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Solomon Freimuth
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I keep thinking that less furniture and fewer kitchen utensils would make my life, if not easier, at least less cluttered. This article confirms my suspicions.

I have been toying with minimalism lately, but it is difficult when having other people in your life. I don't think my wife would be pleased to come home and find the coffee table missing.
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The Scourge of the Internet
I love reading stuff online, and get a lot of inspiration from blogs. I can spend hours reading online. And thus, I'm annoyed for hours, because there are a ridiculous amount of things that bloggers and websites do that are incredibly anti-reader.

What bloggers and major websites (like news sites) don't seem to understand is that they should want us to read their stuff. They should celebrate the fact that we're taking a few minutes out of our busy schedule to devote some of our precious attention to reading something they've created. They aren't doing us a favor by writing something interesting -- we the readers are doing them the favor of paying attention.

And so readers don't owe a few extra seconds to watch a video ad that we don't want to see just to read your article. We don't want to close your subscription popup just to read your blog post. We don't want a bunch of ads flashing us in the face as we try to read. We don't need a million share buttons at the bottom of your post or all along the sidebar -- we know how to share something on Facebook or Twitter or email or Google+ ourselves.

Let's end this scourge. Here are some things bloggers/websites should stop now if they want to respect their readers ... or else we, as readers, need to stop going to these sites. If we stop going to them, and only read sites that respect us, there will be a growing demand for sites that let us read.

Note: also read my followup post - The Untold Story About Making a Living as a Blogger
https://plus.google.com/u/0/109926473783208635050/posts/5haBJbHZvfW

1. Popups. These might be ad popups on a news site, or subscription popups on a blog. They are utterly annoying and disrespectful to the reader. They tell me that you care more about getting my email address than you do about me reading your post. They make me leave your website forever. They are effective for the short term, but for the long term, they ruin the reader's experience -- you should want to delight the reader, not annoy her.

2. Sidebar clutter. I just want to read. I don't need all your stuff screaming at me from the sidebar. Get out of my way, so I can actually pay attention to what you have to offer. Remove 90% of what you have in your sidebar, so I can just read.

3. Millions of share buttons. They are all over the place. They are annoying. They are unnecessary. I know how to share on my own. You are only distracting me.

4. Sales pitches. I'm always being pitched a product, always. I don't want a product. I want to read your article. Once in awhile, sure, show me something good you've created. Otherwise, leave a link in your sidebar and I'll find it if I want it.

5. Mega sales. A thousand bloggers or programmers put their products together for a short-term sale, and then all thousand announce it on their blogs. How annoying is that, if I subscribe to 10 of those blogs? And why sell me a thousand products when I only want 1 or 2 of them? The reason is that the bloggers make huge amounts of money, but at a huge cost: they disrespect their readers, they send the message that money is more important to them than their readers, and they devalue all the products contained in the sale. If your $50 product is one of 100 products in a $97 sale, how is it really worth $50? It's really worth $1, according to this sale. It's also false scarcity -- why is it on sale for 3 or 4 days only? What logical reason is there for having it at one price for these 3-4 days, and not the rest of the year?

6. Filling every available space on your site. It's usually filled with ads, pitches for your ebook, a big box asking me for my email address, products that you're an affiliate for, and social media stuff. It all distracts me from your article. Leave a lot of white space, so that I can just read in peace. Leave me alone to read!

7. Multiple pages for one article. Why do I have to click on 5 different "next page" links to read one article? Don't frustrate the reader who just wants to get the info.

I realize that most bloggers/sites will ignore this advice. And that's fine. You guys can do what you like, but I will not read you. I will find someone who respects me as a reader. I suggest other readers do the same.
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Personal reminders of what I need to do every day.
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Now lets see if we can get people to start reading them...
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