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Sunday, April 03, 2005

Boston.com Registration--Boo!

Boston.com is going over to the dark side. I'll let them explain:

Yes, we know, we know -- it's a bother. And we don't like to bother you. So why are we doing it? We have two really good reasons:

1. We want to know you better. Seeing how many users read a story or do the crossword puzzle is limited research; we want to give you more of the stories and features you like.

2. Our advertisers want to reach those who are most interested in their products. So if you live in a certain geographic area, for example, one of our retailers might place an ad for a store near you on the pages you visit.

Sorry, but neither of these are good reasons. You can accomplish #1 pretty easily without having users register on your site. Even I have a site counter, so that's not hard to do, and I imagine a real web site can break things down more fully and figure out the number of people who view an article. The second reason is basically because they want more ad revenue. If it keeps their content free, so be it, but I'm not enthused by ads in general, and I do everything I can to ignore them when they appear on my screen.

How about adding an RSS feed for Globe articles while you're at it so I won't have to deal with visiting your site any more now?