I just switched to Opera from Firefox, briefly experiencing the online MSM without Flash blocking. It was a horrible experience that illustrates why the MSM won’t make it online.
Firefox just started randomly consuming about 60% of my CPU – quite an achievement with a 2 GHz Core 2 Duo. It happens when more than 10 tabs are open, and the latest version doesn’t fix it. Since WinXP has a crappy scheduler, 60% CPU utilization locks the system up, so Firefox has been retired.
Raw Opera doesn’t have a Flashblock plugin, so for a few minutes I experienced the online MSM as the providers intend us to.
The Israelis are worst – YNet News and the Jerusalem Post each have no less than four very intrusive moving ads on their home pages. These, besides engendering a hatred for the advertisers, make it quite impossible to concentrate on reading the content. Mind you, dealing with this level of distraction must battle-harden Israelis.
So I switched to the sober Financial Times. It has just one Flash ad, but it’s large and twitchy, and that makes it very hard to concentrate on reading the text.
Fox News is the least bad of the 20 or so sites I reviewed. It had no moving ads on its home page, and no more than one small one on second tier pages.
Anyway, I quickly hacked Opera’s Cascading Style Sheet to suppress Flash.
I can’t imagine anyone finds moving ads anything less than unpleasant, and a lot of people won’t know how to suppress them.
Maybe this is a cunning ploy by the MSM to force people to pay for their content. If so, they’re doomed – harassing your customers makes them walk away, not do what you want.
Opera is quite fiddly to use with WordPress, so I hope Firefox fixes itself quickly.