(Gated) Communities: WSJ.com’s Social Play

Attributing actual identities to forums online will have its effects. It will curtail some nonsense that anonymity allows; it won’t negate it completely.

Subscribers to the WSJ are already a much smaller subset of the universe of WSJ.com readers. We “know” that somewhere south of 2% of readers actively respond in forums.

Does that segmentation (2%) of the smaller pool (subscribers-only) mean WSJ’s forums look thin / moribund and counters efforts to enable “community” and feedback around their editorial content?

clipped from bits.blogs.nytimes.com

New WSJ.com Builds on Its Community of Subscribers

Unchanged is the most important aspect of the current site: the wall that blocks non-subscribers from reading most of The Journal’s business news articles.

“You can network with people who won’t shout profanities at you,” said Alan Murray, executive editor for online news at the Wall Street Journal, which is owned by News Corporation. “We think it’s going to be very powerful.”

Like LinkedIn, participants in WSJ.com’s community must use their real identities. The site will enforce that requirement by initially limiting the community features to paid subscribers of WSJ.com, although Mr. Murray said the company might eventually allow non-subscribers to join as long as their identities could be verified by other means, such as a credit card.

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