War on widgets

And ads. Just say no. You guys know what I’m talking about. All those blinking, spinning, zooming, little cluttery flibberty-gadgets that are on so many web pages. And blahgs. Come on everybody. That stuff is *so* 1995! (Well, except that back then there was usually a black background or some awful repeated image, starbursts or whatever, but let’s not go back there. Okay? Okay.) Anyway. It’s 2008 and guess what? Blinking, spinning, zooming, little cluttery flibberty-gadgets don’t make your page more attractive* now either. Even without the black background. They make your page take f-o-r-e-v-e-r to load! The average Internet user takes less than something like three seconds to decide whether they want to stick around and see what any random web page has to offer. If they can’t get to the content PDQ, they will click away. Trust me. There have been studies about this. People do not like that loading, loading, loading feeling.

I know that there are a lot of bloggers out there who are trying to make some money off of their writing. I have no problem with that. Except for the ads. I also know that a lot of bloggers out there are supporting some wonderful charities. I have no problem with that. Except for the ribbons and scrolling banners. And the ads. When I go to a web page, I am interested in the content and how well it functions. If I can’t get to the content PDQ, I may just give up. If I start clicking around on promising-looking links and they lead me to 1980 or whenever, I will definitely give up. If I like your writing, I don’t wanna have to scroll down past a bunch of ad links right in the middle of your latest post and I don’t like to click “more” links. I want it right there, front and center where I can read it unhindered. Flashing, blinking, zooming (what else did I say?) ads and cute little widgets are not why I’m at your blog. *Anybody* can get those stoopid things. I can. Actually, I do have a couple. I have an ugly Google search and a Flickr widget. At least it’s a simple html/css widget, not flash or javascript or whatever.

Even if you are a good writer, random Internet ad traffic may not help, you may still have to do the old-fashioned thing of schlepping your work around. It is hard and the Internet may make it easier but there’s still some legwork to be done. If you are passionate about one charity or another, write *interestingly* and *passionately* (and often) about it. Your readers will not click on those silly banners. Sorry.

It would help if the advertisers et al would work harder to make widgets and things that are just a *little* more low-key and maybe they could be easily customizable so that bloggers could more easily incorporate them into a layout. I mean just look at how ugly my Google search box is. It’s there because it can search not only the mysql database that rolls my blahg but also the old hand-rolled html pages. But I have to adopt a horribly pixelated Google gif or whatever into the whole thing. And sometimes, it doesn’t even do the job, like the last time I looked for Chocolate Cherry Cake, which is why Chocolate Cherry Cake is on the sidebar.

Finally, if you have surfed here randomly and have a bunch of that stuff on your blahg, it’s okay. None of this stuff is personal and I don’t hate you. I’m just being a cranky old bag curmudgeonly blahgger and I’m sick of all that flashing widgety stuff. Blather is the word here. G’night! Kayak Woman!

* Again, a disclaimer about how ugly my site is in general. One o’ these days…

2 Responses to “War on widgets”

  1. Dog Mom Says:

    …add to THAT the *frustration* of having a “host” that (like Purehost) canNOT load or respond in a timely fashion and is driving me up the wall and having my Moom wondering “What happened to your site? Where’d it go?”

  2. Sam Says:

    No ads! Yea! Love your blather—and you, KW! Hope to see ya soon!