Friday, February 16, 2007


Am I the only one to note a recent uptick in internet noise? By this I mean sites and ads within sites whose creators seem to think that I want to hear whatever junk they feel inclined to spew? This has long been a bane of home-made web pages (and, believe me, there is absolutely NO ONE who wants to hear your dirgelike midi of "Amazing Grace"), but of late I've noticed it in "professional" applications as well. To wit:

I was playing Text Twist at Yahoo! Games when I became aware of a kind of clicking sound that was not part of the game. Turns out there was a commercial for Cascade playing off to the right of the game panel, and the nice folks at Cascade thought I would like to hear the click and clack of a woman putting away dishes as she removed them from her dishwasher. Wrong!

I'm a member of MyPoints, which is usually a lot of fun--they send you e-mail offers, you click on the link and get a certain number of points for reading the message, a greater number for responding to the offer, etc.; and then you can redeem the points for, you know, stuff. Works like a charm. Except some big thinkers behind some of the offers have decided that it's not enough to show me their come-on--they think they should tell me all about it. Usually loudly.

Likewise, I occasionally take online surveys for fun and...well, okay, so far just for fun. Every so often I land on one that, unannounced, plays me an ad for my input. Or at least it starts to. If they haven't the courtesy to forewarn me, I immediately close them down.

Considering that I usually have music playing, this extraneous noise is really annoying. Do these advertisers really think that the nuisance click and clatter of someone putting away dinnerware while I'm trying to listen to music inclines me favorable toward their dishwasher detergent? If so, here's my advice to them: Think again!

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