Clutter, & How to Fix It

The newspaper and magazine industries haven’t had it easy since they put their content on web domains. Depending on who we’re talking about, some permit accessibility to their content for free, others require a subscription or login. Regardless of which, the majority of all traditional news sites share one thing in common: clutter.

An absurd, eye-scrambling, mind-melting amount of clutter.

I know they need to make money, but have you seen how many advertisements they pull into the right side-rail of an article? The slow page loads because of the ubiquitous Flash? Yeah, it’s distracting. And Google AdSense? Sheesh. No better. 

What else? How about alerting me to other articles, whether related to the current section I’m in, or merely other popular articles calculated from the assloads of page views they received? And hey, don’t just use plain anchor text — rotate, slide, and provide as many obnoxious, animated elements to these modules as you can. Because news on the internet, apparently, shouldn’t reflect its stylish, static ancestors.

Well fyi, I fucking hate news sites. I love magazines, periodicals, and newspapers, but their websites don’t please me one bit.

But! —Thankfully, there are solutions, folks.

A few useful bookmarklet services that simplify and tidy online reading material:

Instapaper Text Bookmarklet

Arc90’s Readability

These guys rip out the correct paragraphs or containers of an article on a web page and render just the text, instantly, in your browser. 

Bam. Problem solved.