Face It, I’m Not That Into You

The ‘net, as Douglas Adams observed of the universe in general, is really, really big.

It’s full of words and images that represent ideas. And the simple fact is that, for the most part, there are only so many ideas to go around at any given moment. Your ideas are probably not unique. In fact, the more time you spend on the ‘net, the more likely that even the language you use to express those ideas is pretty common, too.

Yes, you might have an interesting perspective or tone, or a certain degree of credibility. But unless you’re very special indeed, I can probably find whatever you have substantively to offer elsewhere.

So why do you make it so hard to read what you have to say? Why put up active barriers to my access of your ideas, or make that access so unpleasant that I just won’t bother?

Flash videos that I can’t stop until they’re over. Absurdly “creative” ads that mangle my browser. Mousetraps that wrest my control of navigation. Polls that pop up once out of every three pages. Splash screens and graphics that convey nothing but your self-regard, in defiance of my simple inquiry. Incoherent architecture that obfuscates and buries what ought to be clear and evident.

None of these convey anything useful to me, or make it likely that I will give you any further attention. Yes, you just got my page-hit, but you won’t get any more, and my dwell time will be negligible.

It’s a big place. I’ll find my ideas somewhere else.