I am annoyed. And I’m annoyed because webmasters, software manufacturers and other Internet users do annoying things. I'm in no mood for introductions and pleasantries, so here are the ten Web practices I find most annoying…
SOFTWARE THAT AUTOMATICALLY TAKES YOU TO AN ONLINE ‘EXIT INTERVIEW’ WHEN YOU UNINSTALL
AAAAAAGGGHHHHHH!!!!! I mean, I hate any software trying to take me to a website without asking. Afterall, that site will record my visit, almost certainly with my IP address and computer information. Basically, that’s obtaining my information by force – particularly bad if I normally use a proxy to visit sites for privacy, and the software bypasses that proxy protection by automatically opening the Web page in Internet f***ing Explorer. But software that tries to get me to fill in a “Why I uninstalled this software” form when I wipe the stinking piece of crap off my drive???!!!…
Are you mad???!! Has anyone ever filled in that form?… What is it about the concept of people trying software and not liking it that these excruciating halfwits don’t get? How many reasons can there possibly be for people uninstalling software?… IT’S CRAP, IT’S CHEESED ME OFF, AND I FIND ITS BEHAVIOUR SO SUSPICIOUS THAT I’M NOT EVEN PREPARED TO LEAVE IT SITTING THERE UNUSED!! You do not need people to fill in forms to tell you that! As you can probably see, this annoys me quite a lot.
PEOPLE ON FORUMS, WHO THINK THEIR OPINION IS FACT
Invariably, these people are not only oblivious to the concept of personal taste - they’re also by far the most relentless gabblers on the board. They never stop posting. They could scale down the intensity of their forum use quite considerably, and still be posting 500 words every half hour. But the worst thing of all about these characters, is their unshakeable notion that a business will go bankrupt, if it doesn’t listen to, and act upon, every idiotic word they spew onto the Web.
They don’t want a round burger. They want a square burger. Everyone in the world, except them, wants a round burger (or doesn’t care), but they want a square one. So they’re going to lobby the burger bar, via the forum, to make all the burgers square. And the way they’re going to do that is not only by making an endless string of posts telling the bosses of the burger bar they’ll go bankrupt if they don’t start making square burgers, but also by adopting the mantle of spokesperson for the rest of the forum, and stating that every other member will inevitably want square burgers too. This is not a matter of opinion. It is a fact. Except it’s not a fact… I DO NOT WANT A SQUARE BURGER! I want a round one like everyone else! STOP TELLING THE BURGER BAR I WANT SQUARE BURGERS!!! YOU WANT SQUARE BURGERS. I DON’T!!! Tell the burger bar YOU want a square burger – and DON’T SPEAK FOR ME!!!
It’s really, really hard to express this without swearing, so let me compromise and add a bit more virtual bleeping … Human beings hate being nagged. I don’t want your f***ing newsletter. If I want your f***ing newletter I’ll click where it says “Click here to get the newsletter”. Here’s the situation: I’m not gonna give my email address to anyone who tries to get hold of it before they’ve even let me see their site. And when I say “see the site”, I don’t mean glance fleetingly at the header. I mean read multiple pages, in peace. If any site puts up a content-obscuring nag within five seconds of my first page visit, there won’t be a second page visit – and that’s a promise.
DIVIDING SMALL ARTICLES ACROSS TEN PAGES
Give me strength, this gets on my nerves! Yeah, if an article’s massively long, divide it into parts and post them as separate pieces. But if you’re gonna try to spread a single 600-word article over 10 ‘pages’, just to try and boost your page views and show me more ads (knowing how annoying it is for the visitor but not giving a toss), then I am quite seriously going to make a little doll that looks just like you, and I’m going to stick pins in it. In fact, not only am I going to stick pins in it – I’m going to stick them up its bottom. And then I’m putting your craphole of a site on my virus blacklist.
LOADING ABOUT 100MB OF CRAP ONTO A SINGLE PAGE
Pretty much the opposite to the above. Normally, this is done by amateurs who don’t know any better, and want you to see every single one of their holiday snaps or whatever. So they make a website, and load all their photos onto the homepage, at much higher file sizes than are necessary. For me, as someone who doesn’t have the world’s fastest broadband connection, visiting this page is like wading into quick sand, but since you’re an amateur and you know no better, I forgive you.
I don’t, however, forgive forums which allow the posting of unnecessary images in massive bulk. Where two or three pics would suffice, the user posts 50 or so pictures, barely any different from each other, and often not even remotely impressive. Do the forum administration give the posting member a virtual kick up the backside?… No. They award him some sort of Internet medallion of honour for uploading the biggest pile of unnecessary media in the history of social networking, and then they increase the bloody page size from 20 posts, to 50 posts, so another thirty idiots can pile unthinkable quantities of their painfully boring pictures on there as well. Get me off this subject, before I explode…
FREE SOFTWARE!… THAT YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR
So er, IT’S NOT FREE THEN IS IT?
If you’re going to try and charge me for software, don’t tell me it’s completely free, then wait until I’ve fully installed it, and then the first time I run it, put up a message that says: “This software is NOT free!…” That’s treating me like I’m stupid. Like I don’t remember what you said five minutes ago, when I started the download. Take this on board: people with more than four active brain cells will not pay money to someone who’s just lied to them. They’ll simply uninstall the software, and make a point of never going near your annoying crap ever again.
TWEETING EVERY TWO MINUTES, 24/7
This is the ultimate in having absolutely nothing useful to do. People getting up in the morning, and basically posting pointless Twitter messages, every two or three minutes, until they go to bed. Why is this annoying? Well, because invariably, this person will have made their stupid way right to the epicentre of a critically important conversation. But they won’t have used the reply function, so you can only see other people’s outraged responses to what they’ve said. Obviously, there’s no way in a million years you’re following a stupid idiot like this, so you have to go to their profile page to see this ‘game-changing’ comment of theirs. Shouldn’t be a problem – they only sent the message yesterday…
But of course it is a problem, because on reaching their page you realise they’ve posted about five hundred and sixty messages since yesterday… You’ve scrolled down about nine pages’ worth of tweets, and you still haven’t got back beyond the last hour… WTF?!!! I mean, having way too much time on your hands is one thing, but this takes the concept into a completely new dimension… And when you finally, after half an hour of scrolling, get to this staggeringly controversial comment they made, what does it say, exactly?… Yep: “Get a life and stop spamming my timeline!”. Some people just never look in the mirror, do they?
And speaking of spamming… The mistake all spammers make is to assume that the people who are subjected to their endless tirade of bollocks, will in some way overlook the overwhelming sense of annoyance it creates, and be impressed. Spammers should take note: IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO BE BOTH ANNOYED AND IMPRESSED AT THE SAME TIME! If you annoy me, I am not going to be impressed by you. Therefore, if you send my blog 426 fake hits of referrer spam in one afternoon, I’m not going to bookmark your URL and then come and waste my money on whatever lump of abject trash it is you’re trying to sell. I’m going to think you’re an annoying tosser who’s making a pig’s ear of my stats charts, and report you for spamming. Why do spammers not understand that annoying people is not a particularly effective marketing strategy?
IDIOTS WHO REGISTER FIRST AND ASK QUESTIONS LATER
There are now large numbers of sites requesting that you register or join before they’ll even tell you the first thing about how they work. Who’s to blame? That’s right, the thick simpletons who actually join these sites. This concept of “Register first, and then we’ll tell you how the site works” used to be mainly confined to ‘get rich quick’ or ‘adult dating’ facilities which, unless you were a complete moron, you knew to be nothing more than an opportunity to literally shovel money into a villain’s pockets. That was fine. I was never gonna touch those sites. But now, the same morons who sign up to ‘get rich quick’ and ‘adult dating’ scam sites, appear to have acquired an interest in other sites. Sites which I actually do want to know something about - without having to register first. Hosting sites, forums, etc. And the more sites these morons join without having a clue what they’re getting themselves into, the wider this information blackout culture will spread across the mainstream Internet.
So if you happen to be a moron, please listen to this, because it’s important… The Internet is basically one big online public toilet. Websites that won’t give you any information about themselves until you’ve joined, are the equivalent of a bloke who randomly approaches you in a public toilet, and asks you to go to his house… “Er, why d’you want me to go to your house?” You reply… “I just do.” He responds, with a disturbing fixed grin. “You’ll find out when you get there.” Would you go to this man’s house?… No?… WELL STOP F***ING JOINING SITES YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THEN!!!! That way, half the Internet will not assume it’s okay to require our email address and personal details before they’ve given us the remotest indication of who they are, and WTF they do!
You just knew it was coming, didn’t you?… Yes, Toolbars are without a doubt the most annoying thing on the Internet. You know those people who make websites that bug you with a newsletter prompt every four seconds?… D’you know what they do in their spare time?… That’s right – they make toolbars. What do the toolbars do?… Well officially, they make your life a whole lot easier. Unofficially, they take over your entire computer, commandeer literally all its RAM, disable every useful function it ever had, and transfer its underlying control to someone who makes Dr. Evil look like Mother Teresa. You still power up the machine, and you still switch it off. But other than that, it’s out of your hands.
Want to search for something?… Great! Use the toolbar! I mean, not that you’ll have any choice, because everything else is disabled. But go on – do a search… Good isn’t it? You search for electric guitars, and you get three timeshare ads, fifteen “hot, desperate women available in your area!” ads, and an auto-referral to a landscape gardening article stuffed with about 309 affiliate links. It doesn’t matter what you search for, by the way, ‘cos you ain’t in control of the search engine. Dr. Evil decides your results, and if he says you’re gonna read articles about five star hotels, then that is what you shall read.
It made me laugh once when I saw someone referring to a particularly aggressive toolbar on a forum, and asking if it was spyware. Spyware?… It doesn’t need to bloody spy on you! It completely and totally owns your ass, and when you find out what it’s actually done to your computer, the word “annoyed” is not going to come close to covering your state of mind.
I will be back to my normal self for the next post. Just had to get all that out of my system.