The 10 Worst Trends on the Internet Right at This Exact Moment

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Because it’s that kind of day. You know what, don’t even read this, it’s just me being annoyed.

1. Rollover ads. Holy God, who thought these were a good idea? Any technology that you activate inadvertently, which then grows and metastasizes to cover up the Web content you actually want to see, should never have been devised by advertisers or accepted by the website editors who buy ads. Ditto obtrusive, nattering audio ads (“Congratulations, you have just won an iPod Nano…”)

2. Google bombing. Google is an enormously powerful engine that runs largely on the good faith of those who benefit from it. So by all means, let’s try to fool it for our own financial gain!

3. Second Life hype. I have nothing against Second Life. I think it’s an enormously cute thought-experiment that gives lots of fun and gratification to people whose artistic itch it scratches. But to pretend that gadding about in virtual 3-space is an efficient, useful way to do anything practical is just absurd.

4. Spam, phishing, viruses, etc. Yep, still haven’t solved these yet. In fact they’re getting much much worse. Spam roughly doubled last year. Yep.

5. Trolls. Online communities used to be pretty niche — just the otakus and anoraks. But with the coming of Web 2.0 they’ve been expanded and mainstreamed on an enormous scale. Turns out the anonymity and disinhibition of the Internet do wonderful, wonderful things for human nature. (This link is very much to the point, but not very safe for work.)

6. “Features.” Let me give you an example. Say you’re reading an article at the New York Times website. And you click on a word. The site has some kind of subtle layer built in that immediately pops up a new window with multiple dictionary definitions of that word. This is something that you don’t want, and had no intention of getting, but here it is! Thanks a bunch. It’s like those snapshot preview windows that show you what a link looks like, in a tiny, useless, illegible box, before you click on it…

7. Non-Firefox, non-Mac-friendly websites. It’s amazing to me that people will still put up websites that can only be displayed by IE running on Windows. So 1997.

8. The YouTube Haters. I know it’s important for studios to control their content. I know. But the proliferation of weird homebrewed video players and online syndication schemes that the TV networkds are putting out there is incredibly annoying and confusing. Can’t the big boys just grow up, admit YouTube won, and work with them?

9. Top 10 lists by whiny, do-nothing bloggers. See what I did there?

10. Roll your own! Your comment here. Try it, it feels good.

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