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Why Can't the Post be More Like Porn?

10:21 AM, Sep 28, 2011 • By VICTORINO MATUS
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Ever try loading a page from the Washington Post, only to be left in wireless limbo? Apparently you are not alone, says Post ombudsman Patrick B. Pexton. He quotes Ashish Agrawal, a senior development manager for technology at the paper, who explains, "Post Web pages are, in the tech vernacular, very complex and very heavy.... There’s a lot going on in any Post Web page, including headlines, photos, videos, lots of advertising, and lots of 'plug-ins' that allow you to view certain kinds of content, plus links to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others. All of that has to load." Still, it's no excuse. And readers are getting frustrated. Pexton shares a comment from one very honest websurfer named Jack:

“Perhaps it will impress on you how sluggishly your pages load to learn that pornography sites download much faster than washing­ does! Trust me on this. And those sites’ pages are much more ‘content dense’ and have significantly more ‘dynamic’ content and ads than, with very little simple text (obviously!). . . .

“By contrast, your site subjects me to a tedious, lumbering stream of browser ‘Waiting for [various] plug-in’ messages and download-progress bars. Meanwhile, my screen remains frozen, so I can’t even scroll through the content that has already downloaded. This seldom happens on the porn sites I frequent.”

Yes, I do realize his name is Jack.

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