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I’m : a programmer, writer, podcaster, geek, and coffee enthusiast.

Dear Every Site That Paginates Articles

I’m sure you split stories like this into two pages for a good reason: to save my bandwidth. After all, the remaining 3,126 characters of the story’s body (1,530 bytes as transferred with gzip compression) would have increased the page’s total size by 0.32%.

No, I’m just yanking your chain. I know you’re double-charging your advertisers for the same story by artificially inflating your pageview count. It’s just like the old auto-frame-refresh trick, but this one’s better because most of the ad networks haven’t banned it yet. That’s their problem, right? Why should you leave money on the table? You’re a business.

But it doesn’t really work as well as you had hoped because only a tiny percentage of viewers will actually read page two. You know that, but you don’t care, because you won’t give up a chance to make a few extra cents. Who cares if it annoys the crap out of that tiny slice of your audience? Who are they, anyway? The people who actually read your content thoroughly instead of skimming the headline and moving on? That can’t possibly be your most important audience segment — they’re just the most involved and attentive. Repeat customers. You already have their “eyeballs” that you can sell to your real customers. And these dupes get their eyeballs double-counted. What a steal!

Keep up the great work, publishers.

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