Posting Date: September 08, 2003
Who Cares About Andy Roddick -- So today I read a quick story about Andy Roddick. He just won the U.S. Open. I did a search for him on Google to learn more, and I found his official web site. Fine. No problem. Then I clicked on a link to read about his U.S. Open victory and I'm told that "You have reached a Members Only area" -- say what? Are you kidding me? Why the &$%^#*! would I register for this site? Whatever. I'm not going to spend any more time at Andy's site. What a complete waste of my time.
But wait, there's more. Check out the registration page. One required field is gender. That's just stupid. Another required field birthday. WTF!? That's bullshit.
It'll be much easier when we get our MS Barcodes fitted.
Point taken, but what do you do if you want to get access to the content, but do not want create a bogus account yourself?
Well, there is a Netiqette rule that whoever comes first across a site that requires 'free' registration, will create a 'guest account' using 'username' and 'password' as the username/password combination!
Check it out, it already worked for the Andy Roddick site, as this u/p combination works for many others...
E-sy News (http://www.e-synews.org.uk/) is a classic of its kind - it's a site for publicising success stories and a 'research area for interested journalists', yet you can't read any of the stories without going through the registration process - ridiculous!
The Netiquette rule is a very good one; unfortunately this site uses your email address as the username. If anyone wants to look at the site (unlikely I know), I've registered 'firstname.lastname@example.org' with the password 'password'.
There are obvious usability problems with displaying links to information that you don't have rights to view. This must be a case where the marketers have won out over the usability people.
I wonder if the marketers understand the long-term impact of forcing registration for basic content? Nobody will want to link to this site if the content's restricted. In the long run, other Andy Roddick sites may achieve higher search rankings, simply because they are easier to link to.
On the other hand, if Anna Kournikova wanted my name and number, it might be different....
> Nobody will want to link to this site if the content's restricted.
Malarkey! High traffic sites like Slashdot and Fark link to registration-required, private-information-required and cookie-required sites all the time. If you want to turn the tide, start complaining to every web site you use that supports this crap, or stop visiting the crap supporters all together!
You just don't &$%^#*! get it. C'mon, Andy's only been a pro since 2000. (You'll find this on the public page titled "facts" on his web site.) So he's already been a pro for three years and you just never know when a career might suddenly end, especially in a high-impact sport like tennis. I mean look at Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, and Billy Jean King...it's tragic what happened to them.
Andy's only taken home $4,620,311.00 in prize money over his WHOLE CAREER ($2,705,662.00 of it this year), so he needs you to register so he has something to retire on (Spam Mailing List Sales).
Give the guy a break. I mean he may have just won the U.S. Open, but clearly he's a hair's breadth from retirement and then death. And you sit here and bitch because they asked if you have a "thingy" or not. Can't you empathize? Those millions aren't going to last him forever. He's trying to ensure he'll have food in the cupboard next month and you're just being a whiney sod about it.
You probably kick puppies too.
(For those of you, not like John, who DO care, I'm starting a new charity: Save Andy Roddick from Starvation Now (SARS-Now). Let me know if you'd like to lend your support.)
John, I just pray that someday you'll see the light and actually register on Andy's site. Then you'll understand all the glorious benefits that come with "Members Only" access.
...I'm off to register as an official "member" now. I just hope Andy's online so I can chat with him and make sure he's okay. The stress he's under must be nearly unbearable. Maybe he'll even auction off a sweaty towel or two on eBay. Keep your fingers crossed!...
...There. It's done. I'm officially a "member." I stand in awe of the news and photos I now have access to. In over eight years online I've never seen anything to compare with this world of heavenly content. I'm in tears. ...and (nearly) speechless.
So ... the site is free but you've got to register first. Seems fair enough to me.