Social Cruft

First I read through a longish piece outlining how Forbes is re-inventing itself into a hub that harvests it’s audience and transform them into content producers in a new media factory.  Then I read about how Gawker is embracing the transformation of the web into a visual medium, prepping their web pages for the eventual living room, lean-back consumption model.

And now I click through (via twitter of course) to land on this abomination of design from MSNBC.

I count no less than twelve potential interaction points to share or otherwise spindle this piece back into the social-sphere. This isn’t even counting the 50+ links that are drawing me off this page. I guess what really sends me off are the four icons next to the scroll bar. Some genius thought that click through rates on those little gee-gaws increased engagement. Look at it, there are only two lines of the article above the fold!

All I can think of  is that this site is looking like that kid in your neighborhood who would deck out his bicycle with fancy horns, reflectors, and baseball card/clothespins on the rear wheel to make his old Scwhinn look cooler than it really was.

I think we’re in the awkward, adolescent stage of Mass Media adoption of social media. Eventually more sane minds will prevail and attention and praise will flow towards more nuanced design. Less is more my friends, really.

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