In those long ago days when I used to read newspapers, it was perfectly understandable when an article continued on another page. Priorities, space and layout made it necessary.
But why, for the umpteenth time today, does it happen on the Internet? You're reading merrily along and suddenly you see "continued" or "next page." Huh?
Is it just to accommodate more advertising? Since I've blocked virtually all ads I don't know. All I do know is that I have to click and wait. It's like an intermission.
Am I the only one who has pages take forever to appear or fail entirely? Or I get some cryptic message that a problem caused the page not to load, under which is the actual loaded page. Then I click "OK" on the alert, and the page underneath disappears, replaced by the generic "The page cannot be displayed"
IT JUST WAS! I just couldn't get to it before it was gone.
The New York Post used to be the greatest – terrific commentary, fast access, uncluttered pages.. then they decided to upgrade. Why do upgrades always manage to give less content and more frustration? That might sound like a bad Miller Lite commercial, but inevitably, site "improvements" mean slower and more complicated navigation if you can manage to find what you're looking for at all.
In the blink of an eye, the Post went from first to worst. Now everything is slow and slower. Things often hang, and sometimes that involves my computer itself.
On the opinion page, they even installed some fancy schmancy previews of columnists' commentary which magically appear when you click the writer's name. Not his commentary, mind you, a teaser – just like the Post used to publish under each name before the upgrade, and the page still appeared infinitely faster than it does now.
And with the jazzy new menu, if the commentary page hasn't loaded completely, the jazzy part doesn't load at all. But if you're lucky and the little blurb does appear, when you click "more,." be forewarned, it's like defining the meaning of "is."
"More" does not mean "All." Which raises the question: Could it be more annoying that a 750 word commentary requires two pages? At the midway point, the Post now gives you a multiple choice test, and I'm not kidding.:
1) View full article
2) Page 1
3) Page 2
4) Continue reading
Are you up to the full article now? What, they thought it would be too much to handle all at once? They couldn't just put a content warning on their magic caption?
If you opt for the Full Monte, you have to scroll around while trying to figure out where it was you left off. For people whose memories aren't what they used to be, this involves going back and forth several times, looking for keywords, counting paragraphs, and more profanity than one's spouse wants to hear, though I'm certainly not speaking from personal experience.
Look at the second choice – 1.
What, click 1 to start again? People are too stupid to scroll up? Naw, it's unclickable. It must be just like a mile marker, but I'd like to suggest to the Post: For people who are idiotic enough to click 1 (And there's a ton, I bet. Where did they think they started, the basement?), how about a magic caption that says "gotcha?"
Which brings us to your third choice, aka, the one you want, So is choice four though. Either one gets you to page two – they made it idiot proof!
Of course, you'd already be done reading page two if you hadn't had to stop and ponder your choices and wait for page two to come up – which is usually the next day unless you pay for express delivery.
But what prompted me to write this is an article I saw today. When I arrived at the bottom of page one it was divulged that there were five, count 'em, more pages. Now would you knowingly read anything that's six pages long nowadays if it didn't have pictures of naked people?
That's why when you mention Shakespeare today, people think you're talking about a cartoon dog, and in some places, "Tolstoy" is considered hate speech.
I'm just as guilty. I mean, I know who Shakespeare is. I've even got a picture of him with Garfield, although I don't know where it was taken.
But now we're all Sgt. Friday. Hey, that's a real person. He was a cop who's famous for saying, "Just the facts, ma'am." And in this PC climate, I think of most columnists as "ma'am."
Anyway, I want it short and to the point – tell me what I need to know, and don't tell me twice. Keep it short, and then get the hell out. Er… I realize I may have violated my own rules here, but hey, you only had to read it, it took me ten times as long to write it. I know because I've done tests.
These people who have inflicted multiple Net pages on us know the score which makes it all the more infuriating. They usually DO give you all the facts on the first page which you'll find out if you're fool enough to read the other five pages. not that I am, I only did it as research for this commentary.
And worst of all, that last page is usually nothing more than credits, footnotes, and disclaimers. They use those pages at Guantanamo to break prisoners.
So while I can't change the system by myself, I can do more than is expected of me and provide a slogan: "Quality Is Page One!"
Join me, will you? Read less, it's for a good cause.
Did I just contribute two slogans? Do you think I should put 'em on separate pages?