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Site Stupidity – Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Read The News

Posted on | February 19, 2010 | No Comments

There are some individuals and organizations that should be prohibited by law from making web sites. Just like free speech can quickly degenerate into disorderly conduct, web sites can quickly degenerate into viciously loud, annoying and angry fruit salads.

Here’s my morning routine – Get coffee, go through RSS reader, get email. I suppose it is rather mindless to expose yourself to such terrible dangers prior to finishing your first cup, but I like my routine and I’m a creature of habit.┬áMy news reading is pretty straight forward. Scroll down, read teaser, right click – new t ab. This opens up all of the articles that I want to read and I close them one by one as I finish. This has worked well for years, until today.

I have a rather slow wireless connection at home. Its not dial up, but its in no way like cable / DSL. It takes a while for stuff to load, so I just watch the tabs and start with the one that stops spinning first. I forgot to check my speaker volume, I had my headphones cranked up last night and unplugged them before going to bed. Just as I was bringing my coffee to my lips, I hear some guy (mind you, full blast) ranting about the Toyota recall mess. Coffee is not good when snorted.

Idiot webmonkey say: Always good to auto play video!

Needless to say, ┬áthat tab soon died. On to the next tab, that greeted me with this “Take our survey now” box that was jumping around the screen. I felt like I was playing freaking hand ball trying to get rid of it. Another tab bites the dust.

Idiot webmonkey say: User much love be annoyed by flashy thing!

The next few tabs were from a paper that I read pretty regularly, who has demonstrated that they know how not to be obnoxious. I go to the first one, it was the front page of the site. I guessed I just clicked a broken link. I go to the next one, again , I’m at the front page of the site. The same for the next one. Bewildered and confused, I went back to my reader to check the links, sure enough, they lead to actual content pages.

Since I had taken too long to load another page (and see more ads) they graciously re-directed me to the front page, which refreshed itself every 30 seconds.

Idiot webmonkey say: Screw content, boss say more pages you load!

At this point, I had half a dozen tabs left. Things were looking bleak, but like an idiot I went to the next tab. “This content is not available in your country due to a high rate of plagiarism” is what greeted me, surrounded by lots and lots of ads. The thoughtful dolt responsible was kind enough to put a “Click here to reload this page and try again”, just in case I managed teleport myself to another country before the session expired.

Idiot webmonkey say: You teleport, but content stay here!! You load more page!

Five more tabs to go, three of them still spinning (loading), I go to those first. Sure enough, all of them are say “Waiting for google-analytics.com …” – instant close. Meanwhile, some editor is happy that people are spending 2 – 3 minutes on every page. Well, duh …

Idiot webmonkey say: Put tracking code in header! Boss want stats not visitors!

The next two tabs were Slashdot, and stuff I had already heard about the day before.

Yes, I know .. noscript .. unfortunately, most news sites that I’ve encountered just downright refuse to show anything (but ads) unless you have JS enabled. So, its an adventure.

All I wanted to do was read the damn news. Epic, epic fail.

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