Block it all!

I’ve decided to rework my Linkedin post and post it here with a little more nuance. Also the recent release of iOS9 and it’s ability for content blocking has made considerable waves. From my perspective this is just part of the inevitable evolution of this mess we’ve made.

The web sucks because we’re still treating it as if all expressions are equal. Even with Responsive Web Design (RWD) we’re still ignoring the fact that content will never be expressed equally across devices. With RWD we’re mainly talking about having the same content across devices. Sadly that usually includes scripts, images and fonts. Well, that’s just stupid. We bombard all our users with these images, fonts and javascript that make most sites cough up a fur ball and some try and pretend that it isn’t a problem. Well, I don’t care what they think anymore. Nobody will take responsibility for this scorched earth policy in pursuit of revenue. Publisher don’t care about advertisers, advertisers don’t care about the publishers site and the users get handed the bill. What really irks me is that designers and developers (myself included) haven’t offered any structural solution. We’ve all failed, and failed miserably. We’ve had plenty of opportunities to do something about it and we didn’t. Tit for tat, maybe, but block it all to hell, I say.

Let’s be honest: What did you think was going to happen? A little script here a little tracking pixel there. How about a bigger script? Add more scripts, more cookies. Drip, drip, drip. More and more stuff that doesn’t help your users but does get in their way by making everything worse. Nobody, and I mean nobody, signs up for that.

This wouldn’t be the Internet if this user frustration is in of itself a business opportunity and one that companies like Ghostery have taken on with some success by offering users and publishers a little more control. But it’s too little to late. Purify on iOS9 unfortunately sounds a little like the webs final solution, but still, it works, pages are faster with it. So we need to do two things. One, come up with a better way to constructing and utilising the web. The other is to demand a faster web and block everything that isn’t content. Chrystal, Disconnect and Adblock Plus all systems are go!

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