Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Food Publishers Harm Users’ Experiences With Too Much Advertising and Affiliate Linking

Mark Stenberg:

The world of digital media works in predictable patterns, and the rise of g-commerce is simply the latest iteration of a familiar phenomenon. When a new technology allows for a new kind of ad placement, publishers tend to over-indulge.

If you strain your ear, you can practically hear the drool dropping from the salivating mouths of boardroom financiers:

“You mean we can monetize … everything? From the equipment, to the ingredients, to the grocery delivery itself? Yes … yes must have it. We must!”

(“G-commerce” is the nauseating term for “grocery commerce”.)

Complaints about lengthy stories preceding recipes are so common they have become a cliché, but I wish more people would be complaining about the phenomenon described by Stenberg. This is why I rely on apps like Paprika and new favourite Mela: I get just the recipe, sans referral nonsense and online grocery shopping widgets that do not work outside of the U.S.

Most often, though, I just use a printed cookbook, which continues to offer the best user experience of any medium.