Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sluggish computers are so annoying

I despise the following experience, which happens to me all too frequently:

  1. I bring up a web site in my browser
  2. The web site starts to load, but initially it is fragmentary, with lots of hidden frames, images, etc. still left to draw.
  3. As the various bits and pieces start to fill in, the page shifts around and adjusts, redrawing some sections, moving and re-shaping other areas.
  4. By this time, I've already spotted the place I want to click on, to get to the next web page, so I click on it
  5. But by the time the computer can process my click and decide what I was clicking on, the web page has re-drawn itself, and the computer decides I've clicked on a different part of the page and takes me somewhere else.

Interestingly, this seems to happen most commonly with ads, so the result is that the computer decides I've clicked on some ad, instead of the useful link that was sitting right next to the ad. (The ad, of course, takes up lots of screen real estate, while the useful link is tiny. So the odds are much higher that the computer interprets my click as being destined for the ad.)

Of course, I didn't want to click on the ad, so I end up going "back", re-clicking on the correct link, and going to the actual page I wanted.

But it makes me wonder how many apparently "real" clicks on ads are actually sluggish-computer-misunderstood-my-click clicks, and how much that is distorting the online advertising industry.

Is it true that, in practice, most of you use AdBlock or or a proxy server or something similar, so this doesn't happen to you because the ads get filtered out before they ever get to your browser?

Is there an AdBlock that works reliably in Google Reader?

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