May 1, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 9)


Strong Points: Hard to tell
Weak Points: Registration gives virtually no access

A few years ago, someone tried to convince me that I should be writing about “bad websites” in this column. I never could find a reason to do this. It seemed that by mentioning bad sites in the column, I would be giving them publicity that would bring more visitors to their sites, which really wasn’t the sort of thing that you want to encourage. That conversation came back to me after I visited the EcoSal site. Before I get started, I should say that I’m not saying EcoSal has a bad website for content. I was unable to see enough of it to tell. If what is listed on the opening page is accurate, it looks like it probably is a pretty darn good site. The “bad” part of the EcoSal site is twofold. First, you can’t see much without registering. I registered, figuring I’d be able to see the content. Nope. After registering, I gained access to the Table of Contents (which, to be fair, was noted in small print), but nothing else. The second problem? If I wanted to see the content, I had to subscribe. Registration alone asks for everything from your mailing address to your e-mail address to your fax number to your title to blah, blah, blah. For giving all this up, I gained access only to the Table of Contents? Sorry, but no. I didn’t even bother to ask the cost of a subscription. EcoSal wins the prize for the first “bad policy” site in this column. Visitor beware.

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