Never sign up for ZDNet white papers

Today, I googled about the new features of Windows PE 2.0. I found a ZDNet page offering a white paper about this topic. When I clicked on the link, I was told that I have to register first to get the paper. Usually, this is the point where I go back to Google.

However, ZDNet usually is a trustworthy source, so grudgingly I filled out the form where they wanted to know my name, my e-mail address, my postal address, my phone number, my occupation, my company, etc.

After I confirmed my new ZDNet account at my dummy email address, I finally got the white paper. You won't believe what I received! It simply was a link to Microsoft's web site about Windows PE 2.0. So, ZDNet only links to external sites if you give them your phone number first.

Of course, none of the info I gave them was valid. Did you ever fill out such a form correctly? I am absolutely not interested in phone calls of enthusiastic marketing guys. What is the sense of this stupid registration process, anyway?

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3 Comments
  1. nick 14 years ago

    I must admit I am not a fan of the current paradigm of 'everbody register' that seems to have infected many many websites.

    http://www.bugmenot.com is a great one that I am aware of, I'm sure there are more out there.

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  2. IT Blogwatch 14 years ago

    Thelma Arnold's personal A-O-Hell (and caveat emp...

    Run and hide, it's IT Blogwatch, in which AOL users find their privacy compromised. Not to mention cheap retro gaming consoles (buyer beware)......

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  3. [...] Of course, there are sites that I do register with because they provide a service that I consume, but as Michael Pietroforte notes in his never sign up for ZDNet white papers post, sometimes it’s just a way to get your details (in this case from a company which has been accused of being a Spamhaus) and then refer you to a vendor’s own freely-available information. [...]

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