December 28, 2003

THE HARTFORD COURANT SUCKS LIKE A BILGE PUMP: At least, its online registration does. After asking for all sorts of personal information, it rejected me several times for reasons that weren’t clear. Sorry guys — you just wrote yourselves out of my media universe. And I doubt I’m the only one.

UPDATE: For some thoughts on registration, read this.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Jeff Jarvis weighs in: “But like Glenn, when faced with the need to give blood type and sexual history and SAT scores and with the even more troubling need to try my feeble memory with another damned user name and password for a site I may visit once a year via a link, I often turn and run. Not worth it.”

Nope, it’s not. And I was looking to link to a business article in the Courant for my TCS column this week. That link would have sent many thousands of interested readers to the Courant, which you’d think that the Courant would like. But I knew that most of them wouldn’t bother to work through the onerous registration process, so I found a similar story somewhere else and linked to that one, instead. Yeah, there are workarounds — Jeff mentions some — but while I use them sometimes, I can’t expect people who read a column to know them. So I just put in a link to a publication that actually wants readers.

The Web’s a big place, and I can usually do that. But the sheer stupidity of these schemes irritates me. What are these people thinking? I think that they’re thinking like local-monopoly newspaperists, that’s what. And that won’t work on the Web.

Heck, judging by newspaper circulation figures, it doesn’t even work in print.