A Humble Suggestion For The Chronicle Of Higher Education

I just sent the following letter to the editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education.


Dear Sir or Madam,

I’m not sure this is the right place to send this, but it wasn’t clear how to contact the people who run the Wired Campus section of your site directly, so I thought I’d try here since this is the only email address that refers to suggestions.

My suggestion is to find the people who added that constantly updating Twitter feed to every page in Wired Campus, drag them out back, and shoot them dead. It is nearly impossible to read an article when something else on the page is constantly distracting the reader with an unnecessary update. It is a usability nightmare — the triumph of “Can we do it?” over “Should we?”

If you’re not willing to resort to homicide, however justifiable, then if nothing else, please, please, please, at least get rid of it, or failing that make it one-click easy to shut off so that readers can actually absorb the content they came to your site to find.

Thanks,

Steve Foerster

5 Comments

  1. Comment by Tom Nixon:

    I can’t believe that you backed off on the whole homicide thing. I have found it a rather effective deterrent.

  2. Comment by CWE:

    Surely, you wouldn’t want them to get rid of videos that start automatically and blare advertisements?

  3. Comment by David:

    “As if every thought that tumbles through your head was so clever it would be a crime for it not to be shared. The Internet’s not written in pencil …You write your snide bullshit from a dark room because that’s what the angry do nowadays.” (“The Social Network,” written by Aaron Sorkin.)

  4. Comment by Dan Russell:

    You could always use this to blast it away! http://erkie.github.com/

  5. Comment by Steve:

    That would almost be preferable since at least those can be turned off or blocked.

    Anyway, alas, the Chronicle did not respond to my well meant suggestion.

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