The thought of the internet as Facebook is scary.
So it’s even scarier when a major news publication like the Wall Street Journal decides to open a store front on Facebook — without linking back to the wsj.com.
Treating Facebook as the internet is exactly what WSJ Social is doing. I’ve been trying this out since it launched over a week ago. I get the strategy: Be everywhere your audience is. Clever, because that’s rule #1 of all social strategies. Scary, because it means that the WSJ may have opened the door to the next stage of online news content: Only on Facebook.
This model however isn’t as unique as it sounds. Cable companies have widened their engagement of users from TVs to other platforms such as PCs and mobile devices.
But strategy aside, I don’t think WSJ is going to get far with this social app.
Part of the goal, it seems, is to test a new user engagement model for WSJ by getting users to see themselves as “editors” and to customize their concept of news to other people in WSJ Social. I’ve tried it; and I still don’t know what I’m supposed to do. So what if I’m hitting “Like?” Well, there is apparently a “game-ified” layer to this where curators with the highest following appear on a leaderboard. I may be missing the point here.