker’s tools to build unique, votable lists and publish them on their site. To date, over 1,600 third party websites have used Ranker’s widget to engage with their readers. Based on feedback from our users, we’ve just released an updated version that has some nifty new features.

What’s new?

1. Increased Options for Customization. There are a ton of new options for adjusting the look and feel of your widget. You can find customization options in the Size, Header, List and Footer tabs of the Customize panel.

 

Size.
Width: Choose one of three standard widths or write in your own custom width.

Height: Decide how many rows you would like to display at once. If you choose to display more rows than the amount of items on your list, they will all display at once.

Header.
You now have the option to show the list image, username and list criteria to your poll.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Social Share Buttons: Allow users to share your poll on through email, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ right on your site.

3. New List Stats Button: This new tab shows the number of voters, votes and items on your list. It also lists any reranks of your list by your users right there on your widget.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Users can more easily add new items to your list. If you’d like your readers to be able to add new items to a list in addition to voting on the items that are already there, you’re in luck. The new widget allows users to type in new list items right there at the bottom of your list.

 

 

 

Introducing the Ranker Partnership Program!

Today we are unveiling the new Ranker Partnership Program! Ranker is partnering with select publishers and individual experts who regularly create high-quality lists on our site. We will feature our Partner Lists in a new section of our homepage and throughout our category pages.

Partner Lists will also have added space for branding, a link back to their own site and an “Official Partner” verification checkmark next to their name.

While believing in the wisdom of crowds is kind of our thing here at Ranker, we will admit that sometimes some people do know more about some topics than others. Hey, I won’t ask you about your favorite Kombucha flavors if you don’t ask me about my favorite GPS fitness-tracking apps. Capiche?

But you know who I would ask about GPS apps? The good people over at The Next Web, who are experts on Internet technology. So when a noted authority on a certain topic (that has an active online community who can make our rankings more accurate) makes a list about a topic that they know a lot about, we thought it’d be nice to call that out.

For this reason, we are unveiling some nifty new features that distinguish expert Partner Lists from user-generated lists. Keep an eye out around the site for these new lists. You will recognize them by their “Official Partner” verified checkmark.

Trusted publishers and individual experts have been making lists on Ranker.com for awhile now and we added these new features to make their lists pop and to highlight their expertise.

Many of our partners use Ranker’s killer interface to create a poll on their topic of choice to host on their very own site. Embedding a list is super easy–just look for the “embed list” button in the footer of any new or pre-existing Ranker list.

If you’d like to be considered for our Partnership Program, send us a note. If you want more details, visit this short guide first. In general, our partners are publications or experts who have their own active online communities and some expertise in a certain subject. Most of our partners produce at least one piece of high quality content a month. And remember, since these lists will be featured on our homepage we tend to prefer partners who produce content that appeals to our broad, diverse online community.

By the way, you don’t have to be a partner to use our widget or enjoy Ranker.com. For most of our users, the new Partnership Program won’t change a thing!

New Features on Ranker

As usual, we are hard at work here in the Internet factory trying to make our site better and better. Pretty soon, Ranker.com is going to be able to walk your dog and drop your kids off at soccer practice. Those jet-pack days are not here yet, but we do have some other fun, new stuff for you to gaze upon. And maybe also use.

Do you sometimes see a list and think, “I want to rank that, but who has the TIME?” Not to fear, good people. We’ve actually reduced the amount of time it takes to register your opinion in list-form. With science!

Say you go to a list, any list. You start voting, all casual-like… and suddenly this tab pops out of the right side of your browser. Every time you vote something up, the number on the counter goes up, too! If you click on the green button that says “Your Votes,” a starter-list will come sliding in from the right side. You can literally re-order items, delete items, add items, write copy, and even add images and/or videos RIGHT THERE. And then publish your re-rank. RIGHT THERE. I mean, think of the time you just saved. Now you finally have time to cut your toenails. You’re welcome.

This isn’t technically new… but it’s something that looks new, so we’re counting it. The trigger buttons that switch how you view lists have moved! Not that exciting, I guess.

But in case you wondered why your ability to change ‘blog view’ to ‘info view’ or ‘info view’ to ‘slideshow’ wasn’t where it was supposed to be, just move your eyeballs to the left side of the screen and look right at the top of the list. There they are! Everything is still as it should be, only different.

We’ve gone and moved into the fine year of 2010 by finally making a functioning mobile version of our site. You can browse our lists more easily now, vote more easily and now you can actually re-rank a list… on your PHONE!

Unfortunately, we don’t yet support creating your own, brand-new lists on mobile, and there are some other user features of the site that we still won’t support on mobile… BUT it should be a lot easier to find, read, and vote on all your favorite lists.

Have you ever just wanted to copy and paste a list you see on Ranker? Maybe to a blog post, email, or just to Facebook? Well, now you can!

If you go into the ‘more options’ dropdown at the top of every list and select “Paste to Clipboard,” a popup with the list as it appears in text format will appear, allowing you to copy it and paste it wherever you want, free of formatting. If you want to paste it to Facebook, make sure to select the checkbox that says, “Check here to copy for Facebook.”

Enjoy. Check back soon for more fun new features!

A Battle of Taste Graphs: Baltimore Ravens Fans vs. San Francisco 49ers Fans

Super Bowl Sunday is a day when two cities and two fan groups are competing for bragging rights, even as the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers themselves do the playing.  You might be interested in understanding these teams’ fans better through an exploration of their fans’ taste graphs, from a recent post on our data blog, which examines correlations between votes on lists like the Top NFL Teams of 2012 and non-sports lists like our list of delicious vegetables (yum!).

For one, There is also absolutely zero consensus where music is concerned. 49er’s fans listen to an eclectic mixture of genres: up-and-coming rappers like Kendrick Lamar sit right next to INXS and 90s brit-poppers Pulp. Yet where the Ravens are concerned, classic rock is still king: Hendrix, CCR, and Neil Young are an undisputed top three. The 49ers also have the Ravens utterly beat in terms of culinary taste. Monterrey Jack and Cosmos are a fairly clear favorite among fans, while Baltimore’s stick to staples: Coffee, Bell peppers, and Ham are the only food items that correlated enough to even be tracked.

 A Snapshot from Ranker’s Data Mining Tool

TV tastes also varied between the two teams: Ravens fans stuck to almost exclusively comedic faire (Pinky and The Brain, Rugrats, Mythbusters and Louie correlated strongly), while the 49er’s stuck to more structured, dramatic shows, such as The Walking Deadand Dexter.

Read the full post here over on our data blog.

- Ravi Iyer

Latest Features on Ranker

There are a lot of neat little things we’ve been working on around here in the lab. Things that make it easier and more fun to make the lists you want to make. Take a peek:

Send A Note

We were sitting around the other day in the conference room and someone said ‘hey, wouldn’t it be cool if users could talk to each other? Like email, sorta?”

So we decided that you guys should totally get in on this whole “electronic” form of communication. Now, If you read a list you like, or are intrigued by the genius behind “5 Ways To Make Homemade Spam”, you can go to their profile page and send the list-maker a note and let them know that there are actually 6 ways! And, because we believe in the goodness of the human spirit, we are sure you guys won’t use this new power for evil.

Send A Note

PS. You need to be logged in to see this new feature!

 

Adding Items

Remember that time you made your favorite movie list? But you couldn’t remember ALL your favorite movies, because you’re not a damned robot, right? And then you were looking at someone else’s favorite movie list – or maybe perusing the Best Movies of All Time list – and you saw Piranha II: The Spawning listed there. That is totally one of your favorite movies, but you forgot until just now! Well, we have a way for you to add it to your own list with a single click. If you click that blue ‘+’ button, you will get a dropdown with any relevant lists of yours that Piranha II might be good to add to. Select your favorite movie list from the dropdown and POW, that James Cameron classic is now on your own list, too!

Adding Items

PS. You need to be logged in to see this new feature!

 

SlideShow View

You already know that you have two choices for how your list displays on Ranker. you can write lots of lovely words for the internet to read with big pictures… or you can just create easily digestable stacked lists with small images. Now we give you a third option… Slideshow! Build your list like normal in Edit, put in nice pretty images that will look good big — this view supports any commentary you might want to add, too! Choose the ‘slideshow view’ option from your ‘list options’ popup, and when you publish your list will display one beautiful item at a time!

SlideShow View

 

Filtering Lists

We have so many lists on Ranker. So. Many. And sometimes it’s overwhelming, we know. God, we know. But we’ve been tagging lists (and so have you) for the last few years and we finally went ahead and made use of them. Now, when you go into any of the big category tabs on ranker (film, tv, people, etc) you will see a little array of blue buttons on the top of the right sidebar. You can use these little buttons to sort and filter the content of that category in a million different ways! Each new filter button will narrow down your results until you find the exact lists you are looking for. Go try it!

Filtering Lists

 

Stylish Copy

One of the things we’ve never really had so much around here is the ability to dress up the things you guys are writing on your blog view lists. Bolding, italics, stuff like that. Well, fret no more! We now support a simple text styling interface in Edit.

When you are building your lists, and you want to write stuff… just click on the text field for your item. There is a whole little string of new tools there that allows you to make your text a lot fancier! And easy! Always easy!

Stylish Copy

The Best Possible Answers To Opinion-Based Questions

Ranker, as an openended platform for ranking people/places/things, is a lot of different (awesome) things to different people. But the overarching goal for Ranker has always been to provide the best possible answer to opinion-based questions like “What are the best _____?”

Popular sports and entertainment vote lists often grow into being a great answer within 12-72 hours as they get lots of traffic quickly, but the majority of Ranker lists take 1 – 3 months to build to full credibility as visitors on Ranker and from search engines find them and shape them with votes and re-ranks.

I thought it would be fun to showcase some Ultimate Lists and Vote Lists in other categories that haven’t gone viral, but through the participation of lots of Rankers over a few months have indeed become “the best possible answer” to this question.

 

Food: you all clearly love to weigh in on the start of the day, and the 5 o’clock hour:

Best Breakfast Cereals

The Best Cocktails

But you also have strong opinions on hydration during the day:

Best Sodas (and for the more calorie-conscious among you The Best Diet Sodas)

And even specific Gatorade flavors (thanks for the list Lucas)

Snacking, whether it be on a particular type of cheese, candy bar, or even as granular as a specific Jelly Belly flavor (thanks for the list Samantha but what’s with all the chocolate pudding haters?)

Dining out, specifically at Italian chain restaurants

A list I am not authorized to vote on, pregnancy cravings

And hundreds more, including perhaps a new category entirely – food nostalgia (I do miss those Crispy M&Ms myself)

 

Fashion/Beauty: not categories that I personally check up on much, so I was psyched to see quite a few solid rankings here, some of them high-end but mostly stuff you can find at the mall:

Best women’s shoe brands

Best denim brands

Top handbag designers

Fashion Blogs

Sulfate-free shampoos

And even a men’s facial moisturizers list (have only tried 3 or 4 myself, but agree with their relative positions on the list)

 

Travel: Rankers, I know from a number of you that as we’ve been adding datasets of “rank-able objects” over the last year, one of the most-requested ones that we don’t yet have is hotels/resorts. Trust me, it’s still on the list. But in the meantime, it’s been heartening to see how many of you have participated in these great resources for travel destinations and attractions, like these:

Best US cities for vacations

Honeymoon destinations

Coolest cities in America

Theme parks for roller coaster addicts

And my personal faves, “bucket lists” of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders and historical landmarks.

Great stuff – these lists and 1000s more like them are true testimonials to the “wisdom of crowds”.  Thanks, crowds!

10 Things You Didn’t Know Ranker Could Do

Portable Lists

Portable Lists

Did you know that all the lists on Ranker are portable? I’m sure you’re all, ‘what does that even mean?’ and also ‘stop staring at me like that!’. Well, they are. Let me explain further, yes? Say you make a list, or just really like another list you’ve see on the site… you would click the “embed” button on that list, and then go copy a little piece of code that you’d then paste onto your own site or blog. And there the list would be, with voting still on it and everything.

What’s in it for me? You’re saying that now, aren’t you? Well, first… if you don’t have a site or a blog: nothing. Sorry. Move to the next thing on the list. But if you DO, and if you have a community there whom you would like to poll or maybe just to entertain? Well, this little portable list app is for you. Also: free, just in case you thought I was trying to sell you something.

Let’s give you an example. Say you have a blog about BBQ techniques. (If you do, please email me your URL, because I love BBQ), and you write a little post about the best store-bought BBQ sauces. Well, just come to Ranker, make said list of BBQ sauces, turn on voting, publish it, and click the ‘embed’ button. You can quickly choose what size you want the list to be and grab the code. Once it’s pasted onto your site, your visitors can vote – right there – for their favorite sauces. It’s content for you! It’s fun for your visitors. Ranker gets a BBQ sauce list! Win and Win and Win!

Add Images

You’re making a list of your favorite things about San Francisco (#1. Sourdough Bread, #2. More Sourdough Bread, #3 …) but the photo our database gives you doesn’t look delicious enough. No worries, you can change it! Hovering over the image will give you the option to “edit” or “view”.  Just choose “edit” and you can search right there on the spot from Flikr’s copyright-free images OR upload that photo your girlfriend took of you stuffing bread into your face hole down on the Pier. If there’s no such photo, but you know where the perfect one is on the internet, you can paste the url in and we will go grab it and upload it for you! You can even make your images extra big by choosing “blog view” in your list options as you build.

Add Video

Making a list of your favorite clips from The Daily Show? Or maybe it’s a list of your favorite Sad Songs to Eat Ice Cream By? Everything goes better with moving pictures and sound! I read that in a study somewhere. It’s just as easy to grab video as it is to grab images. Choose the ‘add video’ from the dropdown while you are building your list, and you simply search youtube for what you want. Preview it, select it, and you are done! Something to note… switching your list to Blog View will display video better, but you can still use it with List View… it will just open videos in a popup.

Vote in Groups

You know another creative way you can use Ranker? Create a list for you and your friends to add to and vote on. A list on a topic that’s personal just to your group. Suppose you are a new mom and you want to poll your friends for the best foods to feed your baby? Create a starter list, “allow” others to add to it in your List Options and share or email your friends the list so they can add their favorite things to the list. It could become a resource for you, your friends, and even the whole internet!

Following

It’s possible you didn’t know that you can follow lists and other users on Ranker. You can. There’s a follow button on all Ultimate Lists – just under the list name – and on all user profile pages. Once you press that button, we will set alerts to let you know when the list or user is active. So, if you decided to follow the Ultimate List “Best Movies of 2012″, every time someone added their own version of the list to the Ultimate, we would let you know so you could go see how the list had changed. Following another Ranker user will let you know when that user makes new lists!

Copy A List

Ordering lists might be easy, but thinking up things to put on them isn’t. It can take research, thinking, more thinking and sometimes pondering. If you spend a lot of time and effort, make a really impressive list, and maybe want to use part of it to start another one? You can, we gave you a way to copy your own list to start another one. The option is in the yellow dashboard present on all your own lists.

Know what else? If you built an awesome list and then put voting on it… well, all those people voting on it is cool and all, but it changed your original ranking and you can’t get it back. But wait! You can! There’s a link inside the edit interface that you can click to make a copy of it as you originally ranked it! That you can save and publish with voting turned off, so everyone will know what you really think.

Use Reference Lists

Ranker is packed with reference lists, we just don’t really highlight them so much. These are lists of informative, unranked, alphabetical things – like “All Expressionist Painters” or “All Italian Fiction Writers”. All our reference lists are there just for you to start lists with!

Find “Listopedia” in the nav bar and browse the thousands of encyclopedic lists we keep locked in there. (You can also just search for the topic you are looking for). There is a link on each of our Reference lists that allows you to copy the list as a starter. There’s a whole mess of items for you to work with and all you did was click a button! Take this list, rank, delete, add to your hearts delight! It’s a ridiculously fast and easy way to make a really intensive, comprehensive list!

Ultimate Lists

You may have noticed our awesome Ultimate Lists by now. They are our pride and joy. These are the lists that form when enough people re-rank lists on the same topic. We take all these opinions (in list-form), combine them, average them out, and present the consensus to you. All the lists that make the Ultimate up are still there, viewable through the dropdown, but the Ultimate List lets you see what all that data looks like crunched together. At a glance, you can see what all voters and listers think are the top things for that topic. We’ve put little icons on the list items that are notable – as in, those that were the most up-voted, or the most listed, or ranked at #1 the most – so you can see very quickly what the community thinks on that topic.

And! Suppose you have also already made a list on that topic? And you want to see how your re-rank stacks up to the consensus? Add it! I will explain: We have a Best Movies of All Time list, for example, and if you have already made your version of the best movies of all time, you can go in to edit your list, open List Options and choose to ADD it to the Ultimate List family so it will be taken into account with the rest of the re-ranks. Then you can see where the things you chose fall on the master list, and how your list matches up with everyone elses’.

Items

Every time someone adds an item to a list, we make note of it. We count the number of votes it gets, the number of times it’s been used on a list and what relationships it has with other simliar items. We gather a lot of that data on that item’s page, which is a surprisingly awesome page most of you have probably never seen. If you go to the Best TV Shows of Recent Memory, for example, you can click on “The Simpsons” (which is currently #1 as it should be) and you will be taken to The Simpsons item page. There you can see every list on the site that has used “The Simpsons”. You can see where it’s been ranked on those lists, and you can see what OTHER things people liked who liked The Simpsons. It’s kind of amazing, actually. We get all nerdy about it all the time.

Leaderboard

Ah, competition. Bracing! Here at Ranker Headquarters, our calculating machines are always calculating. The number of voters, the number of views, the number of shares… we keep track of it all. With this info, we can actually tell which of you are the BEST at ranking things without having to put you in a cage with wild tigers, a legal pad and your 10 favorite albums.

You can find a link to this page off the home page, or any of the main browsing category pages. This ranking of rankers changes all the time, too. Our Top Ranker Leaderboard is where you can peek and see where (or if) you are in the top 100. More views on more lists gets you into this august company. Just think, you can tell your kids someday … I made it, son and/or daughter! I. Made. It.

Synchronized Diving with Bain and Bill Murray

Just kidding, but have you guys seen The Dark Knight Rises yet? No spoilers, promise, but here are a few of the best TDKR movie quotes to get you jazzed. In other news, it’s 1.1 million degrees outside here in sunny Southern California, and we’re thinking about trying a few of these delicious summer cocktails to beat the heat. Vote to let us know which are your faves, or click Re-Rank to personalize your own list.

And as long as you’re in a voting mood, we’re looking for Ranker fans to fill out a brief survey for us. We’ll pick 20 participants and award them each a $5 Amazon gift card as a thank you. So get on in there!

Here are a few other awesome and interesting lists the Ranker Community has been upvoting this month…

The Best Summer Olympic Games Events

The 2012 Olympics in London are upon us. Opening ceremonies begin this Friday, July 27th, at 20:12 (get it?) BST. What do you most love to watch? Basketball? Synchronized Swimming? Equestrian Dressage? Hold on… that’s a real thing?

The Most Outrageous Emmy Snubs of All Time

The annual nominations were announced last week, replete with a fresh batch of 2012 Emmy snubs. This list looks at the 50+ year history of the prestigious TV award and all the deserving actors, writers, and best boys who were never given one of those lovely statuettes of a woman catching a beach ball and being struck by lightning at the same time.

The Coolest Employers in Tech

Now that the economy is booming again [citation needed], tech geeks across the country are out securing for dream jobs at amazing companies. These big players look out for their workers, whether by offering stock options, sand volleyball courts, or, simply, a pleasant and stimulating work environment. Where would you like to spend most of your waking hours?

The 50 Greatest Discontinued ’90s Foods and Beverages

Nostalgia, thy name is hunger. The 1990s saw the rise and fall of some of the most delicious, innovative, and ridiculous snacks and drinks to ever be advertised during Nicktoons. From Shark Bites to Crystal Pepsi, which delicious, colorful ’90s foods were you most likely to trade for in the lunchroom?

10 Roles Almost Played by Bill Murray

Bill Murray: One of the greatest living actors, or THE greatest living actor? A favorite of audiences and directors alike, Murray was offered, attached to, or rumored to be considered for many roles you know and love, from Willy Wonka to Detective John Kimble.

Best Books for Toddlers

Despite the influx of new children’s books hitting Amazon every year, some old classics have stuck around for decades. Included are the best stories for toddlers and the very same books that taught you how to read, count, and share.

New American Idol Judge Picks

It’s official. The newest “American Idol” judge is… MARIAH CAREY. The “Butterfly” singer will replace Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, who are departing the show prior to its 12th Season. (Yeah, she’s Mariah, she can replace two people.) All week, Ranker users have been voting on who THEY’D like to see in the judge’s chair. See if you think they know better than Ryan Seacrest!

 

 

Embed Voteable Lists ANYWHERE With Ranker’s New Widget

It’s fun and easy to make voteable lists on Ranker. You’ve been there, you’ve seen it. Everyone knows that. But until now, if you wanted your friends, your followers and your community to vote on a list, you’d have to send them a link (or post one on your blog) and hope for the best. Sure, sometimes that works out great. Check out how many people have voted for their favorite wrestling finishing moves or the best summer movie seasons!

But sometimes, you want to embed a voteable Ranker list on your own site, to poll your readers and start conversations. Well, now you can embed any Ranker list practically anywhere, whether it’s a list you’ve created or just something interesting you’ve found on the site. So whether you want to poll your readers about who should play Ana Steele in the “50 Shades of Grey” movie, Google’s smartest acquisitions ever or an original topic of you’re own, it’s now simple to do and will look great on your website or blog.

Here’s how it works:

Go to any Ranker Vote List and look for the “Embed” button near the top of the page.

Ah, yes, there she is…

Customize the coloring and size of your widget and we’ll give you an embed code which will then work on Tumblr, WordPress, Blogger and pretty much any other blog or website you can think of.

The Ranker widget in the wild!

Still have questions about embedding the widget? Check out our Widget FAQ or this helpful PDF overview of Ranker Widget features for more info. Bear in mind, the widget is still very new, and we’re still making tweaks, but you can install the widget at any time and it will update on your site automatically!

There Can Be Only One… Hundred

The Ranker Community often gets together to discuss, debate and re-rank a variety of lists published elsewhere by experts. Forbes has its own picks for the Most Powerful Celebritiesand so does Ranker. But perhaps no “re-ranking” of an expert list gets more attention and participation than our revised look at the Maxim Hot 100, a list of the year’s most beautiful women.

The “Ranker Hot 100″ gets SO MUCH ATTENTION, in fact, that we figured there was some interesting data to be mined. And sure enough, we were able to draw some fascinating conclusions about the differences in tastes between Maxim’s readers and Ranker’s voters, not just about “which women are hottest?” but also which movies are the greatest and which ’90s animated TV series are most essential. (Seriously!)

Check out all the results on our Ranker Data blog.