Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Top Four Sinfully Annoying Internet Blog Trends

Being new to the blogosphere, I quickly realized that I have a lot to learn when it comes to posting my innermost thoughts together for the world to see. It's not easy crafting my commentaries into the perfect combination of keystrokes with just enough wit and useful information to engage a human being to click my article and scroll through. I also know that the best and most successful of writers are ones who read ten times as much as they write. So I take a good chunk of my time to read and observe what's out there, what's hot and what people latch on to when they want to get their fix on the world around them. What have I found? That people are making the very action of reading content annoying, laborious and complicated!

I mean no wonder people are reading less and less! The tactics that businesses and popular blogs are doing these days almost compel a person to just go to someone's Twitter feed to find out what's going on rather than reading things at length from credible sources. Or even more shocking, gather information by talking to a human person... face-to-face! Here are some of the gut-wrenching shenanigans that I can list off the top of my head:

1. Countdown lists.

I know I'm a hypocrite for griping about this since I compiled a countdown list to bash countdown lists but there's no denying that they are one of the most disappointing things to hit the internet since Myspace.  This is probably the most popular kind of blog to write. Take the top 5 or top 10 of anything and write a little piece explaining the reasoning for making your picks. I'm not saying I hate countdown lists as a concept, but I hate the overabdundance and reliance of using the format on the most insignificant of topics e.g. top 25 reasons I should probably get up and go do something rather than reading this blog right now. Heck, as much as I rag on the over-abuse of countdown list blogs, I still click on the dang article each and every time like a friggin' dweeb. And more often then not, I am left wondering why I didn't just gouge my eyes out while listening to a neverending loop to Justin Bieber's "Boyfriend". I mean the majority of countdowns don't even have a coherent criteria or even sufficient reasoning as to why the list was put together the way it was. You have to take any countdown list article with a grain of salt at best and make sure to read the title over and decide whether you should even bother scanning through what most likely will be a heaping mound of BS.

2.Slideshow Blogs

This thing correlates with number 1 in that when there are countdown lists and tips, you have to click an arrow to jump to a new page and load up the next choice on the list with a blurb about the thing. I mean, way to make a person work for their information. For example: Theres a list of the top 10 fattest cities in America for 2012. You click on the link to find you. You get some irrelevant fluff introductory paragraph, then a paragraph on the unqualified organization that conducted the research and then you get a picture of #10's city skyline. And you have to click over to see what all the subsequent numbers are! And yes, all the popup ad's you X'd out RETURN! And on top of that theres a pop up IN BETWEEN the friggin' page that is a video for some deodorant that you cant skip for the next 15 seconds! For God's sake, is Houston #1 on the Fat list again or not!? GAHHHHHHH! Forget the trivial crap, Everyone's doing this abomination now--even for useful information. 5 sure-fire ways to protect your identity from scams? 7 steps to living debt-free? 8 serial-killers that live in your neighborhood that you need to avoid? You're going to have to clickety-click for ages to get all the (un)necessary info. What is so hard about putting everything on one page? Curse you pay per click vultures!

3.The Video Bait and Switch

Ah, this epidemic is spreading in rapid fashion as days go by. You come across a fairly intriguing sounding article headline and click, expecting to read a concise, to-the-point article and then go about your merry way of passing time until you clock out of work. Instead, you get a video, with absolutely no indication that this was going to be a video! With ads...BEFORE AND AFTER the content you were seeking and hoping to just friggin read! Why? Why must the casual reader have to suffer for surfing? The video is usually so quick and jumbled together that it would've been quicker, use less resources and thus less money and overall more efficient to just write out the content rather than go through planning, producing and editing a 2 minute video!

4.The Non-news News.

Yahoo! is the biggest culprit of this. One of the most visited websites in the world has a cool little scrolling carousel of the 25-40 latest headlines and news stories perfect for someone to get a glimpse of the current happenings. Instead, what we get is an extension of Kim Kardashian's reality show life. Even when you try to avoid her, there she is. Look at the new gaudy outfit she's sporting, look at where she gave Kanye oral the other day, look at her prostituting herself for another product and getting the big moneygrab. Oh man, KK cut a lock of her hair. Oh man J.Lo is with another guy that was born in the late 90's. This is not news! We have people dying from starvation, poverty and genocides and organizations and such doing what they can to at least lessen those tragedies and this is what America needs to care about, smack dab in the middle of our screens? 
And when it's not a celeb pimpmobile, it's home to the most trivial and inconsequential of headlines. One headline a while back read "Nutella is not broccoli"? Need I say more? It's just drivel after drivel with every swipe. I still log on, hoping someone would have some sense to put their actual journalistic abilities (if they are even qualified) to good use and post a worthwhile story to check out. And I am let down almost every time. Stick to being a search engine, Yahoo!, don't quit your day job.

What head-bangingly awful trends have you experienced that make you want to go into full-hibernation mode, ridding yourself of all electronic gadgetry? List them in the comments below.

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