as you may or may not know, there are some very small things that i find very irritating. things like bad spelling, or unfunny attempts at being politically incorrect, or the fact that my laptop only ever seems to act up when in my room in halls. today, i shall be ranting about one of these rather inconsequential things.
ok, look, you may think that sidebar on your website is exciting. woo fucking hoo, you get visitors from all over the world, you have friends both sides of the suez canal. how bloody exciting. but let me tell you this, you little fuck, there is a reason that i don't comment on your blog, there is a reason i don't tell you who i am, or where i come from, or what i do with my life. there is a reason all of this information is kept from you. it is not so that you can install some fancy GeoIP gadget thing to figure out where i am. colour me paranoid, but i like being anonymous. london is a big place, you say? there is no way of telling who i actually am, you say? well, i don't care! half the bloody point of the internet is being anonymous (the other half is, of course, porn). i like my privacy, or what little is left of it, anyway. if i wanted to talk to you and leave comments, i would.
you like comments, you say. comments are good things, you say. i don't disagree. i find that comments brighten up my day considerably. but that does not mean i stalk you in the hopes of getting a comment, now does it?
i suppose this has more to do with how i think people should think about their blogs. why would you have a sidebar thing unless you wanted people to go 'how exciting is this blog, people from all over the world visit it'. um, HELLO! blogs are exciting because of what's written in them! not because of who visits them! it is designed for people who stumble onto the blog, because why would people who already read the blog care about who else reads the blog? so if this anonymous person stumbles onto your blog and goes 'hey look, he gets visits from new york!', that should be the first of many, many signs that this person is probably not worth it. using simply the fact that someone is from a particular place to make assumptions about them is terrifically stupid. i'm going to be mean here, and say if you're like that, you should've left round about five sentences ago. i'm not saying i'm not shallow. i'm incredibly shallow. i'll judge you based on name, age, race, sexuality, creed, gender, political views, theological views, general appearance, taste in music, and even *gasp* whether you seem to have taken a shower that morning or not.
but with that one little sidebar, you have given my extremely shallow side a very good excuse to hate you. when you're trying to attract anonymous people to come see your blog, it is probably not a good idea to alienate them. content over form, substance over style, and that little sidebar has just made sure that i will remember your URL so that i can make fun of you. you probably will not know, but that only makes it funnier.
so, either you want shallow people on your blog, or you don't. if you do, you're an idiot, and i will probably laugh at you. if you don't, why do you have that stupid sidebar?
PS, if i know you and you have a sidebar, don't worry, i will still read you. probably. erm. i will make an effort, i promise. and if i know you and someone you know really well has a sidebar, you should make them get rid of it. and apologise for ever having cared so much about the opinions of people they don't know. and while i'm at it, i'd like a pony.