Vincent Safuto’s Weblog

Notes and observations

Screed against website pagination draws a line on the page

One of the wonders of the Internet is that when you think that you’re the only one in the world who has thought that something is not right, eventually someone turns up with the same view and you realize that you are not alone.

I thought I was the only one in the world who believed that the news website practice of splitting stories into “pages” was a big pain in the rear end. I love reading longform journalism but absolutely despise getting to the bottom of a page, and finding the dreaded “2 3 4 > Next Page” because it means I have to click on a number or the next page thingie to see the rest of the story.

And then Slate.com writer Farhad Manjoo showed me the light.

I am not alone. Halleluiah!

Multipaging stories is a part of most website software now, and the reporters have no control over how their stories are split up. I consider multipaging – as I call it – to be almost as bad a scourge as sites that freeze as ads are downloaded or don’t allow you to block gigya.com content.

Some time back, an upgrade at The New York Times website removed the “Single Page” option from all stories, and it took a howl of rage to bring it back. Oops, the Times said. Sorry. It got lost in an upgrade.

Yeah. Right.

I was going to comment on Manjoo’s commentary, but to comment on Slate.com, you have to give up all sorts of personal info, create a username and password, consent to emailed ads and basically join the club and be their friend. In any case, most comment threads turn into screeds against President Barack Obama or his birth certificate, so it’s really pointless when I can take my cheap shots here.

The truth is that website pagination or multipaging probably is here to stay, like ads that roll down and other intrusive and annoying junk. Actually, it makes reading a paper magazine a pleasure.

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October 3, 2012 - Posted by | Life lessons, Living in the modern age | , , , , ,

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