In my way of breaking the fourth wall, those of you who frequent this blog often will notice that this article is posting on Tuesday instead of Monday. That’s because yesterday was the 11th year of my business blog, Mitch’s Blog, and I decided to give it the Monday slot and wait a day for this one. That doesn’t mean that today’s subject isn’t important to me, or isn’t irking me to no end, but it could be delayed a day. Anyway, please go check out that other post; there’s some good stuff there if I say so myself. 😉
Today’s rant is about pop ups on blogs. I’m going to leave out the new notices that are popping up on a lot of blogs that are advertising that they have cookies on them, based on a ruling that the European Union put on Google that has nothing to do with the overwhelming majority of us who don’t have any real traffic coming from European nations or aren’t using Adsense (phooey!) that makes it a prerequisite for that message. I found a script to block it so those aren’t bothering me.
Instead, I’m going to talk about those popups that keep getting bigger and more intrusive on more blogs than I care to think about. Not that this is the first time I’ve talked about it or mentioned it. As far back as 2008 I was griping about this issue. I talked about it in my 15 wishes for bloggers post, my post about irritating things bloggers do, and 15 other posts over the years.
It has now gotten to the point where as soon as you arrive at a page either there’s something popping up from the top or popping into the middle, and every once in awhile it’s so big that you can’t find the X to close it. Frankly, for as many blogs that I visit, way more new blogs than blogs I visit often, it’s really starting to get on my nerves.
Last week I decided to put out a quick message on Twitter asking people to stop with the popups. I know they’re not going to stop just because I asked them to, since I can’t get anyone to listen to me when it comes to those stupid DM messages, but it would be nice if we, the blog readers and the people they’re hoping to attract, could at least have the opportunity to read some of the article first.
After I put that message out, there were a lot of people on Twitter who liked it. You know that on Twitter because you get the messages that tell you that people like something. I only had a couple of people who commented on it, and they were in agreement with me. I know that people who have the popups certainly weren’t going to say “me too”, and as my wife says it was crickets in three part harmony.
Frankly, I’m sick of it and it violates one of my major rules about social media in that it stifles engagement. I know these folks care more about how many people they can get subscribed to their newsletter or how many products they can sell than they actually care about the readers. People can tell you anything, but actions speak louder than words; yeah, I said it!
If you saw my post from last week, whether you fully agreed with the reason I wrote it or not, you know that I highlighted some people who I wanted to share with some of you readers and other people who might see those links and people in other social media spaces. If you also saw a post from me last year regarding how I market myself on Twitter, you know that one of the things I do a lot of there is highlight posts and statements from all sorts of people, both from people I know and don’t know. I’m all about sharing, and I spend a lot of time finding good stuff to share with others. It always seems to be appreciated, if sometimes ignored, but in my opinion the majority of people who are following me on Twitter are hopefully getting some kind of value from my sharing that stuff.
I have therefore made a decision that I’m not going to implement immediately, but probably by May or June I’m going that route, maybe even April.
I will stop sharing any blog post or web sites that has popups that show before I have had time to read the content. I will also start making a list of the people who have those blogs with those popups so that I can remove them from my blog reader and keep myself from accidentally clicking on those links because the topics look interesting.
I know that some folks have read studies which show that as much as we all say we hate popups, they do get people to sign up for their stuff. Frankly, I don’t care. I don’t have a problem with people who want to do commerce online and in social media. What I do have a problem with is people who in one voice say they are there for the people and in another voice, aka action, are doing the very thing that alienates us from wanting to deal with them. Well, that and Captcha, but I’ve written about that in the past also.
If some of you who are visitors to this blog have those popups, and have enjoyed my sharing your articles, which I will admit that if I share it means I think they’re pretty good, still have those types of popups by one of the months I mentioned above, I’m sorry but I will no longer share any of your stuff online.
I have never had a popup on any of my blogs, and I never will. I would like people to actually be able to read my content unobstructed. I risk the possibility that traffic might slow down, or that some people won’t share my content because I won’t share theirs. So be it; if one doesn’t take a stand on something that bothers them then they deserve what they get. You teach people how to treat you after all.
What’s your thought on it? Am I being pigheaded? Do you believe I don’t understand the need to make more money and get more newsletter subscribers? Or do you commiserate with me and understand my point, maybe even agree with me?
I’m not the type who is scared to hear other people giving me their opinion on things so go for it… Just stay nice. 🙂