Friday, October 22, 2004

Yeah, that's gonna make me subscribe: A few days ago I followed a link (I forget from where) to a TNR article, that made me login to read it. I wasn't a "user" so I went through the process of creating a user ID an all that crap, giving them my email address in the process. I even selected to receive one of the several email newsletters they offered, figuring that since I rarely remember to read TNR, either on paper or screen, it would be a good thing to see in my Inbox. First email arrives today, and the first article I click on is for "Subscribers Only." Screw you! Shouldn't I at least be allowed to read the articles you've sent me without signing up for a subscription? I don't mind "webzines" limiting some of their content to subscribers only, but if your send me an article, as a registered user, shouldn't I be allowed access to at least that content?

John Dvorak at PC Magazine is similarly frustrated, though I'm not sure I agree with his conclusion. The webside folks at Big Media sites are desperate to protect their jobs, since they make no money for the parent company. These constant registration requirements are an attempt to collect as many names as possible, so they can drag a list of email addresses back to their master, like my dog does with the occasional dead bird, hoping they'll get a pat on the head and a cookie. I have no use for the bird, and companies have no real use for all the information they collect, but I admire the pooch's effort to please. Think the folks at NYT are as easily pleased by their pets?

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