Jacksonville.com dumps forced registration (Good!)

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.)

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!

4 Responses to "Jacksonville.com dumps forced registration (Good!)"

  1. Amy Gahran
    Amy Gahran 10 years ago .Reply

    Hi, Steve

    Good question. Personally I wouldn\'t have a problem with writing for print, but it\'s not my first choice, and I would probably only do it if I could augment it effectively with online media and point people to that.

    Part of my work is creating white papers though, and although they\'re generally distributed online, readers usually print them out for reading. So those have to work well as both online and print documents, and usually are packaged as pdfs for that reason.

    – Amy Gahran

  2. Howard Owens
    Howard Owens 10 years ago .Reply

    I\'ve known old journalists who have adapted very nicely to online, and young print journalists who are completely resistant to online reporting.

    It\'s not always an age thing.

  3. Paul Conley
    Paul Conley 10 years ago .Reply

    The idea of working for a print-only publication seems primitive now. I can\'t imagine taking such a gig. Not only would it feel like a step backward, it would feel like career suicide.
    And I\'m 47-years old.

  4. […] 2- Steve Outing breaks it: Jacksonville drops registration for viewing content! Yay! 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.” […]

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