Maps101 – The problem with commercial education websites
I was looking up some domain names to register (I always look, but only own 2 domains) and thought of geography101.com. When I found it was taken I had to go see what great site had grabbed up that morsel of education goodness. I was definitely disappointed by what I found.
The URL forwarded me to maps101.com, another great domain name sure, but a login blocked web site that tauts that they are “The online learning program for teachers, librarians, students and parents, featuring thousands of maps, classroom activities, educational quizzes and more”. Unfortunately I will never know if this is true since there is not a single piece of information that can be accessed without logging in…other than subscription information that is.
With so many web companies realizing that in order to better monetize their products they have to loosen the reigns a little you would think more companies would take note. If you are an education oriented website with thousands of items, couldn’t you put a few out for people who stumble by to take a look? Even the Discovery Channel’s new education service/website (the name is escaping me) offers a few samples to get you hooked before you plunk down the cash to join. I am not suggesting that Maps101.com shouldn’t pay a few salaries, just provide a little content to help educate the masses AND lure the interested in for more.
Either way, if you are at an institution that has Maps101, leave a comment or send us a review to post so that we can know what it is like in the inner sanctum.
I should point out that they do mention a Free Trial option. But come on, we are on the web, who has the attention span to sign up for a free trial that doesn’t pop-up right away.