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Multi-page Web articles that irritate, and how to side-step them

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Sneer all you want but I belong to the destined-for-extinction tribe that use dialup for Internet access. In my position as a Web programmer admitting to such draconian access method is tantamount to subjecting myself to frequent jeers, but I still haven't found a compelling reason to justify shelling out $40 a month for broadband. So the slow connection in my house lives on.

One of my pet peeves with the slow dialup connection is the Web sites that break up a story into multiple pages. As I read the pages, I am forced to click on "Next Page" links to continue reading the story. Web sites may claim that such partitioning is for aesthetic reasons, but I know the real intention is to force the reader to stay on the Web site longer and view more advertising. The extra page impressions they receive as a result of this approach is also of value when they compile their viewership statistics to brag to their next advertiser.

So here's a little trick I use to circumvent their trickery and see the whole story in one shot. The next time you are faced with a multi-page story, look for a "Print" button somewhere on the page. Many Web sites provide this service to their readers so they can print the story in its entirety. Clicking on the "Print" button gives you the whole story in a printer-friendly format, and that also usually means fewer irritating graphics to boot.

Voila. The printer-friendly page loads much faster (a boon to dialup-shackled viewers like myself), and you can view the whole story uninterrupted in one fell swoop.

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