Stop asking for user information

I was just visiting Cleveland.com to check out some information about the Browns, and my blood pressure has just risen.

The site, as always, asked for my information — location, age and sex. I’ve typed it in countless times over the past 10 years or whatever. Every time I login on a new computer or empty my cache and cookies on my current one, I have to type it in again.

This has been going on for years. Clearly, their data is skewed heavily by the fact that people like me enter the same exact data. That’s not exactly a great way to gather information.

It’s one thing to ask people to do this once when they sign up for an account, but it’s another thing to tie it into a cookie. So, as you can guess, I’ve been placing fake information in for the past year or two because I am so fed up with it. It really aggravates me.

I’m sure The Plain Dealer and Cleveland.com really enjoy all the erroneous information they are giving advertisers. Here is a simple solution: get rid of that stupid information request!

It’s so annoying that I often click out of the site before viewing a story. I’m not alone either. And other sites need to stop making people register so they can  view basic content like stories.

Are you really gaining valuable information from these processes? Of course not. Plenty of people type in erroneous information and it sends others away because it is an unnecessary step.

If you want accurate information find a more scientifically proven method to gather data for advertisers. But don’t annoy your users just so they can view your content. Plenty of sites do not do this, and users are more than willing to go to their sites to view content instead.

Are you listening New York Times? CNN doesn’t make me register, which is probably why I go to their site more often. It’s just more user friendly.

We just want to view the content. Nothing more.

If I register for a site, it better be for a good reason. If sites have social networking or customization features, it makes sense to offer registration? But requiring registration to read a story?

Get real.

  • http://wmhartnett.com/ William M. Hartnett

    I’ve always wondered how many 100-year-old women in the 90210 ZIP code are in the databases of all those awful Advance Internet newspaper sites. That’s the info I always enter, anyway.

  • http://www.patthorntonfiles.com pat

    If there was one company that clearly didn’t get the Internet, it is Advance. They have taken three of the largest papers in the country and given them three of the worst journalism Web sites.

    That’s one company I would have no interest in working for anytime soon.