Thursday, August 27, 2015

7 Things Overdone on the Web

I've been an internet user for twenty years now. I think that qualifies me to write about things I believe are overdone on the web. I'm going beyond complaints about the "wall of text" effect and people writing in all-caps. This list is skewed toward internet marketing types because I am one, though to a lesser degree than most.

What's over-done on the internet? This links to an article about internet marketing, writing, and blogging, and things that have become annoying because they're done so often.

Here's my list of things I believe are overdone on the internet:

1. The ridiculously overused word, "passion." - I am tired of reading "about me" blurbs on blogs that start with "my passion is" or "I'm passionate about." The word has been used so much it is an instant turn-off for me.

I wonder why people can't find some more creative way to tell us what they are writing about. The fact that they are excited about a topic doesn't exactly qualify them as an expert. I want to see results, not statements of passion.

2. Excess marketing on blog articles. - I was a writer on the now-defunct website, Squidoo. I know what it means to put too many advertisements on one page. I've done it. But I've observed the downfall of Squidoo and at some point realized that one strategically placed advertisement is better than a block of five.

A block of five ads may give a person more to choose from, but it increases the tendency of your reader to skip over the block of ads. People are at your site to read an article and get useful information. They're not there to see an excessive number of ads.

I will use multiple ads if I'm using them to explain how to do something, like on my article, How to Make Homemade Castile Soap. And I'll use multiples on a top-ten best products list, for comparison shopping purposes. But to inundate a reader with ads in the hope that they'll be persuaded to click on one of them, due to the sheer number of opportunities, I don't. It isn't attractive and I hereby eschew the evil practice.

What I find better is to write my article naturally. Then, if I mention a product, I might illustrate it with the perfect product or book that directly relates to the topic of the article.

3. Newspaper websites that load slowly because they have too many ads. I'm going to pick on one news website I've been to recently: S---- Daily News. Today I'm counting more than ten ads on their front page. I don't know if they have any popup ads because I've got a popup blocker.

The excessive ad content makes these pages slow to load and annoying. Furthermore, my reading is interrupted by a content refresh I didn't ask for.

By comparison I looked at the LA Times website. There are only five ads on the front page and the site is quick to load and easy to use. SFGate has seven ads on the front page today.

So to the small town newspaper with an annoyingly slow website I say this: Having more ads on your site is not going to make me want to click on them. It only makes me want to go to another website that is easier to use.

4. Blogs about how to blog. Enough already. I've been a blogger since 2001 and have seen and read more than my share of blogs and articles about how to be a better blogger, what social media I "must" use and how to use it, how to get more hits to my blog, and this morning's offering - "Metrics to Improve Content Performance."

I am honestly so over it... I don't care to read another word from a big-wig content producing super-blogger of epic proportions. Everyone knows now, if you want to make money blogging, write a blog about blogging, social media, or both. The market is saturated but with enough effort you can convince enough people to buy your next information "product" which will have dubious returns on investment for most of the people gullible enough to fall for it.

Listen people, you don't learn to blog from products. You can only learn to blog by doing it. Your first efforts are likely to be clumsy - but don't use anyone else's magic formula for blogging because it is already over-done and seen too many times. Instead, find your own creative voice, and forge ahead. Creativity is awesome.

5. Landing pages. Need I say more? Too many people build landing pages to market their expensive information products. Each landing page has an extensive sales pitch which hopes to reel enough people in to make a fortune on their gullibility.

They have the opposite effect on me. I see a landing page and want to run. I have never read all the way through one of those lengthy landing pages they took so long to write. (Or more likely, paid someone else to write.) They are ridiculous and people are laughing about them.

6. Expensive information products. Yes, while we're on that topic, I'll mention I'm tired of seeing information products that every talking head on the internet wants to sell. They typically have a DVD set, a CD set, a few booklets, maybe even a book - displayed in a professional manner. You can learn about anything you want for 100 dollars or more. This is just sickening.

The truth is you can buy a book at Amazon for a lot less than you will spend buying some talking head's information product collection! Many of these savvy marketers have multiple products. I'm tired of seeing them. Materialism sucks. I'm all for people earning money off their specialties, but I do not like overly-priced information products.

7. Facebook posts that look like videos but when you click them you go to some advertising-heavy web page rather than to YouTube. - These days, I'm very careful what I click on when I'm at Facebook. If I view a video there I want it to be a Facebook video or YouTube - not a photo-link to someone else's website.

A lot of sites are set up to feature thousands of pages with YouTube videos made by someone with no connection to the website. I have no objection to people embedding YouTube videos. I do it myself when a video adds to my topic in a way that will benefit the reader.

What I don't like is the fake-look video images on Facebook that take you off-site to see the video. It is time consuming to load those advertising-heavy websites and let's face it - when I visit Facebook, I want to see what my family members are up to, check on my groups, and get out. I don't want to spend hours there being redirected to other websites for videos that could just as easily be seen right on Facebook.

If you see a YouTube video on a site you could easily go to the YouTube site and share it from there.

That's it for now.

Did I fail to mention your pet peeve? If so, leave a comment to let me know what it is.


Photo credit - the computer came from

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