In the click-obsessed world of online media, nothing gets readers flipping pages like a good ol’ city ranking. Some of the best in the biz come courtesy of serious journalism/gossip rag juggling act The Daily Beast. Their favorite click-trick is to put up these pseudo-scientific top 20 listings curated by university brain Richard Florida. The logic anchoring the lists is always a little dodgy, but hey, readers love a good quantified competition.
However, on Tuesday, when they posted one titled “20 Worst Places to Sell Your Home,” we got a serious serving of déjà vu.
Maybe its Forbes’ fault; maybe you can blame Wallet Pop; but every time we see one of these lists, we brace ourselves, ready to see Cleveland ranked in the upper reaches (low citywide self-esteem, perhaps?) So we were a little surprised here at Scene when we got the slideshow going and saw Cleveland wasn’t the belle of this ball; Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA , #1. Clicking on, surprised again: not even in the top five. As we worked through the ranking, passing by the Florida metro areas and California notables, we’re embarrassed to say a feeling of hope crept in, especially after lapping perennially competitor Detroit at #8. Could it be? we asked ourselves, Is it possible Cleveland didn’t make the list? Carrying over into the mid-teens, the finish line in sight, for a minute there it seemed like we might make it out of this Top 20 without seeing the hometown loose its head.
Fat chance. We’re at #17, Columbus right on our heels. Insult to injury: Florida offers up these chucks of canned analysis taped to the bottom of each listing, one-liners explaining why the city in question is struggling. His diagnosis for our homeowner malaise? This pithy little right hook: “Between 2007 and 2009 Cleveland saw about 10,000 foreclosures.” Every other right up runs much longer. So not only are we on another list, but we don’t even get the distinction anymore of topping said list or deserve detailed explication about why we're there. Ouch.