Things Site Owners Need to Learn

A list of things the owners of various websites need to learn

1. If you call it a "privacy policy," you need to actually include some privacy, otherwise it's just a "policy".  Google, I'm looking straight at you.  Your quest to "know all that is knowable" about your users makes V-Ger look like Sgt. Shultz, and your willingness to sell that information to advertisers is nothing short of despicable.
2. Let your users email you.  Google again.  For a company that likes to stick its fingers in everybody's pie and try to find out more about their users than anyone other than the users themselves have a right to know, they're abject cowards when it comes to accepting feedback.  Maybe it's because they know what they're doing is wrong and they're secretly ashamed?
3. When not to use a "read more" button.  This applies almost exclusively to people who create combination article/gallery pages for Yahoo and other websites.  Their favorite trick these days is to hide half or most of the text behind a "read more" button that expands the visible portion of the article so those who are interested can "read more."  When is it appropriate?  When the text is exceptionally long, when the hidden part is all legalese or technical jargon nobody cares about, when the text contains spoilers, or when it may not be safe for work.  When is it used?  Any time Yahoo or some affiliated site runs a photo gallery and has more than two words in the caption.
4. People make mistakes everywhere, not just where you want them to be able to edit after they've hit "submit."  Oops!  I meant to put that in the Mature section!  And the tags should say "boehner cussing" not "boner pussing"!
5. You need to scan your sponsors' ads for malware (includes spyware as well as viruses).  I don't think you'll be getting any ad revenue from that banner if it gets blocked by Trend Micro.  Stupid Yahoo.
6. Captchas should never contain Asian characters.
7. HTML Editors should be an option for people who don't know how to do it, not a requirement for users who don't upgrade to Premium.  Yeah, I recently had an idea for a website I didn't want associated with the one I already had, so I signed up for a new account at Angelfire.  Apparently, for new users, there's no Web Shell anymore, and no option to make your own HTML code.  Screw that.
8. Annoying ads are ineffective ads.  They should not expand beyond their original borders.  They should not talk over the video I'm trying to watch.  They should not follow me as I scroll down the page.  They should not get in the way when I'm trying to view the actual site content.  They should not activate a pop-up window as I'm leaving.  They should not try to download or install anything on my computer for later.  If you annoy me, it doesn't make me want to buy your useless shit that will probably be broken when the FedEx Man throws it in my yard, it makes me want to ask Anonymous to hack your ad server so hard that you have to go buy a new one.
9. Your website should, you know, actually work.  While there are sound legal principles behind not being able to sue for unreliable service, if your service is reliably poor, then we have a case.  Especially if you just bought out several of your competitors to add their user base to your own.
10. If your site blocks access to users who have installed ad-blocking software, go back and learn Lesson #5 again.  Otherwise, there is a sound legal principle called "accessory to a Federal crime" that can be applied to you.
Uploaded 01/28/2012
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