Anyone that knows me also knows that I'm a big fan of Saturday Night Live, and in the spirit of a great Weekend Update segment...

...I'm taking this blog off the normal rails for a rant.

For all the local yokels that read my blog, have you been out to the Winston-Salem Journal's website lately?  I hesitate to even link to their page, but will do so for your own research purposes.  It's not my least favorite website of all times, but that said, I do have some complaints.  Don't get me wrong, it's convenient to be able to check on local news from the comfort of my computer.  And I understand that websites need to make money, so I fully expect to see some unobtrusive advertisements.  But really, Winston-Salem Journal!?!  Pop-ups?  Who uses pop-up ads anymore anyway?  Every web browser known to man has a pop-up blocker now, so all you're really doing is making me see an annoying note about how whatever garbage you're trying to accost me with is being blocked.  And really!?!  Do you honestly think that something like this looks professional?

 "Imma let you finish your article, but this Nissan ad is this most annoying ad of all time" - Kanye West

Don't get me wrong, who doesn't like a bargain and/or a bacon cheeseburger, but the first thing I see when I try to read a news story that someone has spent the time writing and publishing is 4 advertisements, one of which follows me everywhere I scroll and only goes away when it's good and ready. And really!?!  New Year Deals?  It's nearly February, is this ad even still valid?  I wouldn't know because I refuse to ever click on these things out of sheer principle.  I feel like something threw up on my screen and that my eyes may start bleeding at any moment.

"Take it easy, Bryan", I can almost hear you say as you read along.  "This is a local paper, and something has to pay for the free content they deliver to you online in the comfort of your PJs.  Just deal with the ads, and enjoy your digital news reading experience".  Fine, fair enough.  I've suffered through them for years without complaint, so what gives?  This.  This is what gives.

Really!?!  Reaaaaaally!?!  Now let me get this read an article, I have to wade through a blocked pop-up ad (that no one will ever see), ads in the header of the page, sidebar of the page, and one of those obnoxious hover-y ads that won't let me close it until it says so.  And then, if I read more than 10 articles a month, you block EVERY STORY ON YOUR WEBSITE.  Really!?!  The last time I saw double dipping like this, I was at Mellow Mushroom enjoying pretzels and pizza with good friends and didn't mind it.  I don't even know you, WSJ, and here you are getting money from advertisements AND asking me to pay for your online paper?  Really!?!

Really Winston-Salem Journal, who do you think you are?  The Charlotte Observer?  The News and Observer?  USA Today?  No!  I can read all of those publications on the daily for FREE.  I love my local paper, but do you really need to charge to read it online?  Really!?!