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registration required (every few months it seems)

On election night 2004 I was following the results hopefully clicking from site to site. Seeing news about polls being kept open by a judge in Missouri and voting machine malfunctioning Ohio. The the signature experience of the evening (other than the deep morbidity that set in the next morning when the results sank in) was registration required newspaper websites. I kept following links from blogs to this or that story and many sites required registration. This was frustrating as my primary email was not webmail. My hard drive based emails were set up on different PCs all over the house. And the speed of these emails was a problem.

By election night 2006 I had a plan. and I had set up accounts with major regional papers. This helped, in addition I read a lot on the web about Intellectual property and technology, and have registered with countless sites. (meaning I stopped counting). I understand that these sites need to know a little about me before they give me the content for free. I respect their business model and feel that it is a fair exchange.

BUT why do they keep forgetting me?! I'm not talking about OpenID. I'm annoyed by these sites not recognizing my username/email/passwords anymore. Do they wipe their databases every 3 months? that is what it seems like. I have been involved with several website migration that included a great deal of effort put into migrating user credentials. And some where the leadership determined that migrating the users was not worth the effort.

I would imagine that the quarterly academic journal websites that I work on cause this same level of frustration.

I would like to say that 15 years after the creation of the world wide web we should do better! And the business leadership ought to recognize the impact to their marketing teams, customers and end users when they say that it is ok to replace the login credentials every two years along with a graphic redesign.

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