Snap Preview Anywhere: the blogger’s BLINK tag

There was a time when the HTML <BLINK> tag was the defining feature of one of two particular kinds of web designer: either the raw newbie (intent on using anything and everything in the web design toolbox) or the terminally stupid. Its problems include being one of the uglier design options for highlighting text, being non-standard, and having serious usability/accessibility problems.

But above all else, it just plain pissed people off.

So why (oh why, oh why) are so many bloggers repeating almost exactly the same problems with the Snap Preview Anywhere widget?

I can’t say it any better than Nick Wilson:

Its intrusive, obstructive and unuseful in almost every respect and use case. The fact that so many big blogs are using it, big well respected blogs, does not mean that it’s useful, it just means that they, like most bloggers, have all the self restraint of a magpie in a sparkly things factory.

If I want to see what someone else’s web site looks like I’ll bloody well go there when I’m good and ready. Sheesh, don’t be in so much of a hurry to get rid of me!

For a good laugh, have a look at the testimonials on the Snap Preview Anywhere page. I notice that a number of the testimoners—including one who said “we’d probably pay for the service”—no longer use it on their sites. I wonder how many complaints they received (or how much traffic they lost!) before they woke up and removed it.

Nick Wilson again:

All joking aside, SPA is not helpful, it’s not cool, and it’s not winning you readers — It’s bling, a silly little shiney thing designed specifically to increase awareness of — no bad thng, and certainly an shining example of how to use widgets to gain links and attention, but, come on ladies and gentleman, show a little self restraint, show a little consideration for your users.

Now, can you all stop using it please?