Forgoing web candy
By John Clingan on Dec 28, 2006
I've made an interesting personal discovery - I enjoy content. I mean the "primary" content. I had plenty of time this morning to parse my RSS feeds with QuickNews thanks to a Barista-in-training. I was getting a bit tired of slow page loads and decided to enable "fast mode" on the Treo's Blazer browser, which ignores the download of CSS and images. My my, what a difference. The improvement isn't just speedy page loads, it is the absence of web candy.
I refer to web candy as images, CSS, advertisements, etc that are not a direct part of the content "of interest". Web candy is growing to consume available bandwidth. First it was background colors. Then animated GIFS. Then heavy formatting. Then Flash advertisements. Yikes, what will happen when we have fibre to the home? I bet on High Definition (HD) web candy
By disabling CSS and images I don't get colors, pretty borders, or extensive formatting. I do, however, get to the meat of the content quickly. My (mobile) browsing is significantly more pleasurable without web candy. So this brings me to the following question. Is web candy overshadowing the primary content?
In a similar vein, have you hit a trade rag home page lately with Firefox or IE? Not me. I prefer the RSS feeds. Check out CNet News.com, The Register or eWeek. Heck, check out my blog. Yikes. Lots of visual noise. I'm not going to check, but I bet it's 100K+ of data for a 500 word article. Now check out your favorite blogs in your feed reader. I just subscribed to my own blog via Bloglines to see how it looks. I can describe how it looks in one word: Enticing. No, not because it's my blog but because the RSS feed cuts out all of the crap the under-developed-yet-hyper-active right side of my brain put on the blog. It's bare naked and to-the-point content.
As for the Barista-in-training, I left a tip. I have to train em' early to remember my drink