Dunno. If someone asked me whether I ever signed lead forms, I wouldn't even know what they were asking. So if I wasn't given the opportunity to ask what this is, hard to say how I'd respond. Were the engineers in the audience given the option to not know, of was this merely a yes/no question?
Maybe it's just me, but could it be that "lead form" is marketing lingo?
I've been to countless conferences or symposiums where people are offered more information on some product or other, if they leave their business card. Hard to believe there's anything odd about this?
I occasionally think I'll enter a competition and the form (on the net or on paper) wants all your personal info down to your grandmother's maiden name. At this point I hit cancel or use the waste basket.
But registering and signing up to newletters from reputable companies like semi manufacturers (or EET) is a different thing - you get some good info out of it, and they will normally let you easily unsubscribe or change your preferences. I've never been wary of doing this.
I'm with you, there's certain information that I generally don't give out but I don't have a problem registering at a repuitable company. Of course, I've got a special email address that I use for that so all the adverts don't clutter my regular inbox. I also don't give out my cell phone number except to people I really want to talk to. Fortunately I still have a landline phone number that I can give out (not that I 'll answer the phone unless it's my mom)
The biggest problem with all these registrations is that you have to have a different password for each one and have to remember what was used for each one. The other problem is remembering that I already registered if I haven't visited the site in a while.
I, and many other designers, do not like having to register to do basic product research like download data sheets and 3D models. At this stage, my interest might be very tenuous (something I might use if the right requirements arise) or exploratory (I'm considering a whole bunch of different options), and I don't want to be bothered by any sales dudes.
Also, I'm much less likely to download a "white paper" if it requires registration (unless I'm very interested) - and I'm a bit of a cynic about all that stuff in general.
There's also a difference between handing someone a person card in person, and signing up for a login -- and then having to remember that darned login everytime you need info, GRRR!!!
Elizabeth wrote: I also don't give out my cell phone number except to people I really want to talk to. Fortunately I still have a landline phone number that I can give out (not that I'll answer the phone unless it's my mom).
So, should we to conclude from this that you didn't give your cell phone number to your mom? :-)
@Elizabeth...passwords.....I tend to use a basic one for things like info sites (manufacturers etc) that hackers would not want to impersonate you on. For sites where I want to be more secure I use the same password with either a date-related suffix (if it has to or should be changed regularly) or else something related to the site as a suffix. Tha way I don't have tooo much to remember, and if I get into something where my basic password does not work, I can usually guess at what I used.
Probably not the most secure way to do things, but it has worked most of the time. My email account did get hacked a few years ago, since then I converted that password to one of the "change regularly" schemes.
I did get tripped up recently, I changed my date-related suffix to something including a $ character, but my bank won't accept $ characters. GRRRRRR....
I am dismayed that articles like this are encouraged and the recent "Business for Engineers: Marketers Lie", that want to polarize engineers and marketers and act like one is better than the other. Next maybe we can trash the bankers - and then the customers and consumers. It's bad enough that we have to listen to Max tell us daily about his sprouts and other non-sense.
Yes, you go to EELive and by signing up you apparently give every company that buys a booth or sends a speaker permission to send you sales material, good and bad. This article seems to just want to say "ha, ha, we tricked you engineers into giving marketers your info by handing out business cards".
Why not stick to real electronics and business issues. It's clear that EEtimes is just trying to whip up reader involvement with comments. Stick to real information, real issues, fair comparisons, and real solutions. Skip the tabloid garbage and get back to being a professional industry periodical.
I'm also with you on the online forms, David. When they get too long, I cancel out.
For the most part, if "lead forms" are forms where you're meant to sign up for an everlasting stream of updates from some particular vendor, I'd almost certainly not do so. If it's just a one time thing, that's different.
For the long term, I'd much rather go search out the information myself. It would be surprising to me if people in general, never mind engineers, didn't feel the same way.