Noah Brier pointed me to minimalist Jack Shedd, who calls for a halt to extraneous, self-serving social media debris on Web sites. He says:
At some point, we just started throwing shit in.
So many sites these days are filled with what can only be called “debris”. Useless remnants of other sites: things of no real use, yet there anyway. The right-hand columns and after-article white-space has turned into a free-for-all of features that may as well be advertising banners. Blogrolls and ISBN numbers; Scrobbler feeds and Twitters; Share This or Rate This…
It stopped mattering whether the feature was even useful to the visitor. We ask our visitors to “Digg This” not because it adds any value to their experience, but because we need the traffic. We showed off our favorite books not because the visitor may enjoy them, but because we hoped at some point they’d click on one and buy it, generating a small but welcomed tip in our electronic tip jar. We stopped adding value and started trying to subtract, or at least get in on the action.
Jack’s right, and I’m guilty of the sins he exposes right here on this blog. My only salvation is that I consider this Web site a perpetual experiment. It’s a sandbox for interacive technologies, advertising, publishing, design (if lacking), syndication and ideas. Most importantly, it’s an open venue to express and share myself with you and accept your feedback, openly or privately.
But let’s get down to business: What debris would you like removed from this site?
I’m listening so I can improve.
And go read Jacks’ full post here.