Let me just say I’m glad to see Yahoo moving into the Web 2.0 social-media area, integrating its services with blogs through the Yahoo Shortcuts service/widget for WordPress — and I’m a huge fan of Alex King, the WordPress plugin genius who designed the feature (and also did the wonderful Share This plugin) — but this new Yahoo offering makes me very nervous. Why? Because of the potential for an outbreak of one of my least favourite features: pop-up links.
I don’t just find pop-up links irritating — I absolutely loathe and detest them (I’m not the only one). In fact, I will go out of my way to avoid websites that use them. And I don’t particularly care whether they are informative or advertising-based. I don’t like Snap’s pop-up windows, even though the link is placed beside the text, because it is automatically triggered when your mouse moves over it.
I don’t really like Adaptive Blue’s links either, but at least they aren’t triggered automatically. And don’t even get me started on those text-link ads that pretend to be hyperlinks (except they have two underlines instead of one) and trigger a gigantic popup with a Microsoft search or an advertising link in it. As soon as I see those links on a site, I am gone.
To be fair, Yahoo’s widget just gives you the stuff — the stock chart, or the Yahoo search results, or the Flickr photos (which I must admit is kind of cool) — and you can then decide to include them right in the body of your post or attach them as text link pop-ups. For the love of all that is good and holy, please don’t do the latter. I’m begging you.