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Thursday

The latest annoyware plague on the blogosphere is Snap previews. If a site has them, hovering over the link pops up a window with a thumbnail of the site the link goes to. There's really no point to it - the thumbnail is too small to read anything, and there's no other benefit I can think of. It just gets in the way. I can hover over a link, or read the text before and after the link, but not both when the damn popup blocks whole paragraphs.

It's a fairly minor annoyance, but it provides absolutely zero value. Some sites have it disabled by default, but not all. It can be disabled for all sites accessed by your machine here:

http://www.snap.com/about/spa_faq.php#2

The only problem is that it relies on a cookie being present to block the popups (it's malware: opt-out, not opt-in). I tried editing my hosts file to send any requests to their site into the ether, but it wouldn't take in Firefox for some reason.

Comments

Man, you're picky! (Are you looking for a fight with a couple of your favorite bloggers???)

Posted by Sal at Thursday, February 15, 2007 04:29 PM

<hah> I just installed them yesterday.

I will consider this consumer feedback. I <i>like</i> just even the thumbnail glance at a linked page.

There is a switch on my blog, though: one does not have to turn them on.

Posted by Billy Beck at Friday, February 16, 2007 05:30 AM

Billy,

Yes, I noticed...

The problem for me is that my habit is to move the mouse over a link I'm thinking of clicking on while I am still reading to get some of the context. I do it unconsciously, and then suddenly I can't read anymore.

What does the thumbnail do for you? All you can really see is the layout. Does seeing the layout of some other blog, or some news site provide any useful information?

I saw that you made it opt-in on your site, thanks for that.

Posted by kylben at Friday, February 16, 2007 06:20 AM

For one thing, I get a lot more out of look at that thumbnail than I do from looking at the target URL in the status bar. For sites that are completely strange to me, I can get a better feel at that glance than without it. Very often, I can read a headline here or there or wotnot in the previews. (This, in a 1024x768 res.) I also really do find that pop-search field handy.

I dunno. It's a gag, but it works for me.

I was happy to see that it's user switchable.

Posted by Billy Beck at Friday, February 16, 2007 01:02 PM

For Firefox, just download the AdBlock extension, and block http://spa.snap.com/snap_pr...*

AdBlock is worthwhile anyway - it makes reading the web much more pleasant. And you can easily whitelist sites you want, so that your favorite bloggers will get all their ad revenue from you.

Posted by Kevin McCalix at Friday, February 16, 2007 02:03 PM

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