Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Registry Woes

I just gave this post that title so you might think it has to do with baby registries and be more inclined to check it out. (Baby-happy ladies, at least. Some people, of course, would think that and run the other direction.)

Anyway, no. What I really want to gripe about today is the concept of websites hosting contests for things and demanding that people register--provide their personal contact info--before voting. Four times in the last couple weeks, friends have e-mailed or blogged about some fun contest they've entered--best blog, cutest pet halloween costume, or best gospel song rendition. Each time, I happily click on the link to go vote for my friend, look at other contestants, and see what the website is all about. Three of those times, though (to Southwest Airlines' credit, they are the exception, not making me register to vote for their new "blog-o-spondent") I have been required to register with the site before voting. Sadly, I just "X" out of the site immediately, irritated that I can't join in the fun unless I sign up for the site's presumably endless marketing communiques.

Marketing minds, are you with me here? I understand that in most cases, the reason the site hosts the contest to begin with is to attract new customers. However, surely there is a benefit to just raising consumer awareness about your company, and improving your reputation by making people think of you as a fun and engaging. Forcing people to divulge too much before they know anything about you and what you offer seems more of a turn-off than a brand-boosting move.

Do you agree, or should I just pony up the info and click the opt-out button?


alison b said...

i agree it's annoying, but i am one of those people too. when you're on the "collect info" end, it's different.

what i do when i don't want the contact emails from the company is use a bogus email address.

Lisa said...

Sorry, Jessica, since I know I sent you a request to vote for Cooper in the Halloween contest. I won't do it again since I don't want to face your blog wrath! :) As an aside, though, that site doesn't send you anything and you can use a fake e-mail address. But, point taken!

Anonymous said...

I hate that, too. I used to know a site that would give you fake usernames and passwords to use to sign in (I used it all the time when I was working at the Pluralism Project and had to be "registered" for all these news sites in order to read the news for my job) but it's been so long since I've used it that I can't remember the site anymore... it was a pretty awesome and quick way to beat the system ;O)


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