Oh, the Tangled Registration-only Web We Weave

An article on BusinessWeek Online by Olga Kharif examines the issues with registration-only content. While we all love BugMeNot, Kharif notes that it’s a worry for online publishers.

While this may be a convenience boon to Web surfers, these community registration systems pose a problem for online publishers. To boost ad sales, many content providers require viewers to answer questions about their gender, age, and income level before allowing access to their site. With that information, they can tell their advertisers exactly what kind of demographic groups they would be reaching and then charge a premium to advertise to those readers.

The author included comments from, among others, Lawrence Lessig, Matt Haughey, and Adrian Holovaty. Holovaty posted his comments on his website. My favorite quote of his unfortunately didn’t make the article cut:

They can, and should, drop their registration requirements for viewing content. Registration should only be used when, from a user perspective, it makes sense to do so and it doesn’t make sense NOT to do so.

Finally, the article mentioned Mirrordot.com which helps out us Slashdot readers by automatically mirroring the websites Slashdot links to. Thank you Mirrordot!

[ via Holovaty.com ]

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