Social Bookmarking Should Not Be Overlooked By Journalists

The “new and improved” Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal unveiled a new look this morning. Without mentioning Google News or Yahoo! News by name, the Journal’s publisher, L. Gordon Crovitz, says the impetus for the change was “the great change in recent years in how you get news and information. You now get updated throughout the day from many different sources, print and online.”

Along with the Journal’s new design and smaller size, there are new features. For example, there’s a new online Markets Data Center, free at www.WSJMarkets.com.

Meanwhile, over at WSJ.com — which is providing free access to the site today — you’ll find improved search, staff-written blogs, videos and podcasts, reader forums, and MyWSJ.com.

Unfortunately, the only Journal articles you can find in Google News are a couple of “free features” each business day. You can’t even find these in Yahoo! News. In other words, you will still need to be a subscriber to access any of the “new and improved” Online Journal content … tomorrow.

For an icon in business journalism that prides itself for a 1934 innovation, its What’s News summaries, the Journal has taken — shall I say — a “very conservative” approach to its online offerings.

To see a more “liberal” approach, check out Washingtonpost.com. In addition to being indexed by Google News and Yahoo! News, its articles also provide del.icio.us, Digg, reddit, Google, Yahoo!, and Facebook bookmarks.

Which is the better approach? Remind me to take another look — about a year from now.

Social bookmarking is the way to go. If you want readers to read your news stories, you’ve got to get the word out there and you have to penetrate the Web as deep as you can. Then, you can charge premium prices for your advertising. WSJ has always been a little stuffy so it may not go the “democratic” route.

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