web analytics

Eh…stop that.

News junky + interesting times = I’m on the web a *lot* lately. And not in a real good mood. And now is the time — apparently — to try to sell me something by really pissing me off.

Have you noticed that? Online presences cranking up the annoyingness, maximising the intrusiveness and generally imposing on whatever relationship you thought you had with them?

Popovers. Popunders. That thing where an ad opens up at the top of an article, shoving the text down while you’re trying to read it, then closes itself, jerking the text upwards again. That thing where the whole screen goes dark and you think your computer is about to croak, and then a cheery ad appears in the middle of the screen and holds it to ransom.

Audio that auto-plays. Ingeniously hiding that little X that closes the ad window. Getting rid of that little X entirely. Running big, bright, colorful ads down the full length of the page on either margin. Ads disguised as newsletters from places where I have actually signed up for newsletters. Articles that should be a single page broken into twenty-page slideshows (every click is a hit!). Firewalls that are trivially easy to get around, but add an extra unnecessary dollop of ass ache to the reading experience.

Or that thing where there are a bunch of semi-interesting pictures at the bottom of an article linking to stuff on other sites, and you click one and it doesn’t take you to the article, but to a whole nother page with a whole bunch of links, and you find the one you wanted and click it and it doesn’t take you to an article but to a page that freezes while it pretends to download content and now you have four useless windows open and you think, “what just happened to me?” I don’t even click out-links any more.

Web ads have always been annoying, but these extra-specially asshole techniques are all pretty new. I know times are tight and people are desperate to make money, but making me want to burn down your office and piss on the ashes is probably not the best way to get your hand in my pocket.

p.s. That illustration was originally animated, but the animation really got on my tits. You’re welcome.

March 27, 2013 — 11:16 pm
Comments: 48