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August 11, 2007


Susan Humphrey

I just read that WSJ.com has agreements with Lexis Nexis, Facitva, Congoo and several other distributors that specifically prohib them from removing the pay wall. They might go free but they will have to pay millions in settlements to do it.

Jon Strande


Thank you for the comment and the info - any chance you've could send a link to that story?

Thank you!



You notice the weather channel had to move away from reporting just weather into more sensationalism, like "Storms of the Century" and stuff, right? To compete for ad dollars.

WSJ can't do what Google controls attention, and all the new traffic to WSJ will come from Google. Google's model is to make money off other people's work/content. That's why they would love the WSJ to open up.


The comparison between WSJ and Weather Channel reporting is less-than-apt, I think. True, TWC has a powerful disincentive to mis-report the weather: the inaccuracies are easily verifiable by nearly anyone.

This is not the case with the kind of in-depth reporting provided by WSJ. The research and the conclusions are neither transparent nor accessible. This leaves ample room for outright manipulation as well as the softer slide to sensationalism. The feedback loop is simply too long (measured in weeks or months, rather than hours or days) to provide a disincentive strong enough to overcome to bottom-line impact of massive ad revenue.

I agree with Rob that tendency to misreport would simply become too strong over time. I like the first alternative you mention, though (old content becomes free). It allows WSJ to participate in the online community without being driven by attention spikes.



Actually, I've stopped going to the Weather Channel website, because their advertisements are so intrusive and obnoxious. I use Google Desktop's widget or other sites for most of my weather info because of this.

Jon Strande

Rob, yeah, they have become more tabloid-like in their coverage... death, destruction, etc. I really liked your post on what WSJ should do!

Dan, yeah, not apples to apples... I was just trying to come up with a site to use for comparison and TWC had some top of mind awareness for me, I was working on the "Keeping Attention" post at the same time... good points!

Djm, if that is really your name (wink), i've actually been using the weather widget on my phone - using TWC mostly when there is news of a storm.

Thank you all for the comments!!


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