By Steve Outing
Since I’m on record as opposing mandatory user registration (and supporting voluntary schemes with incentives) for news websites, I’m encouraged by this news: “Registration is no longer required for viewing content on Jacksonville.com, the (Florida) Times-Union’s Web site.”
Explaining the switch away from forced registration, a story by Wayne Ezell notes, “In a recent national study, 54 percent of Internet users surveyed by the Pew Internet and American Life Project said they had never registered at a Web site in order to obtain news or information. That is a group too large to ignore; its size is one reason newspapers are relaxing registration requirements.”
Further: “Registration will continue to be required on Jacksonville.com for anyone who wants to contribute content. This would include responding to message boards or blogs, uploading photos or contributing such content as announcements, calendar items or columns. The reason for this is obvious: The site’s managers need to know who is posting content in order to ensure it is valid and appropriate.”
The site will use occasional site surveys, voluntary registrations and other market research to get the same kind of information as from mandatory user registration. … That’s smart.
(Thanks to Randy Cassingham for the pointer.)