The Age Of Frustration

I was reading The Age over breakfast this morning, enjoying my coffee and had just begun a really interesting article when a man appeared out of nowhere and began yelling in my ear. I turned the page. Read an article. Turned the page and began another when the same man appeared and began yelling in my ear again. It wasn’t long before I stopped reading the paper and turned elsewhere to get my news.

Okay. That’s not so subtle all clever but it pretty much describes what its like trying to read these days. It seems almost every page now has video or audio that starts automatically or a video ad will pop out and start playing as you try to read. It’s just ridiculous that someone at the The Age seems to think this is a good idea.

They have also allowed ads that expand and obscure the article you are trying to read. Come on – there’s two reactions to this. One is immediately click Close on the ad, which means no one sees the ad, or the other choice is to hit the back button to find a different site where you can get the same information, and this means no one sees the ad and you loose site traffic.

I know times are tough in the newspaper industry but actively going out of your way to irritate and frustrate your last loyal readers is only going to make things worse.

5 Replies to “The Age Of Frustration”

  1. Yup. My sister said yesterday she’s completely given up reading Fairfax sites for this very reason. Has switched to the ABC instead for most news.

    The Hun and other News Ltd sites have the occasional big Flash advert, but nothing as annoying as videos with audio.

  2. I hear you. I will check in a few times a day when I’m at work and obviously something about our system just can’t cope with all the media player bits – anything with video in it will freeze Explorer completely. I’ve even taken to *gasp* referring to the Herald Sun online if it’s an important issue and I need to know what’s going on. I get what they’re trying to do, but it would make much more sense to acknowledge that not everyone has the same technical capacity as their news room and give us some links, instead.

    Having said that, I wouldn’t give up my (hard copy) weekend subscription for the world.

    As for the ads….I can’t say with a straight face that I haven’t enjoyed the last week’s run of George Clooney plugging coffee machines to John Malkovich…

  3. Yep, drives us nuts here too. Not just the ads but the video clip with every story – if I wanted to watch the news, I’d turn on the TV – at least stop them from playing automatically!!

    I put in a complaint through the website but no response so far… guess I’ll be switching news sites.

  4. A lot of the more mature news sites don’t get through our filters at work. For some stupid reason, and HS get through. Fortunately the horrible flash ads don’t make it through the filters either, so i don’t have to put up with them there.

Leave a Reply