Whilst out and about on my travels a couple of days ago, I happened across a blog that had had an article syndicated on a favorite read of mine, and wanted to email the author rather than comment. I spent nearly 10 minutes scouring the page for a simple contact link or form. I waded through heaps and heaps of useless digital trash in the hope of being able to contact the author and ended up giving up.
To make a point, let me share with you what I had to traverse in the sidebar whilst squinting at the tiny fonts for a link:
- A bunch of feed button links, all for the same feed but hosted at different feed services
- A form field that wanted my email address for no dicernable reason
- 9 or 10 other buttons all one after another in the sidebar that advertised and linked to a bunch of trendy services i had absolute no need of
- A block of recent posts provided by Technorati — why the blogger didn’t use their own blog softwares version of this or why such a useful set of links was buried under all of the above escapes me
- A pile of recnt comments
- A stack of the authors comments on other blogs
- A bundle of “incoming links”
- Some related links — at least that’s what the title said they were
- A “bitty browser” monstrosity that looked more like an adsense block and had the audacity to scroll me through a bunch of the authors favorite blogs
- A set of links offering to let me read the same post as opml, or at a bunch of other gimmick services aswell as in pdf format or read it at various other rss/opml service and as if I’d not already had my fill, an invitation to browse the authors OPML at Dave Winers site
- More options in the form of “rojo” links. Lord knows what they are or why they were there.
- A creative commons copyright button, followed by a copyscape button
- Another block of incoming links, this time with handy rss links in case i wanted to subcribe to the people that were linking to the author based on a text link to their blog
- A broken “my pagerank is” button, just in case i was mentally ill and felt the need to know…
- A map widget, in case my curiosity about the page had not been slaked yet
- One more widget for incoming links, Zzz….
- A blogshares widget (haven’t they died yet?)
- “My blog is worth”… oh god, don’t tempt me…
- Half a dozen or so more widgets to useless web2.0 services i’d sooner cut my arm off than visit
- Some more generated bookmark/tagcloud links
- Lastly, the authors recent bookmarks at del.icio.us
On revisiting the blog today to write this post, i actually found the contact link. It was hiding in a graphical button, naturally. God forbid it should be a blue underlined link in a prominent location..
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