I love the internet, obviously. It is great for a multitude of things, and I make use of it for a multitude of things. This post is about the stuff that the internet could do without. Just to be clear, I’m not talking about content in this post. There will always be content that is objectionable, and for the most part it is up to the user to decide whether to be exposed to that content or not. This post is about annoyances and things that are largely unavoidable. All these things make the internet worse regardless of the content you seek.
Before the list I should say that advertizing appears on this list multiple times. I do not have a problem with advertizing. I have a problem with obtrusive advertizing. I know that the internet runs on ads. I know that they are necessary and that they make everything cheap. I listen to many podcasts with ads and they don't bother me in the slightest.
Now the list
1. Trolls – This one is number 1 for good reason. Trolls ruin every comment thread on the internet. Trolls are why I never read message boards, or youtube comments, or turn on the mic on X-box live, or, well, read anything popular that allows comments. This is extra annoying because I am bewildered by why people would act like this. What enjoyment would anybody get from making other people hate them either by being obnoxious beyond words, or by being so profane that Howard Stern would be embarrassed to listen?
2. Fragmentation of content – This is a problem that I don’t have any hope will go away any time soon. If I were a content creator, I would want it seen by as many people as possible. However, the people who pay the bills want to force us all over the internet to find things. I am not suggesting that every TV show should be on Hulu. I am saying that every TV show should be on Hulu, and Netflix, and TV.com, and everywhere. Then the factor deciding where I watch it would be the quality of the site where I chose to watch it. Music has almost figured this out. Pretty much every label can be found on iTunes and on Amazon. So when I am looking for a song I go to the site I prefer and know it will be there. Why can’t the makers of other content figure this out?
3. Every search result that goes to about.com, or ehow, or any site of that type – Those sites are never helpful, they have an obscene amount of ads and they trick you by making you click through. I wish those types of sites would go away.
4. Interstitial ads that cover up content. I never want to wait 30 seconds to read a page. Ever. It makes me hate the product advertized and makes me never want to come back to the site. AOL, I’m especially saying this to you and your family of blogs with great content. Stop it!
5. Any short video (under 5 minutes) that has a pre-roll ad – Again, I have no problem with ads. But watching 30 second ad before a 50 second video guarantees I’m never watching one of your videos again. The worst offender of this rule is failblog, consequentially I have not watched a video from their site in months
6. Any story that is spread over multiple pages. This is just a trick to make traffic numbers higher and to make more ads load. Stick the story all on one page and just space the ads throughout. Somebody worked hard on writing that story. Why would the site ensure that nobody ever sees the end of it by hiding it behind 3 page loads?
7. Any website that plays music automatically. Auto-playing music is the bane of the interwebs.
8. Any status update on Facebook ever that includes the phrase “Copy and paste if you agree” (I admit that I copied one of these one time. It was about dragons and it made me laugh uproariously. But that is the only one.)
9. Spam – Everything that can be spammed will be spammed. What can I say? It’s frustrating and makes the experience all across the web worse
10. The way so many sites say “this site requires to be linked to Facebook.” No it doesn’t require linking to facebook. If it did it would be on facebook. You just want to advertize to my friends. Facebook has certainly proven repeatedly that it cannot be trusted with all my info so I never want to give it any info from any other site.