Irritating Popups, Et Al
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Nov 3, 2008
Okay, now I’m upset with Problogger, of all people. Why, you may ask? Well, it seems that ever since he wrote this post on How To Drastically Increase Subscriber Numbers To Your Email Newsletter, many people went out and took his advice. And that advice was to add one of those irritating pop-in windows where you screen darkens and you get this advertisement in the middle of the page asking if you’d like to subscribe to a newsletter.
He said his subscriptions jumped a bunch in only a few days, and that’s all it took. Suddenly, it now seems that every Tom, Dick and Harry has added it to their blog, and man, it’s got to be one of the most irritating things in the world. Of course, these types of things aren’t new, and I even griped about popups before; pop-unders count here also. I even asked at another time how far one was willing to go when it came to promoting themselves.
Oddly enough, it all comes back around to my post on what you’ll do to stomach sales; I guess I could have asked the question “what are you willing to do to irritate people to make sales“. Are the ideas of making sales and irritating people congruent with each other? Is it, in the end, more about conversions than about people?
Of course, while I’m on this particular rant, I might as well add one other thing that irritates me, and that’s media that starts up as soon as I hit a page. I’m not talking about Flash now, because I have to admit that some of those pages are fun to watch. I’m talking about videos that automatically start playing, or sound files of some sort that start playing. Sometimes, you can’t even find where to turn that stuff off, and you just have to turn down the sound on your speakers. It’s one reason I hate MySpace and a reason why I dropped my membership in Black Planet. Both sites take way too long to load, and the sound files are a big part of it. The best thing about the YouTube videos most of us put on our pages is that they don’t just start playing when a visitor shows up.
The biggest problem I have is that I can’t turn any of it off, or stop any of it from happening. I’m running the Firefox plugin Adblock Plus, but it seems not to have the power to overcome any of these things. Heck, maybe it’s just me; maybe I’m too old to appreciate the unasked for media assault on my senses. I just don’t know; what do y’all think?