games industry web 2.0

This is 2009: stop asking for fake email addresses

This came from a perfectly nice-seeming person, so I took it as genuine. Until I discovered the site I’d been lured in to. Very disappointing.

Unsolicited email I received today:

Hi Adam,
I’m the editor of and I wanted to share the news that T=Machine is a hit with our readers. If you haven’t checked out these two gaming sites you’ll see that we’re dedicated to highlighting the best videogame and MMO content on the Web every day.

I enjoyed your recent Focused Work-Hours post. Your commentary on the Studio Manifesto ideology was spot on.

We’re currently contacting our most popular featured bloggers on these sites and asking them to claim their blogs. By doing so, you’re making it easier for thousands of new fans to quickly find your blog and read all your great posts.

To quickly and easily claim your blog on, click this link:

What does that link do?

  1. Goes to a page with a big advert for
  2. Once you find the relevant image-link (hint: it’s neither a link nor a button, but a custom graphic), you can click-through to “claim my blog”
  3. Now you get asked for:
    1. Name
    2. username
    3. password
    4. email address
    5. CAPTCHA
    6. …I think 1 or 2 other fields, but I’d stopped reading and closed the window at this point

My reaction

Let’s get this straight: you want ME to signup to a site I never use, to promote YOUR site and create content that YOU monetize (but don’t pay me for!) … and – even though you already have my name, email address, and blog info – I have to jump through signup hoops for the “priviledge” of earning YOU extra money?

Some people / companies just really don’t understand the world, I think.

Or it’s a scam.

The site seemed to work OK, so I’m assuming it’s NOT a scam – just shocking naivety on the behalf of the people that run it.

Just to be clear

There is nothing in the entire website I can see that requires a username or password. It’s probably part of the fetish a lot of web-designers have for taking people’s email addresses at every opportunity.

Tragically, in my experience, a lot of them don’t even intend to monetize it in the future – they’re just making the user jump through hoops “because everyone else does it”.

And, finally

Good luck to the people running the site. Something like that could be quite useful. Although I can’t help wondering what it does that makes it significantly better than Technorati or Digg. Or any of the many clones of those two that appeared over the years.

e.g. I’d suggest you try if you’re looking for this kind of thing.

2 replies on “This is 2009: stop asking for fake email addresses”

I feel the exact same way about username/password combos… I truly believe that this is the era of OpenID, and I’ve started to make decisions about websites based solely on their (usually, lack of) OpenID support. At this point, if you aren’t on the Fortune 500 (and even then…) and don’t have any desktop applications do you really need a walled username/password garden to access your content or contribute to your “community”?

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