As a reader, and as someone who cares about online media in all kinds of other ways, I would like to second the opinions that David Churbuck expresses in a post on his blog about “The blight known as Vibrant Media.” In a nutshell: those double-underlined links that generate pop-up ads or affiliate links to a variety of craptacular sites, which companies like IntelliText specialize in, are an abomination. They make your site look like ass, and what’s worse, they try to trick readers. As David says:
“Want to know why Engadget and Gizmodo and TechCrunch and GigaOm are eating the lunch of the tech press? Because of crappy shenanigans like Vibrant’s. Or rather, lack of.
Geez PC Mag. Maintain your dignity. I have told our teams NOT to run these types of intrusive tactics out of respect to our customers and readers.”
Churbuck, who now works for Lenovo, says that Forbes.com (where he used to work) finally decided to stop using them after a tribute to a dead bureau chief contained pop-up links for a life insurance company. It shouldn’t take something like that to convince anyone that they are a waste of time. All they do is make your site look bush-league and desperate.