Online Issues  | American Journalism Review
 AJR  Letters
From AJR,   August/September 2003

Online Issues   

Steve Yelvington says Web sites have "users and good users" and if a site requires registration, any traffic lost "is not interesting traffic" ("Searching for Online Gold," June/July).

Why should I register for any site and subject myself to even more spam from advertisers who are given the information? I'll just go to a site that doesn't require registration. There are still plenty of these enlightened sites around that respect my privacy.

Mr. Yelvington thinks I'm not a "good user." I see myself as an intelligent, discriminating user who will not fall prey to unscrupulous marketing tactics. The realities of his world don't jibe with mine.

Frank Absher
St. Louis Journalism Review
St. Louis, Missouri

Registration data from newspaper Web sites supposedly can give "the advertising staff detailed demographic data, which they can use to build the reader portraits that clients demand." But I've lost track of how many such sites now think I'm an 18-year-old in Nebraska who makes more than $100,000 per year.

Needless to say, that's wrong, wrong and wrong--as is the assumption that these vast pools of demographic "data" have any real value at all.

Chris Thomas
News editor
The Olympian
Olympia, Washington



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