Still My Favorite Halloween Image
Trying to Get Old My Way

The Bane of Blogs

This will be (relatively) short and not so sweet today. Crabby Old Lady is having a snit again – about blogs this time: too many have become impossible to read or so unpleasant that Crabby doesn’t bother anymore. She can’t be the only one.

Google Ads. Now Crabby understands that some people want to make a little money from their blogs and there’s nothing wrong with that. But the (mis)placement of Google Ads is becoming an insult to readers.

Some bloggers place a long list of those irritations just under the title of the day’s post so that all the editorial falls below the fold. Worse, without the story directly under the headline, the blog looks like a splog and it makes Crabby think her bookmarks have gone all wonky and taken her to a fake blog. Or, that the blog in question has been abandoned.

Others place Google Ads smack dab in the middle of the editorial so that by the time Crabby finishes scrolling down past the list of ads, she’s lost the thread of the story. Since she is uninclined to start over, the blog doesn’t get read.

Snap! If you don’t know what these are, you’re probably not reading many blogs. Snap is a service (god save Crabby from any more “service”) that turns links, when the mouse pointer rolls over them, into little pop ups with miniatures of the linked pages. Some blog posts have a dozen or more of these, although one is enough to turn Crabby’s face red with fury; they always cover the part of the story being read at the moment.

When Crabby moves her mouse to get rid of the pop up, she invariably hits another one that further interrupts her reading – and on it goes through the entire blog post – until she has entirely forgotten what it was about.

It’s not like Snap! pop ups ad value. They exist only to irritate and interrupt thought. If Crabby has anything to say about it, a special place in hell will be reserved for the people who invented Snap! (and at least a similar anteroom for those who use it) where every step they take will be stalled by a six-foot, concrete pop up barrier blocking their view.

Since the devil has not, so far, offered Crabby Old Lady any kind of tradeoff to implement this deserved, eternal burden she henceforth refuses to read any blog that uses Snap! And she’s considering removing any that do from the Elderblogger list.

Blogging is a wonderful thing for many reasons. They are, as Jay Rosen labeled them, little First Amendment machines; everyone can have his or her say. Blogs inform, entertain, educate and foster friendship. Anything that impedes that – like the placement of Google Ads and Snap! – is a drain on the blosophere.

[At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Herchel Newman gives us a heartwarming story about how he painlessly taught his son a terrifically good lesson in User Friendly.]


I'm happy to say that none of my favourite blogs does these things and I wouldn't know how to.

The one that I don't like the most is pop-up ads. Although newer browsers do filter most of them, every once in a while, they do make it through.

I don't understand why people feel the need to use pop-up ads. Is their webpage already so crowded that they need to create even more ad space to annoy us? If I'm reading their webpage, why do they have to do so much to direct me AWAY from it? Do they not want me there? I just don't get pop-up ads.

I had Google ads for a while, until one appeared that advertised a phone hook-up to "cheating housewives." I thought, "That's gotta go!" and so I disabled them on the spot. The post it went with was one I had written about domestic violence.

I'm tempted to make Crabby Old Lady a pot of tea, but I'm likely to be popped over the head by the pot if I did.

One really nice person started reading my blog. I went to visit her blog in return and I was SO annoyed. Only the first paragraph or two of each blog entry was available, there was this "read more" to click to read the rest of the blog entry. On top of that, the blog was loaded with ads.

If a blog has Snap like a lot of things, it is interesting the first time but then it just gets on my nerves.

I'm still ad and Snap free - please don't delete me. ;-)

I am ad and snap free too, and I intend to remain so!

Bravo to you for addressing this topic!
Like you, I've become very annoyed with all these little so-called "extras" on blogs. I simply don't have the time anymore to put up with them, nor the inclination.
I love reading informative, humorous, poignant, SIMPLE, blogs. And by simple, I frills! Professional looking, minus all the horns and whistles.
So add me to your crabby list on this one. And as a result, I find myself reading less and less blogs.

Same here on all points.
I did run across this post on lifehacker that will disable SNAP on blogs.

White text on a dark background I am unwilling to "read." Not matter how terrific the content, I will not torture my eyes to make out words that are almost impossible to see.

Oh all right, all right, you old bossyboots;-) In fear and trembling - since I don't fancy spending eternity in that anteroom - I've consigned my cute little snaps (sigh, sob) to the bin. The ones on my blog, anyway. What sacrifices one makes in the name of friendship! But I guess if they were irking you then perhaps others found them irksome too.
I do abhor ads though. They are like graffiti, scrawled over every square inch of open space in our world.

Amen and Hallelujah! I do understand that some people have the ads to pick up a few bucks and I understand that -- God knows I can always use extra money and have contemplated that idea on occasion. However, I figure if they annoy me, they annoy others and I refuse to be any company's shill. I want people to read my blog -- not ads -- and hopefully keep coming back!

On my site on, google ads are shown rarely, but site owners don't have any control over it at the present time. If you have a account and are logged in or are a regular visitor, they don't appear at all.

The Snap preview thingie can be turned off by you the site visitor. You also have the option with Snap to turn it off globally, which of course is only good until you clear out your browser cookies.

Crabby Old Lady is now further offended at Snap! knowing that the burden is placed on the reader to turn them off, according to Jennifer above.

It is beyond Crabby's comprehension that a blogger would implement anything that made reading an annoyance. But - bloggers are free to do whatever they want with their blogs and Crabby is free to never visit Snap! blogs again.

Well! What a fascinating post and comments -- it really snapped, crackled and popped! (Sorry) ;-)

I agree, when unexpected popups and other flashing apparitions appear on a site I visit, that's my cue to exit. Also, when I encounter blogs with too much "stuff" going on, I usually depart fairly soon and rarely go back. There're so many cutesy items to plaster all over a blog to the point it's truly visual overload, distracting, thus annoying.

I tried Snaps on my blog for a few days and hated it. Google ads don't rile me that much. I think I have become immune ;)
I don't see them!

Nah, Crabby, the site owner can turn them off site-wide, which I did long ago, about 2 seconds after seeing what they did! For some odd reason, though, some bloggers think they add functionality to their site. At least the reader has the option of turning them off if they choose to. Sorry if that wasn't clear from my comment above. internet provider takes up entirely too much space with ads. I cannot negotiate e-mail without the posts/contact list et al being squeezed into a window so small I get claustrophobia. Every ad has something to do with getting rid of wrinkles, or other disgusting signs of being old (in their opinion!) I have totally failed to convince younger folks at my day gig that demanding a pop-up for every single term in their glossary EVERY time it appears in the text is like plastering all the highways in the country with billboards shouting what a blade of grass is, or what a dewdrop means-- while creating such a dense, tall wall of definitions that you can't even SEE the grass, let alone a drop of dew...

I did try Google ads for a month or 2...and I made a total of .34 cents...and they bothered I got rid of them. And Snap is bothersome...and so is music. As I like to blog at night and visit other bloggers..I forget to mute my computer...and some sites come on blasting...I don't like I don't visit them much. Same with blogs full of ads or snaps... too much diversion..I visit to read...too much traffic throws me off., and so does ads and snaps and pop-ups. Don't have the patience I used to.

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