In my tribute to the end of David Letterman, and since the Internet (and BuzzFeed) thrives on lists, I’d thought I would just sound out about the top Five Things that drive me bat-shit crazy about this Internet thingie:
5) Wipes, overlays, underlays and other stupid ad tricks.
Ever since Firefox invented or came up with the ad-blocker, web sites have been using more stupid tricks that ever to get you to read their ads. You don’t want to read their ads, but they stick them in your face anyway. All of them are abusive, jarring, and simply the worst. A wipe is when the screen content is replaced with a huge box ad, waits a few seconds and then your original screen returns. Wired, guilty as charged. An overlay is a similar tactic–you arrive on a screen only to watch it grow dark and a giant box with some annoying video or graphic plays. You have to actively search for the “x” to close the darn thing. An underlay is insidious. You scroll down to read an article and then something inserts itself in between two paragraphs. Jarring result! It’s another blasted ad and you have to actively close it or it just hums along and repeats.
4) Somebody Else’s Crap Stories
Read an article on some website and off to the right or the bottom is a list of other articles from paid content providers. These things are nothing more than click bait, full of lists, ads and malware. Most magazine sites have ’em:
3) What Counts For News These Days
It doesn’t matter which major Internet news site you visit, they’re all aggregates now collecting entertainment lists, fashion tips, surveys, crazy news, more lists, paid ads posing as real stories (I blame Yahoo completely) and otherwise useless junk in an effort to fill the screen. These sites are crammed with everything from astrology signs to trending nonsense. If you want real news, you have to pay for it.
2) Parallax Scrolling is Useless
Specifically in the category of a gimmick, parallax scrolling is a feature used by web site owners who do not know what to do with their web sites, so the best thing they can think of is to make the user scroll through their website’s content. The graphic employed is humongous, hogs bandwidth and is supposed to be cute–the more you scroll, the more things are supposed to look 3D when in fact, it’s just not.
Here’s a real obnoxious example: www.ecobudusa.com
Admit it. Lists are cute. Our time is valuable, so we try to help ourselves by breaking things down into lists. But you can’t get any real information from a web page full of links, can you? They’re just bullet points really, an extension of our overwhelming hatred of Powerpoint. If there was some way to get rid of list pages, then most of the Internet would be clean, well-written, full of beautiful selfies and efficient.
Instead, you just read this list. Feel better?