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I think people are starting to suffer from signup fatigue (even with just 3 boxes). Wherever possible, services should get right into the kernel of the experience and ask for registration later.

Seconded; it may be "only" three boxes, but I can browse SO or SE by filling in zero boxes. This reminded me of a site (can't remember which) that comes up in Google results for some UNIX CLI searches I've done and requires sign-in or payment(!) to view community contributed answers. Bugger that for a lark.

Quora? I always avoid Quora links for that reason. Worthless compared with SO.

Experts-Exchange[0], perhaps? There were (are?) some workarounds for getting E-E's full results, but SO/SE is so much better, it doesn't matter what's on E-E anymore.

[0] Don't look here for a link from me, I'd rather not encourage them by sending traffic their way.

I hate to be a citation dodger, but partly due to laziness, and partly due to not wanting to send any traffic their way, I didn't bother digging up what site it was. I'm all for paying for expert opinion when a) it's better than I could do and b) the people providing the expertise get the majority of the money. Charging money for unverified, uncompensated answers? Too lame. I am one of those people who used SO/SE for quite some time and finally signed up for an account when I stumbled upon a question I had an answer for. I don't mind giving back, much as I didn't mind contributing to CDDB until Gracenote ruined it. Whatever other gripes I might have with SO/SE, I think it's so successful because of its model.

Yes. I was interested in the site, went to the page, saw the signup boxes, and left.

Went to the site, was annoyed by the sign-in requirements, and left.

Came here to write a comment, then decided to go back to the site. It accepts joe@example.com as a valid email. Typed throwaway password.

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