On the plane to talk at the Minnesota Library Association conference, I dug into my paper copy of Information Today, and flipped to Steven Cohen‘s regular column, “Library Stuff Revisited.”
Steven’s topic this time was ReloadEvery, a Firefox plug-in that allows you to automatically reload a browser page at given intervals. He recounts how he uses ReloadEvery on different services, including keeping up multiple company press release pages all day, refreshing them automatically at fifteen-second intervals. Most remarkable was Steven’s scheme to grab first-place reservation on Southwest:
“I could have set up the page to reload every second, but I was nervous and didn’t want one tab to freeze on me. So I set up five tabs with the same page and had them each reload every four seconds at different intervals.”
It’s all very clever, but refreshing every second—who said that was okay? As a web developer of a site that gets hurt by more modest refreshaholics, I think Steven and the people who made ReloadEvery need to confront the “All You Can Eat Rule”: Just because it says “All You Can Eat” doesn’t mean you can shovel smoked salmon into your handbag for later, or lie on the drink counter with your mouth under the orange-juice spigot!