Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Confession Tuesday: Attack of The Cookie Monster

I'm cross-posting this. Confession Tuesday is a regular feature at Black-Eyed Susan's. Today's topic however applies to a lot of bloggers who read as well.

It’s Tuesday. And I’m having a sugar-fit. Now if you think, I’m eating up calories I wish I were. I’m not talking sucrose but bits, computer script. I’m talking about being weighed down by the cookies encoded on sites that I’d love to visit but I can’t because either my pc doesn’t have enough memory to download all the script that supports a site’s widgets or my script blockers are keeping me from sites laden with ads. Either way, there are a lot of sites I’d love to read and comment to that I can’t.

Are you unknowingly blocking readers from your site? Do you wonder why you aren’t seeing more traffic at your blog? I’ve talked about this before, and I confess my frustration is growing. I wish bloggers would give more thought to functionality and accessibility. Now, I’m not tech savvy. Actually, my guy is constantly chastising me about my blog hopping habits, because I’m the one who usually brings home the viruses. We have firewalls and virus scanners (are those the same thing?) and he does stuff like defrag the computer regularly so our antiquated machine will keep running. Of course, me, the blog foodie, refuses to be denied so I’m guilty of turning off the virus protection, allowing script so I can read your blog. I rationalize that I’m only ‘temporarily allowing script’ (because that's what the message says and I tell myself I’m not likely going to pick up anything too nasty). Of course, every few months I do pick up something. Then I have to confess my sin with downcast eyes looking apologetic while my guy mutters and banishes me from the computer for a day while he sweeps our computer of all the junk I picked up schlepping around the Net.

If you’re like me and not tech savvy, please do you and me a favor think twice about all the widgets you have on your site. Ask yourself do you really need them? Make an effort to install a few virus scans and periodically sweep your pc. You could be unknowingly spreading viruses or simply blocking visitors from your site because their blockers won’t read the script on your page. Periodically visit your site from a public pc or someone else’s pc and see how quickly your site downloads. See if any filter warnings pop up when accessing your site. If you can stand it, read a little about what you can do to make your blog more accessible and easy to navigate.

I’d like to come by.


Pam van Hylckama Vlieg said...

Sites ran by people that are not tech savvy also have problems, they are easily hackable and script code put in the template and they never notice. I had this for 2 days once on my site (not the book one) before I noticed. Adding widgets, and overusing images on the front page is something I campaign against because it makes things harder to find, and creates a slower load time for readers. Not every little piece of code that puts something shiny on your page is always the safest, even it if looks awesome.

Good post.

susan said...

Thanks Pam,

I love images but I use compressed files. Images have functions. Here sidebar images are live links. I'm always trying to think of ways to help the reader easily access something they want to read. I rotate images and I'm always fretting if I'm using too many.

Music files should be compressed and used sparingly. Videos are nice but they require a lot of memory. I don't use them often.