Tuesday, November 16

Down with registration for marketing purposes!

You probably already know about BugMeNot.com because it's such an Idea Whose Time Has Come (IWTHC) but in case you haven't, you should (am I making any sense?)

Bugmenot is the solution for all those websites that ask you to register before you can get anything useful from them, and your registration details are then used for marketing purposes. It's increasingly common with newspaper websites, for instance, to require you to register with them before you can read a news story.

I understand where newspapers are coming from, and they have every right to do so. Just as I have every right to use something that subverts their marketing data acquisition, like bugmenot.com.

It works like this: people submit user IDs and passwords that are valid for the sites they use (bugmenot already has IDs and passwords for 36,558 sites). Then, when you want to, say, read a news story that requires registration, instead of creating a new user ID and password, you flip to bugmenot (handy extensions for Firefox and IE make it simple). Enter the URL of the site and hit 'show logins' and Bugmenot displays user IDs and passwords you can use to login with, get the story you need, and get out again, all without leaving a trace for the marketers.


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