Your Blog Is Irking Me; Check These Gripes Out

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.

Leave The Kids At Home And Turn Off The Damn Phone!
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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?

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32 thoughts on “Your Blog Is Irking Me; Check These Gripes Out”

  1. Hey Mitch,

    The thing on your list that I find the most annoying are those share bars that get in the way of of the text you are reading. Do you think the blog owners realize how annoying they are?

    The other things don’t bother me so much but I hate black sites with white or grey text and sites with long blocks of text. I just leave rather than struggle to read it.

    Sandy Halliday recently posted..WordPress Slug | A Nifty Way For Boosting SEO Rankings For Your BlogMy Profile

    1. Sandy, I agree that some of those sites are hard to read, but I can get through that. But those share bars blocking content… sigh… Maybe it’s just something that affects older eyes. lol

  2. You covered the biggest irks I think.

    I have used the term “commenter” from the time I first started blogging because it makes sense. The odd thing is though that this word usually shows as a misspelling on most spell checks. Maybe that’s why a lot of people revert to using “commentator”. Even in leaving this present comment, “commenter” is underlined in red as though it’s not a correct spelling.
    Arlee Bird recently posted..Too Much Work on Labor DayMy Profile

    1. Arlee, you do know that you can go to the word, right click and add it to your dictionary right? I do that all the time because the dictionary that comes with browsers is woefully insufficient.

  3. I do get irked, but sometimes I let them pass by (mostly because of the content or because of the relationship I have with the particular blogger). But, mentioning it to them is a must 😀

    I am okay with next article popups (most of what I have seen are popups that fade in after I am done with the article – usually in the commenting area).

    Newsletter pop-ups. I don’t like newsletter pop-ups (although I do realize that it can be effective. But, pop-ups are annoying).

    I do share your sentiment about auto playing videos and music. It is better to allow your readers to decide whether they should play the video or not.

    Thanks for clearing up the difference between commenters and commentators. I have used commentators in several of my posts because spell check told me that commenters was wrong.

    Anyways, thank you for sharing your insights, Mitch 🙂

    1. Thanks for your comments Jeevan. Normally I’m okay, to a degree, with those next article popups, but when they get in the way of my reading, I’m not a happy guy. That’s my issue, you got me there for the article but you won’t let me read it; irked! lol

    1. Hey Marcie,

      Not sure I’ve ever seen those things at the bottom of a page; I’ll have to pay more attention to them. Stuff that just starts playing is irksome, keeping with my theme, and I always wonder just who’s initiating that as something positive to believe in.

  4. Oops, I have to admit I use commentators instead of commenters. My only defence is that I just didn’t know any better.

    I have to agree with those other points but I think you missed one. You know, where bloggers ask you to do something for them just so they can leave a comment. 😉
    Sire recently posted..Are People Reading Your PostsMy Profile

    1. Sire, for years you were the only person using “commentators” so I let it go thinking it was some weird Australian thing. Then suddenly everyone started using it and, well, it started to irk me. lol You know how I am, I’m not going along with the crowd because I don’t know better, but in this case I always knew the difference.

      Yeah, I should have added that one, but I figure those folks might not want me commenting anyway! 😉

  5. Mitch, I agree about the music. I’m in reading mode, not listening mode, so it usually scares me — especially if I have the volume turned way up for some reason.

    About the grammar: I think we’re on the Titanic and it’s already hit the iceberg. The ship is going down.
    bronxboy55 recently posted..Literally ConfusedMy Profile

    1. LOL! That’s both funny & depressing Charles. I think every generation believes that about the new one but it sometimes feels like things have just gotten sloppy & teachers are allowing it because they don’t have the time nor get paid enough to deal with it all.

  6. Hello Mitch,
    Just as you noted in the earlier path of your post, some of these things that irk you also irk me. A good case study has to do with pop-ups that readily blocks the content or comment section.

    I often wonder if the blog owners never get to test these pop-ins or pop-ups before publishing! Well, I guess I am not alone in this concern and I am happy you have pointed out these details.

    Sunday recently posted..My Monthly Income Stream Report – August 2013My Profile

    1. Thanks. Actually, everyone can just open up a browser & take a look at their own blogs to see what’s going on. Thing is, some of us have larger fonts because we can’t stand reading small print, so it might not be an across the board thing. Yet, I do run my stuff via large & small viewing to see what might be getting in the way; they should do that every once in a while also.

  7. Ah, he’s home for the week! Yay Mitch, hope you’re relaxing some and not working too terribly hard.

    I hear ya on these gripes my friend and all of these bother me. The social share buttons right on top of their content annoys me to no end.

    I hate the next article pop ups too but what I really hate even more is when they put a highlighted “read this…” right in the middle of their posts. They do this several times like they really want me to leave the post I’m on and go read yet another one? All you’ve done is irritate me.

    I can’t stand pop ups and I never will. I keep hearing they convert really well but I’m finding it very hard to believe that those people who sign up on their lists stay. I think they just sign up to get the darn thing out of the way not even thinking. I could be wrong but that’s my guess.

    Now I’m going to tell on a friend here but I’m not going to name names. She’s a copywriter now and apparently makes good money. She brags that she has several blogs and people can see for themselves on her various blogs that she’s able to write about lots of different topics. Here’s the problem. Her grammar and spelling are horrible. I told her about this and she said she writes so much that she just throws up her posts and doesn’t care. Okay, if that’s the case then why are you bragging that your blogs are so great when I find mistakes in every single post on every single blog! I can’t for the life figure that one out but I tell you, sometimes her posts are really hard to read. It’s like someone is scratching their fingernails down the chalkboard.

    There ya have it, my opinion as well. Sorry you’re having a difficult time visiting some of these blogs. Hey, you can stop by my place again if you want. lol… Just kidding.

    Have a great week Mitch and enjoy being home.

    Adrienne recently posted..How To Change Your WordPress UsernameMy Profile

    1. Adrienne, I stop by your blog with pleasure each and every time. 🙂 You know, there are some other popular bloggers whose grammar stinks pretty badly, but I also know that English isn’t their first language so those folks get a break. But I flinch when I see something like “tomarrow” or “irregardless” and know it’s not a typo or a real word or phrases that you realize someone else really has no clue what it is so they’ve interpreted it and gotten it all wrong, and yet almost no one else notices because they don’t know it’s wrong. We let a lot of stuff go but every once in a while…

      And those newsletter things; ugh! lol

  8. I’m with you on all except ‘these ones’ which wouldn’t bother me, but I don’t think I’ve seen that used. Which ones would these ones be, I wonder? The commentator vs commenter thing irks me so much I have, several times, put a link in about it, in humorous posts, but I don’t think anyone clicked them.

    I hate pop ups that appear and cover a page. I hate them more than I can say!

    And currently my pet irk* is and I’m looking into self-hosting now (yep, me!) but I’ll tell you more about that another time.

    What sort of animal is a pet irk? Is it like a dog? (That’s what passes for humour. Or if you prefer, humor.)

    1. Val, a pet irk would have to be some kind of bug or wilderbeest since I hate bugs and those other things are just ugly. I almost went for star faced mole but we had one of those in the basement once and, as ugly as it is, I don’t even want to tempt fate to allow another one in.

      That “these ones” phrase is an American thing; I can’t imagine someone where you are even thinking about lowering themselves to using such a harsh sounding statement. lol And yes, I’ll have to hear more about your thoughts on self hosting; I didn’t even know you were back blogging again.

      1. I don’t think I’d like a star faced mole. I remember seeing pics of those a few months ago and which I don’t mind moles per se, star faced ones look really creepy.

        Got back to my blog a few days ago. Have had a two month break.

        I emailed you a couple of days about the self-hosting thing, but don’t know if you got it.

      2. I got it Val but I’m behind in my email; hopefully I’ll get to it today, though I’m pressed for time. And those moles look really nasty, but can’t really survive unless they stay underground.

  9. Lol hilarious article but it’s soo true. What I hate the most are the videos in the page because if I have alot of pages opened I end up closing all of them just to close the video!

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