A few weeks ago we pointed out that the Houston Chronicle had come to the bright conclusion (after years of folks saying it to them over and over again) that online registration was a net negative. It pissed off their users and drove them away. For those who did register, they often gave bogus information or used BugMeNot -- which completely dilutes the purpose of having a registration system (to use the demographics to sell premium advertising). One by one, it seems other papers are figuring it out as well. The latest is the Toronto Star which is ditching their mandatory online registration system, admitting that having traffic is a good thing: "We believe that in order to be competitive in the online news and information space, growth of both audience and page impressions will be the cornerstone of our success." It's almost scary that it's taken newspapers this long to recognize this simple fact.
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