If you want me to read it, then don’t ask me to register

I really hate it when organizations, individuals, companies, whatever try to make me jump through hoops just so they can provide me something for free.

Case in point … I received an email that read in part (click the image to view it full sized):


Thinking their whitepaper might be of interest – since I’ve been working on several mobile learning projects – I clicked the link … only to come to a web page that required me to register first.  Before I could access even a summary of the paper’s contents I had to give my name, email address, name of the company for which I work, and my location (country and state).  Only after submitting this registration would I be allowed to peruse this paper. What is more, it was entirely unclear as to 1) why they felt it necessary to gather this information from me and 2) what they’d do with the information should I indeed give it to them. (click the image to view it full sized)


Ya know – if your whitepaper is so great and if you REALLY want folks to access it, then don’t make me jump through any registration hoops to get it.  Offering your paper wthout any catches or requirements for me to provide personal information will go a long way to my recommending your organization to others.  But instead, this organization thought to be total a-holes (imho).

Maybe this whitepaper is quite good – but I’ll never know because I’m not going to register to get it.


About Rory

I make my home in the central part of the Garden State along with my family. When I'm not working as an Instructional Designer (focusing mostly on Web-Based learning ... and other eLearning technologies) or researching something, I'm found at home playing computer or video games. Among other things, I volunteer as a choir member and catechist for 8th graders at my parish.
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2 Responses to If you want me to read it, then don’t ask me to register

  1. Paul Bogan says:

    First thing I do when I see that is check their privacy policy. There’s no need for anyone to have that information (in my mind, at least), so I generally suspect that my name’s about to be sold to one or more marketing companies. I could understand if someone wanted to get a feel for their readership, but to do that they wouldn’t need anything that identified you specificially… you could go for a couple of “blind items” (like ZIP code) without the identifiers, for instance.

    But then, maybe I’m just paranoid.

  2. Rory says:

    Paul – I completely agree (no, you’re not just paranoid!). The rub with the example I posted about is that this was from a very large, well-established company … SumTotal.
    There’s no reason at all to collect that information from me just so I can read their whitepaper. I couldn’t even read a summary of the paper to see if it was even worth the bother.
    And because of that I’m calling SumTotal a stupid stupid company!

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