There are tons of blogs these days that are dedicated to lists. Top Lists for all sorts of things, but the most popular are humor blogs like Cracked, stuff like 5 Official Websites You Won’t Believe Are This Bad and The 6 Most Badass Stunts Ever Pulled in the Name of Science.
I’ve come across way too many of these blogs that seem to think it’s a fantastic idea to write these articles and put each list item on its own page, like they’re writing a book report and padding it with stock photos and graphs or using a large font size to try and fool the teacher into believing the report is really five pages long instead of two. I figure this happens either because their website’s so full of sidebar widgets and banners that a lengthy article all on one page would force you to sit for ten minutes waiting for everything to load, or because they’re tricking you into clicking the “Next page” links so they get more views on all their ads. Although now that I’ve typed all that out, it’s probably both reasons.
I don’t go to these blogs very often but sometimes I’ll find myself at one because a friend shared a link on Twitter or Facebook, and too often I find myself reading one or two sections and then leaving the site because it’s just too much clicking to read something that’s not even all that interesting.
For example, yesterday my cousin posted a link on Facebook to the article 10 Ways NOT to Raise Your Toddler. Despite not being a parent, I was interested. I read it and laughed, it’s a funny article. In the middle of it is a “Related to this” titled 7 things toddlers don’t actually need, I figured that’d be just as amusing so I clicked it. I went from a mildly cluttered webpage with an easy-to-read article at Yahoo right to a “Where the fuck is the article I wanted to read?” article at Babble. There’s ad banners, multiple header menus, multiple places to share and follow the blog, the comments section, shit popping up at you from corners and scrolling right along while you’re trying to read… And on top of all that, there’s an arrow you have to click in order to continue reading the article. All seven things your kid doesn’t really need are on their own page, you have to wait for each page to load instead of just staying on the same already-loaded one you were reading, and it’s just not interesting enough to keep clicking. I think I clicked three times before deciding “Fuck this, I’m going to go bitch about this on my own blog.”
It’s one thing to put a NSFW image on a separate page, or add a “Read more” link to a really long entry, but I will never understand why some of these blogs pull that trick instead of just uncluttering their site.
Speaking of uncluttering, in case you haven’t noticed or in case you’re reading this from the RSS feed, I’ve changed my layout so there’s only one sidebar. I’d originally had two because I wasn’t sure how much stuff I’d have in widgets, but I finally realized I just don’t need two sidebars, I don’t have that much junk to show off. I haven’t yet decided if I’m going to post bigger photos now that there’s more room to do so, I guess I’ll test it on a past entry and see how it looks. Nobody uses an 800×600 resolution on their monitor anymore, right? Right. Feel free to share your opinion regarding the photos, I don’t know if any of my readers (all the dozens and severals of you) would care or have a preference if I made them bigger or just kept them at the size I’ve been posting them.