The more time I spend online (as if it were possible), the more little things can make me change course completely. It’s all about adding up.
Take Ars Technica, for instance. This is a blog I really appreciate. I mean really, really: no crap content, in depth knowledge and coverage, important issues. What else to ask for?
Yet, lately I stopped reading it. The reason being an old irritation that has become unbearable: Ars Technica does not publish a full feed. Although they have always a good excerpt, in order to read the article you have to click, open (yet) another tab, go to their page, wait to load and …what did I went there for? Ah, yes, .. read.
Why don’t I stay in their blog then and scan the new posts from there?
I read from Google Reader because I want all the visual noise to go away. And I don’t mean only the ads by this. I do NOT see the ads, even if they are there. My eye is trained to skip them.
I mean all the other stuff: header, sidebars, banners, buttons, colors etc.
Google Reader does me a great service by eliminating all these elements that are put there, supposedly, to be more of use to me.
The almost black and white, high contrast pages of Google Reader, is the closest to a printed book I can get. And, for this reason, the easiest to read.
Apart from the visual distractions of the web site, there is another reason: time! These precious few extra seconds for the one post, add up for the next and the next, and the next, ad (almost) infinitum.
Were it for a single post, and it wouldn’t be worth to mention.
But I am an avid reader. I read lots and lots of posts daily. Having to take one more action (go to this other tab etc) is too much.
And there is a third factor: time again. But not the time spent on reading. The time one has been repeating this process, day after day, month after month, year after year. The lengthier the habit, the less inconvenience one desires in the way.
Please, blog owners: do not allienate your most faithful readers. It is not from them that you get the ad money anyway.