The web is a wonderful place, and all the more engaging if you widen your circle of online friends, share your photos, browse far and wide and sign up to Twitter and Facebook.
Yet the web is plagued by frustrations, too. See if you agree with our pick of the five web trends that deserve to die, and leave your own nominations in the comments.
The average smartphone takes digital snaps as sharp as a mid-range camera. Yet what do we do? Ruin the results with filters and colour ‘corrections’ that mimic the faded prints you’re more likely to find in a shoebox stuffed under your bed.
One app above all others has eased the process of mangling your pictures:Hipstamatic, which emulates the diminutive Hipstamatic 100 film-based camera, one of the most efficient sellers of all time. Of the 157 produced, 154 were sold, but the iPhone app that apes its effects has sold a magnitude more.
Inventors Bruce and Winston Dorbowski could never have guessed in the early 80s how their little camera would continue to influence photography three decades later. Their legacy ranks with Ansell Adams’, and while we don’t want to belittle their achievement, a little selectivity wouldn’t go amiss.
We love Hipstamatic’s effects, when used with care and consideration. Slapping a retro filter on a bad photo doesn’t make it good, though. It merely suggests you can’t sort your wheat from your photographic chaff.
LOL is almost 30 years old. It’s time to move on.
Wayne Pearson claims credit for using it first on a Canadian bulletin board called Viewline. Then, after bagging a free account on GEnie he started using it there, too, and that’s when it really took off.
“I always emphasised (and still do) that it was meant to be used *only* if you truly Laughed Out Loud... a smirk, smile or giggle just didn't cut it,” Pearson warns. How we wish his intent was better known, as it seems now to be used more as a signpost that the LOLler has run out of anything worthwhile to say.
In the days before predictive text, when De Quervain Syndrome (texter’s thumb to the rest of us) was the latest affliction to worry the nation’s hypochondriacs, dropping lttrs frm UR wrds was perfectly acceptable. Your ‘m8’s almost expected it. We were pushed for time, and texting was painfully slow... and painful.
But somehow it’s followed us onto the web, and textspeak is infecting Twitter and Facebook. Language moves on, and plenty would argue that textspeak is plain evolution. The OED now lists OMG, LOL and FYI as valid ‘initialisms’, but even with only 140 characters in which to Tweet our followers, surely we can think of shorter words, instead of mangling our mother tongue.
On the subject of which...
4. Twitter cheats
Twitter is all about 140 character posts. This point is 140 characters long. It says all it needs without using get-arounds like Twitlonger.
5. IE infatuation
Internet Explorer is far from the only browser. Indeed, depending on who you talk to it’s not even the most popular.
While Net Applications and Statcounter put it well ahead of the pack, W3 Schools measured IE’s share at just 23.2% in summer 2011. Firefox was almost twice that at 42.2%, and even Chrome hit 27.9%. IE6, now knocking on for 10 years old, has sunk below 5%, yet many coders still design with this antiquated browser in mind.
Internet Explorer 9 boasts some of the best HTML5 and CSS3 compatibility of its peers, despite the fact that neither has yet been ratified by its overseers. Now is the time to cut free those stragglers desperately clinging to IE6. Code your site for the future, not the past, and inspire them to upgrade to a more secure, standards-compliant browser.
Every time you tweak your pages to make them look ‘right’ in IE6, you’re validating these laggards’ inaction. Do them a favour, and lock them out.