Pet Peeve: No, I Won’t Recommend Your Article Before I Read the Whole Thing

I have been seeing a lot more of this kind of thing lately: I find an article I’m interested in, start reading, get through about a paragraph (sometimes just a few sentences) and then see something that looks like this:

Full Content

This is one of those things that will instantly make me quit reading a blog or article. It seems to me that the site (or author, or content manager) is attempting to make this kind of bargain:

I’ll let you read the rest of the post, but first you have to recommend it publicly.

That’s like a used car dealer saying, “I’ll let you test drive the car, but first you have to buy it.” Screw that! When I “like” something on Facebook or retweet something on Twitter, or +1 it on Google Plus, I am staking my reputation on it. I’m saying, “Hey, I saw this and thought it was worth passing along. Check it out if this kind of thing interests you.”

Why on Earth would I risk that reputation on an article I haven’t had a chance to read? Why would anyone? This kind of Internet snobbery makes it clear to me that all the site really cares about is how many “likes” or “retweets” it gets. It’s fishing for them in the most blatant and annoying way.

I doubt that my complaining about it here will alter the behavior one iota, but I hope that it demonstrates that, in at least some of the population, this kind of behavior will get you some reaction you probably didn’t expect: a pissed off, annoyed reader who will go get his information from a source that won’t ask for a quid pro quo.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled Internet.



One comment

  1. Same fury, different theme: Facebook shares that seem to require me to decide whether to issue a Like (good!) or simply stay with Ignore (bad!). My advice: don’t Like stuff you wouldn’t personally vouch for – it’s the LCD (lowest common denominator) of data mining.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.