Knowledge@Wharton : Forwarding clarification
A simple phrase addresses a frustration of 'Send to a friend' services.
Knowledge@Wharton, the online journal of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton school of business, gives a simple indication in its article-forwarding service about the accessibility of the material to recipients.
Knowledge@Wharton makes articles on its site openly available for 30 days after publication before access is restricted to members (registration is free). All articles include the option to ‘Send to a friend’. Clicking the captioned icon (an open envelope and forwarding arrow) leads to a message form requiring users to fill in a From and To e-mail address. Alongside the latter field is the advice “subscription not required for recipient”. The article appears in the body of the message.
‘Send to a friend’ options are standard web furniture and the combination of familiarity and ease of use means they show no sign of being shunted off to the attic by some of the new social bookmarking sites. However, the service is not without its frustrations for recipients and by extension their sender friends. One of the biggest is discovering that as the recipient you need to register with the host site to see the full article if it sits in a members’ only archive or news room – which is quite often the case.
While there are perfectly understandable marketing or commercial reasons behind restricting access in this way, they come with a downside for ‘Send to a friend’ users. Knowledge@Wharton recognises the self-defeating potential in this and has moved to eliminate the negative, first by freeing access to the nominated article and second – and equally important – letting senders know at the point of transmission. Simple but oh so user-friendly.http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu
First published on 20 September, 2007