Can only registered users read the forums now?

Occasionally I refer people to CC to read a particular thread. These are people that aren’t interested in registering on CC – they just want to read (for example, the covid threads).

I’ve been told one can only read as an unregistered user for a few minutes before a box comes up requiring a log-in.

I don’t think CC used to be this way. Couldn’t anyone read the forums? Has this changed? If so, why?

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It didn’t and I think it discourages people from visiting CC. I understand that registered viewers helps the marketing/advertising side of things but I think a visitor should be allowed to poke around on a few threads before the pop up occurs. It is like reading a news article that is behind a paywall. If I am able to read a few articles and like the source, I may subscribe. If I can’t even read one article, I’m not likely to subscribe because I have no idea if I will use the subscription.

Maybe link the registration pop up to the search function.

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Agree this is not a good move. I lurked around here for years before I registered. I personally simply do not register for any site, free or pay, that I can’t check out first.

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I agree that this is off putting. I’ve sent students links to threads here on CC, then discovered that they couldn’t read them because they don’t have an account and/or don’t want to create one. A couple of times I tried to read stuff while logged out and the box to create an account popped up after seconds.

I agree with @lookingforanswers :
“I think a visitor should be allowed to poke around on a few threads before the pop up occurs.”

Paging @CCAdminMike .

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Paging @CCAdminJon perhaps this can change?

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If it has to be, a better model would be something like the news sites that give you “X free articles” before cutting you off. Just a thought.

(Sorry @thumper1, meant to reply to thread)

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I had a similar experience pointing people to this thread to let them know what’s next for me. It’s… aggressive. Next week I’d like to look at the data to see how effective the popup actually has been. My intuition is that toning it down a bit will produce better results in terms of registration since people will have more of an opportunity to know what they are missing.

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Good to see you posting Jon. Hope you are well.

Any updates on this issue?

Yes! We looked at the numbers and while the popup was very effective, we didn’t think it was worth losing visitors who didn’t register. So we’ve removed the most aggressive popups that block visitors. We’re also looking at other ways to encourage visitors to register that are less intrusive.

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