Since I wrote this, WordPress have switched to using a different version of the popups. They now ignore the settings I was using for turning them on and off for individual links, and personally I find the new ones ugly and annoying, so I’ve now turned them off for the entire blog.
Snapshots (snap previews)
I’m still debating whether to turn off the so-called snapshots on my blog, now that I’ve discovered how to customize them a bit. Some people like them, some hate them, and I like them when I want them and not when I don’t.
As a tryout, here are two versions of my blogroll. One has the snapshots which pop up when you hover over a link, and the other has hover text (for the links where I’ve written any). Please try out the behaviour and then vote in the poll. It would be really helpful to have as many people’s feedback on this as possible.
Hover over these links
Give your feedback
I can either have snapshots pop up for all links, none, or selected ones. Some of these options are harder work than others.
If you think snapshots should pop up just for some links, then please tell me which ones (tick as many as you like, and add more in “Other” if you want):
By the way, the reason you can’t view the results of the second poll isn’t that I don’t want you to see them, but that they drop off the bottom of the background image and end up as white text on a white background and I don’t want to go through the other 18 appearance styles offered by Polldaddy looking for the one that behaves itself. If people do vote, I’ll let you know the result in a future post.
I have very strong feelings about this – it interrupts the reading process. If I want to see what’s in a link, it’d be fast to actually click the link and glance at it in a new window than peer at Snapshots. Silly invention!
I agree with you when I’m in the process of reading an article. The other annoying thing is that any hover text that’s been set using
title=doesn’t get a chance to appear, and sometimes a nice explanation is more helpful than a preview.
On the other hand, I think quick checking of sites makes two assumptions: (i) a quick Internet connection; (ii) no constraints on the amount of data downloaded. Some of the blogs in my list (e.g. the art ones) involve downloading rather a lot of data, and while I was still on 1-GB-per-month access I had to be very careful about how often I visited them, for fear of running out of data. Similarly I wanted to be cautious about clicking links to any page which might turn out to have a lot of large graphics.
In those situations, the snapshots acted as a helpful safeguard against using up my data allowance too quickly, and against the frustration of waiting for a page to load only to find that it was just the same as last time.