Getting stalked by web-sites

| 1 Comment
This is the kind of complaint that those of you with well tuned AdBock and GreaseMonkey plugins get all superior about. So click on to see what the rest of us have been putting up with.
I've been not using AdBock-like plugins because I do recognize the connection between advertising and free content. However, what I don't recognize is the right to be annoying about it. Static ads are fine. Blinking, winking, flashing, bopping, hopping, and whooshing advertising is not fine.

Until now I've gotten along rather well with just FlashBlock. That blocks the largest majority of things I find annoying and makes pages load faster.

That may have to change. Sites are including ever more javascript and other things that aren't flash that are annoying. And HTML5 promises to provide flash-like features without flash, so clearly something else will need to be done. A short demo of what I'm finding annoying right now.

Example of bad
That footer right there. This is is a footer that clings to the bottom of my browser and stays there taking up real-estate.

This is anoying for a couple of reasons, chief among them being my work computher is challenged in the vertical pixel department and anything that robs me of those pixels causes me to dislike it.

I've seen variations on this footer a few places, and they always have a bit of advertising, a lot of social media links, and maybe a link to other pages on the site.

Whatever this JS library is, I wanna ban its ass.

Share Me gone wild.

The black border you see in there is added by me. That left column of social media pride (I've been shared on Twitter 1167 times, would you like to make it 1168?)  follows me all up and down the page as I scroll. Just in case I get half way through the article, cry, "OH MY GOD! THIS IS THE BEST THING! MUST SHARE WITH EVERYONE!" I'll have the button to do that RIGHT THERE WAITING FOR ME. No scrolling needed.

That row of buttons on the bottom? The one identical to the left column? Just in case I've blocked the JS that makes the follow-me-everywhere column appear, there is a backup row of static buttons I can use! This page has been shared on FaceBook 1308 times? GOLLY THEY'RE POPULAR.

Love me!
And really, it comes across a bit needy. All of those buttons? Just a long, forlorn cry for love. It gets tiring after a while. No one loves a needy web-site.

I do not want Love Me! buttons stalking me everywhere I go. I'm not adverse to Share Me, buttons. See the bottom of this post if your browser/reader allows them to show up for an example. I'm adverse to obtrusive share-me/love-me buttons.

I much prefer share-me links that don't feel compelled to shout to the world how many people have thought this post was awesome-sauce enough to share to the world (or was mockable enough to pass around with derision).

Done right
You know, like that. Yes, it has a number next to the Twitter button, and lists the number of likes; I wish they weren't there. But that row of share-me buttons at the top by the red arrrow? That's just fine. That shows respect. It offers me the chance to share interesting content with friends, without being all co-dependent about it.

I know full well that each of those buttons allows their owners to track my every movement, which is why I don't do general web-browsing from a browser that stays logged into Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Reddit, Google, Tumblr, or StumbleUpon. It helps that I don't keep my RSS feeds in Google, even though my own feed-stats show that over 80% of you all do.

So yeah. It isn't advertising pushing me into the arms of AdBlock, it's needy social-media love-me buttons.