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"Ask.com" pseudo-pop-ups - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
"Ask.com" pseudo-pop-ups
Aargh, I understand the need for webmasters to make ends meet, but having been on a couple of sites now with unasked for ask.com pseudo-popups... grrr. If you haven't had the misfortune, what it appears to be is Ask.com running a script that finds particular phrases in the text and underlines them. When you scroll over them, a little box appears offering you Ask.com links to info on that subject.

I'm sure that's fine if you're using the scroll bar. But me? I use the little wheel on my mouse to scroll. And that means I'll be reading along happily, and then suddenly, the text is blocked off by by a big bright box.

This has not improved my views of Ask.com, nor have I ever used it to link around... especially since the randomly linked things are keywords, and are often linked out of context, which means they have no particular relevance to whatever I happen to be reading about. And if I am interested in some word I randomly come across, I'm as likely as not to type it into the handy-dandy google toolbar anyway... on my own terms, and when I've finished reading what I set out to read. I can't believe I'm that unusual in that regard. Do other people really enjoy having an article interrupted by an intrusive script? I mean, it's mildly irritating to have a big stationary ad load up with the article, but at least it's worked into the design, and I could see saying, "Hmm, yes--that looks interesting, maybe I'll scroll up and check it out when I'm done."
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Comments
olympe_maxime From: olympe_maxime Date: October 24th, 2006 08:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hate the Evil Underliner, too - thanks for reminding me to look into this, because I've been meaning to for a couple of months now. I think it's caused by ask.com putting its hooks into your computer, because the underlinings magically disappeared from my computer when I cleared my cache.
akilika From: akilika Date: October 24th, 2006 09:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thirded, though I'll admit I hate it even more because that's the same sort of thing that Gator does--underlining random terms and the like. Only it's coming from your computer, not the website, so it's on everything.

The first time I came across the Ask thing, I was utterly afraid that someone had made a Mac-compatible Gator or something . . .
vytresna From: vytresna Date: October 25th, 2006 04:40 am (UTC) (Link)
I haven't been there since they fired Jeeves.
harriet_wimsey From: harriet_wimsey Date: October 25th, 2006 05:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, yes, it's way to virus-y looking to be at all appealing or useful.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 25th, 2006 05:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Virus-y looking ads just seem to me to defeat the purpose of advertising. When The Mummy Returns was out, it was advertised on starwars.com, but what it was was a script that showed a dung beetle crawling across the screen. Well, mine got stuck trying to read the script (I was on dial-up) and all I got--and couldn't get away from because it was trying to load--was a blank page with a giant cockroach sitting in one corner flapping its wings. The only thing I could think of was that someone had a very nasty idea for a virus and my whole hard-drive had been wiped. This did not make feel warm and fuzzy when I found out it was just an ad that hadn't loaded right.
bazile03 From: bazile03 Date: October 25th, 2006 08:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
The first time that I saw it, I thought it was a virus too. I frantically ran adaware, spybot, and the McAffee stuff. I'm sure that they think that it's less intrusive than pop-up ad's, but at least pop-up blockers stop the pop-ups.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 27th, 2006 12:06 am (UTC) (Link)
I've seen these ads too, they're actually called Intellitxt from a company called Vibrant Media. I found this out by clicking on the question mark in the ad. Ask must be using them to advertise. I looked at Vibrant Media’s site and it says there’s nothing downloaded on your computer to serve the ads, the publishers choose to run them on their websites.
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