Early 2006, I gave some unsolicited advice to the WSJ about their blogging efforts (WSJ Joins the Blogging Crowd). That was well received, and eventually, I did some (unpaid) consulting for WSJ.com about blogging, as well as other mainstream financial publications. Good will and all that.
Often, the advice I give is initially ignored, and then, slowly and reluctantly, adopted.
Let me repeat the suggestion I made so long ago: Move the WSJ/Dow Jones archives out from behind the subscription-only firewall. Keep the most recent WSJ subscription only — perhaps 30 days, but certianly no more than 90 days maximum.
I cannot see why WSJ.com would want to give up ~$65 million dollars per year in annual revenue. But we know that freeing the archives means that the Google bots will be spidering this content, and eventually identifying WSJ pages as search results. Dow Jones advertisers will be seeing their ads served more often, and the additional click thrus and page views will only accrue more revenue to DJ.
To overcome corporate resistance, start at 90 days, then go to 60, 30, with my ideal goal would be to get the Journal’s sub-only content to 30 days, and eventually, just 7 days. The MBAs may choke over this, but by doing it gradually, it will allow the traffic, advertising and subscription data to be reviewed. (it also has the added benefit of allowing their little MBA pea brains to adapt to the concept slowly).
The freshest content goes to the users willing to pay for it — highest value consumers — while the rest of the content generates advertising revenues.
That solution can be easily implemented by the technology folks
at the Journal, increasing revenue for Dow Jones, yet maintain that fat
You read it here first.
UPDATE: October 19, 2007 10:04am
Murdoch says WSJ.com will probably scrap subscriptions http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/10/18/bloomberg/bxnews.php
WSJ Joins the Blogging Crowd http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2006/03/dow_jones_blogg.html
Murdoch’s Choice: Paid or Free for WSJ.com?
WSJ, September 19, 2007; Page B1
MSM Blogging Review: NYT Starts Blogging too http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2006/03/blogging_review.html