Reply To: Login required & Hacker Ethic

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(re: Login in required) Login Requirement – Who said I subscribe to the Hacker ethic? If you read the book Hackers, I’m actually the villain in the book. Steve Levy (the author) thought I was wrong to publish computer games. He thought all software should be free, and I was just profiting from the creative work of others. The SierraGamers site has been around for three or so years (including the time when it was Prior to the last month, it had collected exactly ZERO email addressess. Since I took it over, we’ve collected around 500 or so. I would never resell these names, but do want to collect them for a very important reason. My goal is to collect the largest email list possible. Sooner or later Roberta and I may do something again. When we do, it will help us in our marketing efforts to have a way to quickly “get the word out” to the most likely group of potential buyers. My background was in direct marketing. I believe a large well-targeted mailing (emailing) list is crucial to success. I will only use this list to announce something I consider to be VERY big news – such as Roberta and I starting on a game. I will not use it for spam (although purists would argue that the purpose I’m thinking of IS spam). By doing what I’m doing, I’m collecting a list, at a decent pace. If I drop the login requirement, site visitation might go up, but list size growth would go down. It costs me both time and dollars to operate the site. It seems a fair trade to me that I get to build a mailing list along the way. If someone disagrees, that’s their right. It’s like television – if I ever don’t like a program, I change channels. In actuality, the odds are that the email addresses collected will never be used. I seriously doubt Roberta or I will ever build another game. We both want to, but we don’t want to get into working with a huge team, and the kinds of products that succeed in today’s world are multi-million dollar projects with 50 or more people working for years on them. The idea of sitting still for two or more years, and dealing with the bureaucracy of a large team isn’t very appealing. Whereas if I could find something that Roberta could design, and I could program – we’d definitely do something.
-Ken W
PS One more thought on the “login” issue. I also need to start work on having an “official” privacy policy, and a “end user agreement” for this website. Theoretically, someone could post something offensive, or inflammatory and I could find myself in litigation over the website. I need to put people through some sort of registration so that they can accept responsibility for anything they post on the site (and, agree not to sue me for anything they see on the site that they don’t like).