April 24, 2006
Liz published this at 7:34 am
WAYS TO LOSE READERS
I’m walking down the sidewalk on a sunny day. I have a little time to look in the shop windows. I look in one and see something interesting. I go in, only to realize that the shop is not what I thought.
I immediately turn to leave by the same door I entered. Hah! Here’s the catch. The door is latched. It only opens in. I’m literally stuck in this shop.
I bet you’ve had this happen to you — not in a brick and mortar store — on the Internet.
It doesn’t make me feel like more like a customer. I’m very sure of that.
Don’t Hijack My Attention
In the world today stuff is so expensive, there aren’t many things that I get to own outright, but my thoughts and my attention are mine and mine alone. I guard my independence jealously. I don’t want people to tell me how to think or what to do with my thoughts. Imagine how I feel when they steal my attention outright. Whether it’s intentional really doesn’t matter. They’ve lost me from the second that I lost my ability to choose.
This happens two ways.
- I do a search. I see something that appears to be what I’m looking for and I click on the link only to find that it’s something other than I want. I hit the back button, but every time I do that, instead of taking me back to my search page, it simply refreshes the page that I’m on.
- Once in a while when I’m surfing, I’ll find an interesting blog and leave a comment. I might even bookmark the site. Same drill. I go to leave, and I’m stuck. I might forget and go back again, but that only happens once. There’s no chance I’ll be regular reader there. In fact, I have tiny bad feelings about those blogs.
Once I emailed the blog owner. She said was unaware that her blog was doing that. So, was it my computer? Did I lock my self in or did her software hijack my attention? I’ve read about software that can stop folks from backing out. Is that what’s happening?
I’m Totally Lost
Either way, having me stuck is not good promotion for the blogger, the blog, the brand or the business, because all that I’m thinking about is how to get out.
What reader wants this situation? What is the benefit? Am I missing something here? Even the most compelling prose isn’t interesting, when you have no choice but to read it.
Can anyone educate me on what this is about? I’m not just stuck. I’m totally lost.
–ME “Liz” Strauss