A McTool Moment
November 1st, 2010.
I completely understand the appeal from the corporate point of view for companies like; webiya, meebo, and perhaps a few others to integrate the toolbar on the server-side and capture some of the traffic through tool integration. All that data waiting to be harvested through social content management and integrating a click here and there, that’s all really nice but from a personal perspective it simply clutters my web browsing. Certainly it helps some people to have everything on the same screen, with the ability to chat, twitter, like, etc. but most sites allow you to do that anyways without the toolbar pop-up.
Is there really a demand for it? a viable commercial market driven demand to have something on the screen which siphons off data while cluttering your browsing experience, for sure there is. They do provide some value-added services but does it balance out for people out there who would prefer to not have a pop-up on the bottom of a site they are looking through which they deem irritating and annoying, maybe not. Realistically speaking when reading something, I will most likely not need to be connected through this site to share it. Sure there is twitter which most sites have and clicking it is not a big deal, being logged on through a toolbar is, its’ a data farm and the user is milked like there is no tomorrow. Furthermore, it is far more likely to be more time consuming then having another tab open and just posting the link in there or having an instant messanger be on or off at the same time. The thing I dislike about ‘innovations’ such as these is the simplicity and choice of the interaction is sacrificed for the sake of a third-party who tries to insert itself as a content helper between the content creator and the user. This may work for some users, even most users, but not all and the ability to opt out is gone. What is especially damning is the absolute cookie cutter integration of the most popular sites within these toolbars, and their utter bilbordesque functionality for the spread of uniformity within the user base. Discovery of new cool sites is somewhat blunted because of the popping-up of the reminders on the bottom of your screen of the most popular kids on the web. Internet to me was always a place where everyone was a majority of one, but lately the gadgetry of integration socialization has been converted into a McToolbar that hangs around weather you want it or not.