I'm diverging from credit and debt today to introduce you to an invaluable online service: bugmenot.com.
Compulsory registrations at online media outlets are a huge problem for bloggers such as myself. I want to offer readers a link to news stories that are of interest to this blog, and often add my take on the article.
If you've been with this blog from the beginning, you know I HATE compulsory registrations:
They violate your privacy.
They generate SPAM.
They're an annoying waste of time.
They're stupid–I never give my real email address to them.
The keep eyeballs from seeing the content your advertisers are paying for.
All of this is echoed on the bugmenot.com FAQ page.
Bugmenot stores registrations and passwords for over 20,000 web sites. The next time you're trying to get to an article that's hosted by the NY Times or Kansas City Star and find that you're impeded by some asinine registration/login page, pull up bugmenot.com, type in the url, and you'll be given account names and passwords to bypass the marketing survey and surrender of your email address.
Eventually, online editions of newspapers will give up this silliness. I don't feel the slightest bit bad about using bugmenot. I'm trying to direct traffic to them with this weblog, after all. The least they could do is not muck up the works with a stupid, waste-of-time, pointless registration process.