Thursday, January 24, 2008

Snapshots - feedback please

I'd like your feedback, dear readers.

About a year ago, when came out with its search engine that produced a popup image of a site when you moused over a link, I thought it was a decent widget -- it would let you see where you were going, and Snap was building a decent search engine.

But lately I've been having second thoughts. Snap has changed its model somewhat so that it is becoming more ad oriented. And now it is inserting its own helpful links in some posts. (See the screen shot of a recent post and the Snap material around Tiger Woods.)
I've always pledged to keep this blog ad free. And I wonder if the popups have lost their usefulness.

So tell me -- stay or go? Do they actually give you any utility, or should I just remove the code? Let me know in the comments.

(Update: Sentiment seems clear - Snap is gone.)




At 1/25/08, 12:01 AM, Blogger Bill Peschel said...

I read your site through bloglines, so it doesn't affect me.

But when I came to your site, I thought it was annoying. Don't know how long I would put up with it.

At 1/25/08, 1:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't care for the SNAP feature even without the ads. It covers up other text, it sometimes shows an out-of-date snapshot, and it often takes a while to load.

Most of all, though, I like being surprised when I click a hyperlink.

At 1/25/08, 9:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I usually find Snap pretty annoying whenever I see it, at least if there are more than one or two links on a page. I dislike having to watch where my pointer goes so I don't interrupt my reading with a random preview.

At 1/25/08, 9:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree -- the use of snap on sites usually annoys me. All the popping up every where distracts my reading. I tend to move my mouse along a page as I read and this causes pop ups all over the place. Just now, I even got a pop up when I went to "post a comment."

At 1/25/08, 9:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Doug, I get your blog via RSS, so I don't see them. But as a general rule, on blogs with that feature I find it annoying as it seems to pop up often when I don't want to see it.

At 1/25/08, 1:00 PM, Blogger Marie said...

Snap is annoying. I find it sucks the fluidity from a well-written post.

At 1/26/08, 12:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


My name is Erik Wingren and I work for Snap. I just wanted to make sure you know this auto-enhance feature (which we call Snap Shots Engage) is optional. You can turn it off at any time from your account. In fact, in a week or two we are doing a new code push which will make this feature an advanced, non-default option.

Also, I suggest you inform your readers who don't like the Snap Shots functionality at all, how they can turn it off on their end...

1. Move your cursor over the cogwheel icon in the upper right corner of the shot, and select "Disable".

2. Select "THIS site" if you want them turned off for the site you are on, or "ALL sites" if you want them gone for all sites.

3. Reload the page and you are done.


At 1/26/08, 6:33 PM, Blogger Doug said...


I appreciate your post. But I think sentiment here and back channel makes it clear that, for now at least, the feature is more detraction than addition for my readers.

Certainly, I know you all have gone out of your way to make it possible for individual users to opt out, but that raises the question whether I should, in effect, force them to do that.

So far, I have not had a "keep Snap" comment yet. Now, we can debate the silent majority, but if it truly is a feature people want, at least some, buy sheer statistical dint, would be expected to speak up.

I find the feature useful on other sites -- the thumbnails are big enough for me to see where I am going, which I like. But while I would speak up for it purely personally on other sites, the relationship changes here, and the readers get their say. I listen.

The code hasn't totally gone away; I have just commented it out in the template. Perhaps a time will come when people will ask for it.


At 1/26/08, 9:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As if dealing with Vista's "snap-esque" pop-ups weren't bad enough already. Search engines are great and all, but do we really need to encourage people to be too lazy to even pull up web pages? "Hmm, that website doesn't look cool by the snapshot, may as well avoid it."



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