E&P: Media General sites close to requiring registration

JizzMasterZero writes: According to a story on the web site of the trade magazine Editor & Publisher, more and more newspapers are moving to require registration for their web sites. Apparently, papers that have started requiring registration haven’t seen a decline in visitors, and now they can even make money by selling users’ demographic information! Aren’t newspaper publishers great?! Here’s the operative paragraph for Charlottesville readers: “In a report to Wall Street analysts in December, executives from Media General Inc. of Richmond, Va., said: ‘The standard metric for successful Web operations is becoming registered users. We have increased the number of opportunities for our users to identify themselves,’ including registration for e-mail services. A spokesman says the chain plans to step up both registration and paid content this year.” Those are the only specifics for the company, and there’s no word on which papers — the Progress? — it’ll apply to.

Requiring registration to read a website is horrible in so many ways, not the least of which is that it presents a major obstacle to easy use, and therefore drastically devalues links to that site. Worse yet, it’s one more login and password to remember, something that we could all do without. Let’s hope that the Progress doesn’t make this blunder.

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