Compete.com registeration

April 2, 2007

I was trying to get some traffic stats and I went to Compete.com to get it. The links on the home page were not working and so I decided to register. They asked me some prickly questions:

  • Salary
  • Gender
  • Year of Birth

I was a bit unnerved about being asked for these tidbits, but since I wanted the data, I continued with the registeration. After the registeration, I checked my account options. It turned out that they decided to sign me up for their newsletters, without asking for my permission.

So they are follwing an auto opt-in strategy. I had to take myself off their emails.

While start-ups need traffic, I think its unethical to sign-up users on email lists without asking their permission. When a company adopts this approach, it runs the risk of getting caught by spam blockers. Its much easier to press the “report spam” button (in Gmail for example) than it is to unsubscribe. Overall, an unhealthy approach to increasing traffic.

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