"It is a weighty thing, weighty and dangerous, to be created in the image of God."

- Michael Horton
Tar-Pit Websites

Tell me if this has ever happened to you? You are reading a legit news story on the internet on a legit news site, and at the bottom you see a list of links to other articles you might be interested in. You see one titled: "8 of the best Sci-Fi Movies" or "10 Surprise Endings that rescued otherwise bad movies" or "10 best supervillains" or "10 of the greatest guitar riffs of all time" And so being interested in whatever sort of movie or entertainment it mentions, you click. And it takes you to another site, without that article, but with that one listed along with 20 others of similar nature. (hit 1). Then you click on the article you wanted in the first place...again. (hit 2). It opens yet another window with .... a slide show. So you click start slide show, (hit 3) because by now you want to see the 10 coolest superhero costumes, after all you've come this far. Then you see the title slide introducing the subject/list. Sigh. You click again (hit 4) to get to #10. Then you have to click again, each time to see another pic with a few sentences about that selection on the list. Every three slides there is an ad you have to click past another commercial.

So by the time you're done, you realize that you wasted 10 minutes, when the whole list would have only taken you 30 seconds had it all been together.

So what's going on? What are these "tar-pit" websites? (As I've dubbed them.) Is there anyone out there with web or tech or business know how that can tell me more about these nefarious click gathering websites? I figure it's all some sort of plot to increase traffic, or "hits" or whatever.

I keep vowing never to look at one of those again...then I see a link for "ten coolest Star Trek quotes" and I'm sucked in again. AAAARGH.

Am I the only one?

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Comments on "Tar-Pit Websites":
1. Roy - 02/08/2014 12:01 pm CST

No. You are not the only one. I read your blog "rant", didn't I? ;^p

We do not begin to realize how wealthy we are, having both ability and time to look at "10 coolest Star Trek quotes". (I sorta favor McCoy's thought that after fixing the Horta, he might take on and cure the common cold. But I can't remember the words, sigh.)

2. Karl - 02/08/2014 8:22 pm CST

I hate that slide show format for lists like that. It must drive up their total page views or clicks or something and translate into more dollars from advertisers. But usually anymore if I see that it's that kind of site I just close it out w/o clicking through the slide show no matter how interesting the list sounded at first.

3. Luke - 02/08/2014 8:48 pm CST

What's also is bad when people split up articles over several pages when it could be just one. Christianity today does it and it drives me nuts

4. Luke - 02/08/2014 8:49 pm CST

What's also is bad when people split up articles over several pages when it could be just one. Christianity today does it and it drives me nuts

5. Bird - 02/08/2014 8:59 pm CST

Luke, yes!

6. Roy - 02/08/2014 10:40 pm CST

Actually, what I shoulda remembered goes like:
Mr. Spock: The Horta is badly wounded. It may die.

Dr. McCoy: It won't die. By golly, Jim, I'm beginning to think I can cure a rainy day.

Captain James T. Kirk: Can you help it?

Dr. McCoy: Helped it? I cured it.

Internet tar pit, indeed: everything sticks to it and it does not forget.

7. Shrode - 02/09/2014 7:58 am CST

Roy,
You're a brother from a different mother. McCoy quotes rock.
"I'm a doctor, not an escalator." (Yes, he actually said that.)

Luke,
what about when someone posts the same comment twice just to make it look like a blog post is more popular than it actually is? ;-)

8. Shrode - 02/09/2014 7:59 am CST

Roy,
You're a brother from a different mother. McCoy quotes rock.
"I'm a doctor, not an escalator." (Yes, he actually said that.)

Luke,
what about when someone posts the same comment twice just to make it look like a blog post is more popular than it actually is? ;-)

9. Luke - 02/09/2014 4:37 pm CST

Those guys are the worst for sure.

It took me a minute to get the joke, but I got. Seriously though, I hope the Thinklings write more. This is one of the first blogs I followed around 2004 when I started blogging. Good stuf.

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