May 25, 2007

When Did The Internet Lose Its Manners?

Imagine this: You open your web browser of choice and click on over to your favorite website. You get to the page and all of the sudden you hear music playing and then someone's voice comes booming over your speakers. And then you realize that the website you're looking at has a video automatically playing as the page loads.

What's the first thing you do? If you're like me (and most other people - especially those of us at work) you quickly find the pause or mute button and press it with a sigh of relief.

It's not like audio or video automatically playing on a website is anything new. No, think back to when the Internet was first getting going and lots of people had MIDI (or WAV) files playing in the background as you viewed their website. Those sites were awful, right? But those were people who were usually inexperienced web developers who didn't realize that even though THEY might like the music playing, many of their visitors were downright annoyed that they had to endure some cheesy music playing while they browsed your page.

But the Internet has evolved since then...or has it? It seems like the evolution of the Internet over the past 7-10 years has resulted in people generally designing more user friendly - more courteous - sites. Until recently.

It seems that one of the latest trends in web design is to have a video automatically playing on the front page of your website - audio and all. Lots of sites are doing it:,, and just about any media broadcaster (, My question is:

Where along the line did it become acceptable again to start playing video as soon as you go to a page? Even worse, some of the aforementioned sites don't even allow you to stop their video until the commercial that plays BEFORE the actual video ends.

All I'm asking of these sites is to give their audience a choice. A little common courtesy. Let us choose whether we want to watch your video or not - don't force it upon us. Because all that's going to do it make me anticipate where the pause button will appear so that I can click it faster, or stop visiting those sites altogether.

Posted by Jeff at May 25, 2007 4:11 PM

I agree it is very annoying. I have run into a few lately that don't have a pause or stop button and until you click on a link it will keep playing.

Posted by: Eric at May 29, 2007 10:07 AM
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