If there is one thing I hate with a burning, red-hot passion in a website/blog/whatever, it’s content that autoplays when I access a site. To have a John Philips Souza march start blaring unexpectedly or some video start suddenly and noisily is a jarring experience, and I consider such content to be an abomination, a blight on the web that must be eliminated. I particularly hate such content when it’s an advertisement.
That is why I must reluctantly but nonetheless angrily note that our usually benevolent Seed Overlords have seen fit to place just such an abomination on ScienceBlogs, specifically the West Governors University ad in the right sidebar that starts playing immediately. In fact, it’s even worse than the typical ad that autoplays in that it appears to be part of a rolling set of ads, from which one pops up at random. Consequently, I never know when that damned ad will appear and start talking. Even worse still, the ad doesn’t just autoplay, it appears to play on an endless loop. Those of you in cubical farms, I feel your pain. My postdoc’s desk is close enough to my office that she can hear when I hit that ad while taking a break from pummeling my brain in the course of writing a manuscript describing results that are rather difficult to explain. I hate the ad, and I’m quite annoyed at Seed for accepting such a vile form of advertising. Indeed, in this I agree with Matt Nisbett, and you know that these days I seldom agree with him anymore. I’ve complained on your behalf, and supposedly the ad was to be removed, but a few minutes ago I was jarred out of my reveries about my NF-ÎºB manuscript again by that damned ad.
I’m not ready to take the step Greg Laden threatened to take yet (a boycott that lasted a mere few hours), but I really, really hate this ad and want it gone ASAP.