“Greetings! You have been selected….” Isn’t that how the Selective Service Board used to start their notices after you registered for the draft? This may be your chance to ‘register’ for something better: a (free) Sharpologist account, so you can get more cool shaving-related stuff. Here’s the skinny.
Back when Sharpologist first started there was a way to register users on the site. It didn’t really do anything though–it was just one of those “blogging things” web sites were supposed to do. But spam registrations started to become a problem and, after the site changed hosting platforms a few years ago, registrations were abandoned and emails were used to distribute information (Sharpologist’s email list has almost 10,000 subscribers now).
As the hosting platform has matured, more features have been implemented. Some of the features can be used in a completely open fashion: portfolios (that Sharpologist uses for the “Shave Of The Day”) and podcasts come to mind.
However, other features require a “membership model” where someone needs to be logged in so the site can associate the status of a member with a feature they are using. This is for things like a “Learning Management System” (LMS, i.e. online courses), a Q&A area, and content upgrades based on user preferences.
Up until now I have been reluctant to open registrations back up: some features take time to manage and others were just not quite “ready for prime time.” Besides…who wants to keep track of one more username and password if it’s not necessary?
But now I think a case can be made for member registrations. The LMS has matured and supports multi-media so video demonstrations become a lot easier. A basic Q&A area (not a “forum”) could be useful for a lot of people. It is possible to tailor additional content based on preferences or special interests that a member specifies on registration.
A concern is the possibility of those already subscribed to Sharpologist’s mailing list getting duplicate content. I believe I can get around that though, as long as the user registers with the same email address as they subscribed to the mailing list.
Would online shaving classes (like for my long-awaited straight razor shaving course!) and other upgraded content be worth remembering another password to you? I understand this may not be a “slam-dunk” decision: fully one-third of Sharpologist readers are not on social media (Facebook, Twitter, G+, etc.) at all and many of the rest are not particularly active, so having yet another web-based application may not be terribly exciting. But I think there may be value to a membership area.