Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Sep 2, 2013
These days I’m doing a lot of business travel and this puts me way behind in my blog commenting. Some people may not understand this but trust me, a hotel internet connection that’s only getting 2 MBPS as opposed to the 30 MBPS I get at home is restricting to a power user type like me.
This week I’m home, and so I decided it was time to try to catch up on a lot of blogs that I’d saved up in Evernote to comment on. And once I started… man, I started seeing all sorts of stuff that’s just irking me to no end. My take on this is that if it’s irking me, then it has to be irking others, even if they decide not to say anything about it.
How many ways have I been irked? Let’s find out:
1. Your share buttons are bleeding into the reading/comment area. Thanks for putting up buttons so we can share your content. For some of you who put it on the side, that bad boy following me up and down the blog as I read is distracting, but I’ll get over that because I know you’re trying to help me help you (sarcasm). But some of you have it so big that I have to keep scrolling more often than normal if I want to read the article in full because it’s blocking the content. I can shrink the page, but at some point I can’t read it, or I’m struggling to read it, and that’s just not going to work for me. So I just go away; don’t leave a comment, don’t pass GO, don’t get my $200. And I might not come back if I can remember who’s blog I was on.
2. Your “next” article pop-ins. Look, I get it; you don’t think I’m going to look at anything else you write if you don’t specifically tell me to do it. So at some point you’ve set your blog up to throw in one of those boxes that pops in at the bottom right to tell me something. Most of the time it’s another article, but sometimes it’s an advertisement or something else you want to share with me.
Even though I don’t like that, at least most of you wait until we get to the bottom of the article before it pops up. I even understand having it pop up before it gets to the commenting area because not everyone is going to comment. But having that bad boy pop up after I hit the scroll area the very first time… stop that! Once again, it bleeds into the content and gets in the way, and some of you nefariously have omitted the X allowing us to close the box, which once again means we have to shrink content drastically if we want to read stuff, being followed by your face and that ever present box. No thanks; killed that article as well.
3. Newsletter pop-ups. Now look, I’ve talked often about how much I hate these things and most of you are still using them because some “guru” said that as much as people complain about them they actually work in getting subscribers. So on this one I’m probably just a hater missing the point. Except… now many of you are popping those boxes up while I’m either in the middle of trying to read your article or starting to leave a comment. Really? Do you hate your own content or the readers so much that you don’t want them to finish reading your articles? No? Then why did I just up and leave because that thing ruined my reading experience?
4. What’s that noise? Did you just have a video start playing advertising something that I wasn’t expecting? Do you have your blog set up to start playing a brief podcast or some kind of music? Didn’t we talk about this a long time ago when I used to tell people how much I hated MySpace (and look what happened to that…)?
Okay, which guru told you to assault the senses of your latest visitors with this nonsense? Did you subscribe to their newsletter that teaches you how to irritate people while taking your money to the bank? I get it; there seems to be a lot of blindness when it comes to blogs and it’s harder to get people to even look at our stuff, let alone click on it. Let me tell you something; the best way to market to people is to hopefully get them to keep coming back for more. If you drive away 99% of your audience the first time, how much do you think you’re going to get from that 1% that forgives you & comes back?
5. What did you say? I don’t want to be the grammar police but I have a few things to say here, and I’ll highlight them:
* The word is “commenters”, not “commentators”; a commentator is a reporter.
* There’s no such phrase as “these ones”; you mean “these” and that word is enough.
* A space between your paragraphs is much appreciated. Heck, paragraphs instead of one long paragraph that goes on forever is nice as well.
* Exclamation points are to be used when you want to show an emotion. Using one in every sentence of every paragraph is a bit too much; if you’re that emotional you’re scaring me. For that matter, even one per paragraph is probably too much.
* Your, you’re, there, their, they’re, our, are, hour, principle, principal, pitcher, picture… do I really have to explain this point?
Time to stop before I get really weird. Truthfully, the grammar part is lower on the totem pole than all the other stuff I mentioned, but since I was on my “irked” rant, I thought I’d pony up a few more things. Are you doing these things? I know you’re not going to fess up so I’ll just say if you are, think about it a bit and then, please, change. If not, is there something else irking you that you’d like to bring up?