The newspapers just don’t get it.

The Sacramento Bee has a couple of articles in the Saturday Home & Garden Section about Latin names for plants. One is called “Key to the plant Kingdom” while the next is “Talking Plants, Latin: A dead language that grows on you.”

We thought it was great that the garden editor Pat Rubin felt it important enough to write about. If you remember we had quite a discussion about Latin names in June. Just goes to show you that garden bloggers are blazing trails.

I wanted to comment at the paper about this but to get on the comment section of their web page means first you have to register. Most of the time when you register all you need is a name, password, and e-mail address. I don't subscribe to the paper so I was shunted to the special registration section for non-subscribers. The fact that I often buy the paper out of the newstand doesn't count. So once there I ask myself why does The Bee want my physical address? Why a first and last name? My phone number, are you kidding? Birth year and gender?

What I can’t figure out is why so many of these newspapers require this kind of information to take part. Many of the gardening sections of many major newspapers require information you just are not going to supply. I notice that there are almost never any comments, so I must not be the only one who doesn’t register.

The newspapers are facing incredible pressure from the internet so they put up an online presence, yet make it hard for people to take part by requiring them to provide information no one is going to provide. You just know that soon as you give them your address they will start sending you subscription requests for the print issue. Why else would they want my address?

We like reading the Saturday Bee and enjoy the garden articles they print. If they want people to participate in the online presence they need to drop the requirement that we provide anything other than a name, e-mail, and password.

Maybe the papers don’t want us to participate?