Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pet Peeves Die Hard

Imagine: you are reading a super-swank story about sneakers, chock full of nifty links to other sites featuring sneakers. You're loving the article, thinking,"this fella is totally on the money!" when, suddenly, the tempting link you have, at length, chosen from among the article's cornucopia of offerings and gingerly selected with your cursor has transported you to another internet dimension-- that is, another site. If you're anything like me, you are aghast. "What the truck!?," you say to yourself (well, maybe only Laura Flynn would say that to herself... out loud anyway). "I WAS STILL READING THAT!"

Imagine no more. Simply click the link up yonder to view (in another window!) the culprit.

I cannot, for the life of me, understand why it is that organizations/companies/people allow link to navigate from their pages. Newsflash: We are a much savvier consumer then you anticipate, organization/company/person. I do not care to be flung all over the internet while in the same browser/tab. The "previous page" button sucks and is for squares. Actually, I just find that tabs are useful for meaningful cross-referencing and would appreciate if you would recognize this preference. Your links are cool/useful, but it is time to graduate from potty training: MAKE YOUR LINKS OPEN IN ANOTHER WINDOW, YOU DUMMY!

Furthermore, why on earth would you allow eyeballs to get away!? In the case of Paste Magazine (That's where that link goes, in case you haven't already clicked. It's okay. Go ahead and click it. This page will still be here when you do.), I know the goal is not to get people to buy Adidas and Onitsuka sneakers. The point is to document pop culture. Also, they are in some hot water financially and may or may not stay afloat. So, why don't they utilize simple HTML and keep those eyeballs on their pages? I couldn't say why, because the reasoning would be absurd. Perhaps Adidas and Onitsuka are paying for this linkage, but Paste certainly has other advertisers who will pull ads if they don't generate enough traffic via web advertising. Thus, Paste (and others!) would be wise to utilize the "target='blank'" attribute of the <a href="link"></a> tag. This is how it works:

<a href="link" target="blank">CONTENT</a>

Simple, no? Also, simply smart. I doubt that Paste is trying to pull people away from its site. They probably never really thought about it. However, being successful on the web (or anything) requires some forethought. I don't purport to be a web genius, but I think the point of this post is a pretty obvious concern. Be a thinker, not a stinker, Paste!

So, now that you know, you will probably never forget this. I mean, is it really necessary to write many words on this subject? No. In all honesty, it's probably obnoxious and has you wondering why you've read to this point. However, I doubt you'll let links navigate from your company's site in the future. Surf on, dude!

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