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My Own "Forced Perspective" - Making me think

With regard to the title of this post, "forced perspective" is actually a term from the world of art, photography, and cinematography, not real estate.  It is a technique which uses optical illusion to cause something to appear larger, smaller, closer, or farther away by manipulating your perspective. 


While I was visiting relatives in Houston, I had a different type of forced perspective, when I was forced to use a dial-up connection if I wanted to check my email or to view ActiveRain.  I couldn't remember the last time I had actually used a dial-up connection before, but I felt fortunate that this was not an every day occurence for me, and that it would end after a few days' time.

So, what did I see?

I realized that the AR blog customizer, along with various widgets, and that script that makes links open in a little window when you hover on them REALLY slow things down when your connection is slow.  Some posts were easy to view (i.e. they didn't have a lot of stuff hindering them), while other blogs never opened at all, and I had to move on to something else. 

I realize that I am not the first person to write about this subject, but I thought you might appreciate hearing this experience, if you have a lot of "extras" cluttering up your AR blog.

I am probably going to remove the bulk of the non-essential stuff (which is pretty much all of it) very soon. 

You may be saying to yourself, "But Jason, most people have fast connections these days.  Don't sweat it."

Well, I have a fast connection at my home and office, and I STILL see some blogs here that are very slow to load, or that give consistent error messages.  I don't want to be in this group.  If someone finds one of my posts here, I want them to be able to load the page quickly, rather than waiting......and waiting.....and waiting.....and giving up altogether. 


I don't think this is an issue for other AR members who regularly read and comment on our material, but for those consumers who have an itchy trigger finger, I want to streamline things, so as to not lose them elsewhere.  I have spent far too much time generating what I perceive to be valuable content to lose them over something I have control over. 

Please understand that this is not an indictment of those who want to use widgets or the customizer, and I REALLY like the way that my current header looks, but I need to do what is best for my business.

Lest you think that my in-laws are backwoods hicks who are out of touch with the times, they live in a suburb of Houston and they use their computer pretty much every day.  My mom and stepdad, who live near Dallas, had a dialup connection at home until pretty recently.  I don't know about you, but many of the high-end clients that I have worked with over the years are older couples who may not think that a fast connection matters as much.  In fact, my first million-dollar sale came from clients in this situation a few years back.  Just my own anecdotal experience, for what it is worth.

If you are one who adds every new toy, whistle, and gadget to your blog just because you can't stand missing out on something cool and fresh, I would urge you to consider (or test) how fast your pages load.  I found an online web load test tool at which gave me the following results for my blog today:


Connection RateDownload Time
14.4K503.98 seconds
28.8K255.19 seconds
33.6K219.65 seconds
56K134.35 seconds
ISDN 128K45.58 seconds
T1 1.44Mbps9.80 seconds

I do have trouble imagining that anyone who spends significant time on the internet has a 14.4 or 28.8 modem anymore, but the 56K number is alarming, as is the T1, in my opinion.  I tried it for an individual post with average graphics, and the numbers only dropped very slightly.

Just some food for thought -

Thanks for your time!  Have a great Labor Day!

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