Monday, October 24, 2005

Advice for bloggers who care about their older readers

Since posting about restrictive comments I've learned a thing or two about accommodating readers with vision impairments. I never knew, for example, that having links open in new windows is annoying to them (and more importantly, the software that assists them on the web.) I personally hate when links load in the window I'm reading, and have been lazy about option-clicking to get them to open in a new tab. But I've stopped adding the target=new tag to my links anyway.

Today Ronni Bennett has published a post with good advice if you care about your older readers.

Frankly much of it is good advice no matter your readers' ages...I too hate scrolling left to right. I hate really long, endless paragraphs. etc. etc.

So check out her advice.

About the only thing she mentions (and I've seen other people mention) that doesn't bug me is this one:

Unidentified Links: In the past few months, a new link style has erupted that is growing like fungus. It is the practice of posting unidentified links. It usually appears thusly:

“Great story here. Also, don’t miss this and this.”

Oh, yeah? If it’s so great, tell Crabby what it is and why it’s so great.

Well I don't think my browser is the only one that displays the URL when I roll my mouse over a link, is it? Don't get me wrong, I appreciate context as much as the next gal. Tell me why you think the story is great. But I don't need a long citation on source if it's a well-known one. If I roll my mouse and see an NY Times or or URL, I'm game, and I'm clicking.

I think I'm probably in the minority on this one, but I can live with that.

At least the "here" link has some sort of context leading up to it usually, such as "there is a whole gallery of Golden Gate Bridge photos (link)here."

The thing that drives me up the wall is the "vague headline/even vaguer link/that leads to some sort of registration restricted content" link, as seen at certain popular political blogs.

Fake example:

Headline: Heh, indeedy

Link: Oy

Real helpful, there.

BTW: At least your word verification dealie-bopper is legible. Unlike some of these other underwater delights. And yes, I have single-vision glasses.
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