What to Know What Visitors Think?

  • Lost Remote: Things Web Viewsers Never, Ever Say In 2003, I wrote a piece called “Things Viewers Never, Ever Say” (part one and part two). It was simply a list of quotes meant to point out the silly things that newsrooms do in the course of a newscast that have little meaning to the viewer. Newsrooms have developed their own series of tricks and rules over the years, and it seems like nobody thinks of what the viewer is actually thinking anymore. In a major surprise, the thing took off. It was forwarded around (stripped of my name, of course) and spawned two sequels based on reader input. It was even quoted in a book, although it did not help sales. It has been four years, and it’s time for a new list. Plus, I’m taking back the word “viewsers,” since it seems to be catching on as a combination of web viewers/users — seven years after we first suggested it here at LR. So here are the “Things Web Viewsers Never, Ever Say”:

This is an extremely good example of the difference between what you want your website to do or say and what your visitors want it to do. Too often publishers forget that they have a website because other people read it. If it is too hard to read or find the content they want (and no, viewsers will never call it content), they will go elsewhere. Make your site easy to use and navigate – drop the flashing ads all over the place. You will get more traffic and people will stick around.