Blogathon Article

There's an article in the Oregonian about the upcoming Blogathon. I won't link to the online version of the article because the Oregonian has a severe usability problem. Every time I click on a "deep linked" article, I get hit with a splash page that says, "Help Us Serve You Better" and asks for my zip code, age, and gender.

OregonLive serving us all better
OregonLive serving us all better

Saying that it "serves me better" doesn't seem to be accurate, though, because the content is not personalized to the information I put in. (I'm frequently an elderly woman from Ohio.) I don't think they're actually serving me better, I don't think they care about my experience at all—they're simply looking for demographic information. (Most likely so they can tell their Web advertisers who they'll be reaching—hmm, lots of elderly women from Ohio!) And in the process, they're getting in the way of how I want to use their site. To make it worse, once I enter the info I go to yet another splash page that is filled with disclaimers and legal warnings. (Tip: Never let your lawyers welcome people to your site.) By the third click I finally get the article I wanted to see—and it's covered with screaming, zooming, flash, animated advertising. Of course, most of the time I don't click through all of these pages. (And consequently, I don't see their ads. Which means they're loosing money.) Why don't newspaper sites get the Web? Anyway, if someone mirrors the Oregonian article I'll link to it. But I don't want you to go through the clicking hell.

Instead, search for "blogathon" at Google or Daypop and see what people who understand the Web are saying about it. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad blogathon is getting mainstream press. People outside the weblog community should know about it. It's a fun event for some very good causes, so definitely check it out. (And look into sponsoring some poor, tired, 24-hour blogging people if you have the means.)
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