The digital media is now a cesspool of thinkpieces and listicles, and if we had enough time, we would do our best to offer alternatives to these.
With that said, we've been throwing together personal year-end lists for ourselves every year since 1993 (still in 8th grade at the time), and we simply can't help but indulge. It's annoying because it's time-consuming as hell, but ultimately it's too much fun to ignore. And once everyone else's lists get posted, we get jealous and want ours to be up there also.
The rules we set for ourselves in 1993 have stayed intact for the most part. November 15th is first draft day, even though there's still another 12% of the year left to go. December 5th is 2nd draft, and December 25th is the final version. (This aligns so that Page 1 - tracks #100-91 - can be posted on December 26.)
From 1993 until 1999, this big list only manifested through cassette mixes. 1993's version was 22 songs filling a 90-minute tape. From 1997 until 2003, this grew to two UR-120 Maxells, packing between 60-70 songs (and the occasional movie snippit) onto four hours of cassette tape.
TMK first launched on Geocities in 2000, which provided us with a way to cheaply (for free) post our year-end nonsense.
Our radio series began on WXCI in 2002, and we were granted both the Music Director position and our own specialty show (called "Mixtape") in 2003. So December 2003 was a particularly pathetic month for us, since this was the only case when four year-end lists of tracks were compiled for separate purposes:
#1 Our radio station's official "top 103 of 2003" (comprised of selections from heavy radio rotation),
#2 the TMK version - apparently a top 200, and apparently not archived on the Wayback Machine (what a relief),
#3 our own personal top 100 "2003 mixtape" for radio (basically the same list as #2 but with most of the Top 40 choices removed and broadcast live over an 8-hour span on 12/22/03),
#4 the 60-70 track cassette version. Yeesh.
(Come to think of it, I also somewhere have a digitized copy of K-Rock's top 92.3 of 2003 which I've been planning on uploading at some point, with DJ announcements, commercials and all.)
We left WXCI in January 2015, so this might be the first year since 2003 when we're not planning on a radio list. Maybe it will happen, but probably not? Who knows.
Besides that, we kinda liked how we did it last year, so this year we'll probably try something similar: Hot Mix 2015, an albums list, our 10 favorite tracks from reissues, and our 10 favorite live sets of the year. We stopped doing a "vomit" (worst tracks) list a few years back. We also used to have a separate guilty pleasures list, but now we just incorporate them into the Hot Mix.
We'll be throwing all of this together over the next 6 weeks. Yes, we know it's really early for this.