I’m not a big fan of most JavaScript widgets which are added to sites. I have a MyBlogLog account; and I find the statistics to be very interesting. The widgets, on the other hand, I find to be varyingly irritating, obtrusive, and most of all slow.

But there’s one particular widget I’ve seen on many occasions which really drives me nuts: Snap’s “Preview Anywhere”. I really don’t like this. To me, this is information overload. With well-written link text, and good context for a link, I know everything I need to know about a site to judge whether I’m going to go there. Do I need to know what it looks like?

I mean, if I go there, I’ll find out what it looks like soon enough. The suspense isn’t killing me. I’ll admit, there’s the faint possibility that I’ll see the preview and say to myself “Hey! I’ve been to that site before — I’d forgotten how cool it was,” and I’ll follow a link which I would have otherwise ignored.

But it’s a slim possibility.

If my goal for visiting your’s website was to learn more about their links and visit everything they’ve connected to, I’d probably find this widget very useful. However, since my actual goal is usually to read what you have to say, with the possibility that I’ll also check out what you’ve referenced, this Snap widget simply gets in the way.

Lesson to be learned: don’t get in the way of your visitor’s goals. I’ll be honest – there are a number of websites which I find otherwise interesting but rarely visit because of this very widget.