Favorites: Bug Me Not

I received some questions on the Bug Me Not aspect of my favorite Firefox Extensions post. Therefore I will go into Bug Me Not a little more extensively.

Bug Me Not describes itself in its FAQ as:

BugMeNot.com was created as a mechanism to quickly bypass the login of web sites that require compulsory registration and/or the collection of personal/demographic information (such as the New York Times).

In a nutshell some users register for websites that require registration. These users then share the information with the Bug Me Not website, which makes it available to anyone who uses it site. This means that anyone can access the particular site by using the other information rather than having to register for themselves.

According to the Bug Me Not website, the most popular site include the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and IMDB.

Some people may question whether it is ethical to use a service such as Bug Me Not. If this question interests you, you should join the discussion. On the flip side, Bug Me Not will voluntarily block a site from its service if:

  • The users pay to access information on the site; or
  • The site requires users to register to post comments, but does not require registration to view information; or
  • There is a risk of fraud.

I myself take a two pronged approach. On sites I regularly use that require registration (for example Chicago Tribune) I fill out their registration. I figure that they are regularly providing me with information. I can provide them some information about their readership.

If, however, the Dayton Daily News has a interesting news story one day, I don’t want to have to fill out a complicated form to read a single news story in a newspaper that I will never read again.

To use Bug Me Not, you can go to their website and search for the website you are using. Alternatively, you can install the Firefox Extension for Bug Me Not. This extension allows you to log in to website simply by right clicking in the user name field and choose Login Using Bug Me Not.

Both the extension and the service are easy to use. If you have ever been frustrated by one of those mandatory registrations, then this extension and service are for you.