I point to WSJ stories fairly regularly, but I am apparently in the minority according to Adam Penenberg’s excellent Wired story. Granted, I go through some contortions to knock down the walls around the garden: I am a WSJ subscriber and I use the “email this” link to send myself a bloggable story link that is (temporarily) readable by anyone.
So why doesn’t the WSJ matter? Because most people rightly won’t do the backflips that I do to make WSJ stories readable. And since people won’t do that, the WSJ is not as much part of the conversation as it used to be.
That is the argument, anyway. I’m not sure I buy it, as most WSJ readers are not bloggers nor are they part of the blogosphere, so keeping them out of the conversation is really neither here nor there. But then again, there is something to be said for the echo chamber online, and choosing not to participate has consequences.
The danger for the WSJ? Current readers support the paper, but the next generation of traders/bankers/analysts and others grow up relying on other sources — and they dump the WSJ. Will it happen? Five years ago in a pre-RSS world I would have said no way, but now I’m not so sure. (And releasing a few summary-less WSJ RSS feeds is no solution.)