Paper versus News

In doing my daily review of the local news this morning, I was confronted and confounded by several “overlay” pages on AZCentral.com that blocked the content I was trying to read. It appears impossible to get past them without answering some stupid survey question.

A little investigation reveals these are generated by BounceExchange.com, which is described in one review as using,

…patented “Exit Intent” technology to determine how (and when) visitors leave your site, and serves up automated overlays designed to motivate users to remain on your site…

Exit Intent? What’s that, you may ask? From the same review:

by including some JavaScript code on [a] site, the software tracks [viewer] mouse movement and velocity to calculate the precise moment that the visitor “breaks the browser plane,” or abandons your site.

What this means is that Bounce Exchange can detect when a visitor is about to click their browser’s “Back” button, open a new tab, and other navigational actions that signal they’re about to leave. Specially designed overlays are then presented to the user, encouraging them to either visit another page, sign up for an offer or perform some other action.

ParrishcI assume this is part of the “I know how to run a business” philosophy of new Arizona Republic publisher, Mi-Ai Parrish. Maybe there is some business advantage to tools like this technological intrusion, but for me it’s yet another Big Brother effort to “paper” over and make it more difficult for the reader to get to the “news.”

Good luck with that.

 

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