I’d like to respond online to an article posted on your website. However, to do that, I have to allow Google+, or LinkedIn, or Yahoo, or one of the other social media sites access to my personal information—which ain’t gonna happen. I seem to have become nothing more than a monetizable bundle of data, rather than an individual worthy of respect. You really need to decide whether you’re “Professional Deck Builders,” or marketers who happen to be using PDB as a medium today and who view loyalty as a manipulable quantity.
Unfortunately there’s not much we can do about our online rules of engagement. The registration process that we use for Forum posts doesn’t work for online article comments, so we have to rely on Facebook or one of the other social media sites to verify that comments come from individuals who have a legitimate interest in the discussion. PDB readers who would like to post comments without registering with a social media platform can send them directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. We can’t repost these comments online, but we can publish them—like this one—as a letter to the editor in the print version of our magazine. A better option is to start a new discussion in our online forums (forums.deckmagazine.com). If you haven’t registered there yet, you’ll find the process much less intrusive than the authentication apps used by the social media platforms, and while you’ll need to provide a valid email address, you’ll be able to remain anonymous. —The Editor