These days, with the new blogging culture, there are a few Obnoxious internet traditions on the rise..
There are 2 that particularly Irk me and both of them are about user interaction and comments. Web 2.0 being the social thing it is, its not that much without interaction. And thats exactly the problem here 🙂
- Dear Lazyweb
Crowdsourcing. Its basically asking a question and counting on your readership to answer it. (People with a lot of readership and people who are published on all sorts of planet constructs are the ones that seem to fall for this trick.) And its nice; its an interesting way to put a well read blog to use; but after a while it just gets obnoxious. The ubuntu planet has a “Dear Lazyweb” at least once a week; sometimes more. And that gets old Real quick. The main reason is that when people read a blog, the point is not about leaving comments, but about really getting something from the blog you re following. And its OK to return the favor.. Crowdsourcing your new PCs hardware or some problem is fine. But not at a “once a week” rate 🙂 And offcourse, I’m talking about a planet here; aggregating lots of different blogs; so its not fair to really attribute this to any one blog; but the fact is that while reading blogs it quickly irks me.
- Comment Question
I’ll put this in an example – that ll be easier 🙂 There are an endless suply of them on the interweb, so I chose the fine and very entrertaining Wired article – 10 annoying habbits of a geeky spouse to serve this example. As a method of stimulating comments – lots of big sites, like wired, end their blog posts with a set of questions. “So, any additions to the list? Any spouses of geeks out there want to add a few of their own pet peeves? Please leave a comment.” This certainly is a way to stimulate your audience to post comments, but after the 3rd time or so; this grows really old.
And worse, it comes off as quite unnatural and forced. I do understand the psychology behind it. By asking a question and stimulating the reader to post answers, you re really sucking them into your article, creating a personal note and at the same time creating possible extra value to the article; namely that one insightfull comment in every dozen or so that ll add to the experience of the next person reading the article. Its easy and its a way to create communities.
Another aspect is that most articles arent written as a debate; they just convey facts and oppinions. And we all like it that way; but by asking that question in the end, you’re breaking that format, that flow at the very last line of the post! which obviously feels Wrong 🙂
Begging for comments feels sad and to me its always a low finish on what might otherwise be a fine article.
Two web 2.0 practices I wouldnt miss if they ceased 🙂 And I can only hope its one of those “new” practices that ll just go out of fashion after a while.. 🙂
So how do you like these practices? Do you have anything you want to add to the list? Or do you actually like these phenomena? Please leave a comment.