It’s time I get a few things off my chest when it comes to browsing the web. I love browsing through my feed reader to get a grasp on the various news stories surrounding WordPress and my favorite subjects and in the course of a few months, I’ve developed just a few pet peeves that really urk me. In no particular order, here they are and if you can help it, please avoid them!
Permalinks – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across a great article only to discover that finding a simple URL to the post was a pain in the rear. When browsing posts in my feed reader, I typically see URLs filled with FeedBurners junk attached to them. Instead, I enjoy websites where the post title within the post acts as a permalink which is nice and clean for easy sharing.
Social Junk – Maybe I don’t get it, but I hate websites that have turned their comment section into a place to monitor social interaction. Instead of comments, I now see tweets, retweets, likes, etc. Everything is mixed together and it’s one big mess. Whatever happened to the days of seeing a great conversation take place within the comments section of a site and being able to easily participate in it? I salute those who have resisted the temptation to put that garbage within your comments section. However, I have no qualms of a smart comment form where reactions from specific services are tabbed based. For example, Comments Tab, Facebook Tab, Twitter Tab, etc. Having everything show up in the comment form is just a poor way to go about it.
I’ll Share It My Way – Of all the ways to share content, I’ve typically only used one method presented on a website and that was the old-fashioned, Email Story method. A long time ago, I used to hit the Digg button if it was displayed on the article I was reading but I haven’t had anything to do with Digg for a long time. Also, I’ve yet to read any articles of major websites providing an analysis of just how much their sharing buttons are used. Typically when I’m browsing through my feed reader, I have my preferred Twitter client opened so that if I find something interesting, I shorten the clean permalink and Tweet it, no buttons necessary. I’ll also send an email manually when I have Thunderbird open but I’ll look to see if the Email link is present within the article before I do that. If sharing buttons work for you to get more traffic, good on you but I tend to think that not many people use them.
WordPress.com Pop Up Links – While I don’t come across them all the time, those pop-ups that occur on various WordPress.com hosted sites are incredibly annoying. Not only that, but when you try to copy the URL, it adds that pop-ups URL stuff into it and in order to get the correct URL, you have to visit the linked site and grab it from there.
As for WPTavern.com, I’m sure some of you have the pet peeve that I don’t have any way to access the various categories that are written about on the site. It’s been like that for a while and I assure you, I’m looking into it. From playing around with the WordPress menu system, it doesn’t have an easy way to add a category drop down menu item to an existing menu. It’s either some categories, all categories, or nothing.
These are just a few of the pet peeves I have that get me all the time. Everyone has web site pet peeves so tell me, what’s yours?
Re: Sharing buttons…. Sorry, but no, you’re mistaken. LOTS of people use them. The trick is to make them unobtrusive and yet easy to find. Anything more complex than putting the buttons off to the side or at the bottom or top of the story is unnecessary.
I share links via Tweeting or Facebook far, far more often than via email. And usually I’ll look around for a button to share a story right there, because it’ll generally have the title already in it for me, the shortlink, etc. Building my own is too much work.
So much so that if I can’t find the button to share the story, I usually end up not sharing it at all. This is a split second decision, if it takes more than a button press or two for me to do it, then I won’t bother with it. And that’s a shame because it means that your content won’t get seen by people I have some level of influence over.
Sharing buttons for Facebook and Twitter are basically required, in my view. Any extra services are a tad pointless, the top two are enough. If you want a third, Google Buzz is a good one because it’s linked in with Google Reader, which has bajillions of users using it.
Note: I will never use a button on a site to email the story to somebody. The very last thing I ever want a site to do is to email something to somebody else using my name. I don’t trust your email button and I never will. So those I avoid like the plague.