This is a brief bit about hostile reading experiences. I've been keeping a reference gallery of hostile reading sites (mostly screenshots) from around the web for a few years, but have been slow in updating it. But today I had to update it. An article linked to on Time was so fucking over-ridden with ads, the actual article didn't begin until scrolling below the fold. It also had two video ads auto-play upon arrival. Possibly the worst experience you can have trying to read actual content besides the derided "timed overlay" ads.
Here's what I saw when I visited the site in my work PC's Chrome browser.
<div class=" image-block-outer-wrapper layout-caption-below design-layout-inline " data-test="image-block-inline-outer-wrapper" > <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " style="max-width:1359px;" > <button class=" sqs-block-image-button lightbox " data-description="" data-lightbox-theme="dark" > <span class="v6-visually-hidden">View fullsize</span> <div class="image-block-wrapper" data-animation-role="image"
> <div class="sqs-image-shape-container-element has-aspect-ratio " style=" position: relative; padding-bottom:77.40985870361328%; overflow: hidden;-webkit-mask-image: -webkit-radial-gradient(white, black); " > <noscript><img src="https://cdn.uploads.micro.blog/25423/2023/5481e2e06d.jpg" alt="" /></noscript><img class="thumb-image" src="https://cdn.uploads.micro.blog/25423/2023/5481e2e06d.jpg" data-image="https://cdn.uploads.micro.blog/25423/2023/5481e2e06d.jpg" data-image-dimensions="1359x1052" data-image-focal-point="0.5,0.5" alt="" data-load="false" data-image-id="57d18fe2d2b857cb88fe4444" data-type="image" /> </div> </div> </button> </figure> </div>
Due to the nature of my work, I don't block ads in-browser (though I do use 1Blocker on my Mac at home and all my iOS devices). Either way you look at it, this is a ludicrous way to make money off content on your site, particularly when the only use-case scenario for Time.com is reading its content.
I don't need to rehash my thoughts on privacy and the advertising marketplace, but this is just another testament to how the publishing industry should change or modify some of its practices to allow for a better experience with its readers and customers. They have a right to choose the advertising networks and technologies on their website, and this is a call to evaluate that without compromising on their bottom line.
For what it's worth, the article is pretty good (interview with Shigeru Miyamoto on Nintendo bringing Super Mario to iOS, which was announced at the iPhone 7/Apple Watch Series 2 event on September 7).