Irritating Popups, Et Al

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.

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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?

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9 thoughts on “Irritating Popups, Et Al”

  1. You see that is the trouble with a lot of those people who read problogger. They take everything that he says as gospel and forget that he is in it for the money and is only promoting his latest little advertising gimmick. Just because he says that his subscriptions went up doesn’t necessarily make it so and if it did it’s only because those reading his blog wanted to get in on the act.

    I like you hate those things and I only tried it once at Social Spark and couldn’t wait for it to disappear. never again.

    Sire´s last blog post..The Real Dos And Don’t Of Affiliate Marketing

    1. I’m glad you agree, Sire. I went into the netherworld once many years ago when the big talk was that stupid popup that came up when people wanted to leave the page to ask them what they were thinking. I had it for a day, visited myself, hated it, got rid of it, and never looked back.

    1. True. I didn’t comment on that particular post, though I’m wishing I had at this juncture, just to show a little bit of displeasure. But he’s not alone; nowhere close to it.

  2. Man this is a pain. Now ShoeMoney and JohnChow are also doing it and really I don’t like that because even if the popup will only appear once, if you clear your cookies as I do very often as a web developper I have to see that popup again. Painful.

    Ben Tremblay´s last blog post..frogstr show episode 1: Thanks ShoeMoney & Website submissions

    1. Glad to see you weighing in here, Ben. I wish those sites remembered that you had already been there and didn’t pitch you again. Most of those sites I’d never visit again, but hey, those are the big boys, and no matter what, Problogger does write some pretty good stuff, I admit.

  3. None of them seem to remember me, Dennis, and I don’t turn cookies off. Now, I’m not sure what you’re saying about the difference in writing between Darren and John; can you explain that better?

  4. Oh, okay, I know what you mean now. And I’d have to agree, though I’m not mad at either of them.

  5. I read both, but that’s what the reader is for, to weed out those posts I don’t need to look at.

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