Great solution for major website irritant

Great solution for major website irritant

My friend Robert Monteux commented yesterday, pointing out another common website annoyance:

“… Sites with so many ads that have to load, including flash. Sloooow loading = bad!”

Not only are they slow to load, but the ads distract you from what you actually came to see. Web pages crammed full of animated ads, blinking logos, spinning graphics that shoot sparks out their butts? They’re like listening to talk radio, at the same time that the TV is playing infomercials full volume.

Readability is a near-perfect solution to website clutter. (And it’s free, so it’s the perfect Christmas gift.)

Readability is a simple browser plugin* that strips away everything — except what you came to read. You know, the content.

It couldn’t be simpler to install. On Readability’s home page, select your desired style, font size and column width, then drag the icon to your browser’s toolbar. That’s it, you’re finished. One click to install, one click to use.

By default, Readability is turned off. Whenever you come across a Web page that makes your eyes cross and your head throb, just click the Readability button on your toolbar and voila, all distractions disappear — the same way David Copperfield “vanished” the Statue of Liberty.

To return to a page’s original look, just click refresh. Readability isn’t perfect, but in my experience it successfully cleaned up 95% of the offending pages.

Major props to its developer, lab.arc90.com, who have some other interesting projects. Like TBuzz, a bookmarklet that lets you update twitter while you browse the Web. I’ll be checking that out soon.

Anybody else like Readability? Anybody used TBuzz? Love to get your feedback in the comments. And any other major website irritants you’d like to bellyache about? Have at it.

Or tweet me: @tom_mckay

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* Note #1: Yes, I know technically they’re both bookmarklets, not plugins. Let’s just keep things simple, shall we?
** Note #2: No, those aren’t affiliate links. Both products are free, for cryin’ out loud.

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