Friday, December 15, 2006

Disrespecting your readers... a great business model

There are two things that have come to annoy the hell out of me: 1) partial syndication feeds, and 2) unnecessary pagination. I long ago removed all sites from my newsreader if they didn‘t give me the whole enchilada. Now I‘m going to stop reading any site that forces me to stop reading, move from my scrollbar, and click to continue reading. If it‘s really good I might give them one extra click and select the “printer” friendly version, but I am never going to click on one of these ever again!

This pagination topic has been making the rounds again. Everyone seems to be linking to this Jason Kottke piece from yesterday:

Slate has gone to the dark side by splitting up their articles into multiple pages. I hate this reader-hostile bullshit. At least they have a single page option. But why not have that as the default and have the pagination be the option? (That was rhetorical, btw...the reason online pubs split stories up is to increase ad views.)

Which is the exact same reason that sites only give you partial feeds. It‘s the same dynamic of not putting your reader‘s interests first. Also from kottke.org

...this pisses me off: the New Yorker is splitting up their longer pieces into multiple pages. I know, everyone else does it and it's some sort of "best practice" that we readers let them get away with so they can boost pageviews and advertising revenue at the expense of user experience, but The New Yorker was the last bastion of good behavior on this issue and I loved them for it. This is a perfect example of an architecture of control in design and uninnovation. I want the New Yorker's web site to get better, not worse. Blech and BOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

“Architecture of control and uninnovation” indeed! Just another example of old-media trying to bring their obsolete practices to the new world. I‘m guessing they‘d have more readers if they treated them with a little dignity and respect. Which is exactly the reason why so many of them will not make the transition and are so toast. As Dan Lockton says, How much are bored eyeballs worth?

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