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23 April, 2004

Be like that, then

A certain band with a talent for self-promotion has a discussion forum on its official website, as do many other bands.  From my server logs, I see that a posting at the forum must have commented on something in this blog, as there was a sudden slight increase in traffic (~30 visitors) from the same source.  Curious, I tried to sign up to the forum.

I've been a member of several such groups over the years, so am accustomed to sign-up procedures.  I'm also accustomed to this band's marketing tactics, so knew to offer only the barest minimum of personal details.  Typically, there'd be registration page, a verification e-mail to ensure that some joker wasn't signing me up without my knowledge, then I'd be admitted to the group immediately.

However, the verification e-mail took a couple of hours to arrive, and then astonishingly demanded my name and full postal address. Once I'd provided such details, a moderator would consider the application within three days!

I don't think so. I'm sure the forum software records the login details and IP addresses of participants in case of abuse, so there's no need to collect postal addresses too, unless for marketing purposes, which I consider unacceptable. I'm not aware of any other forum with similar requirements.

Merely having a discussion forum is a valuable promotional resource, and an opportunity for the band to interact with the fanbase; one would think they'd welcome new members rather than impose barriers and lengthy delays. Obliging potential members to help create a junk mailing list is going too far.

Since even criticism is publicity, I'm not going to promote the band by naming it here.

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