The upcoming WSJ Profile is not a LinkedIn competitor
Dan Mitchell of Fortune.com writes about why the new WSJ Profile coming from Dow Jones & Co. should not be considered a LinkedIn competitor.
Mitchell writes, “Lex Fenwick, the Wall Street Journal‘s publisher and the CEO of Dow Jones (NWSA), didn’t even mention LinkedIn during the recent News Corp. investor presentation where he unveiled the social-media product, WSJ Profile (as first reported by the Times of London). That could be because he doesn’t see LinkedIn as a competing product — and it isn’t, really. WSJ Profile seems to be merely a way for readers to set up personal pages on the Journal‘s website, access Dow Jones’s various web offerings (such as Barron’s, Dow Jones Newswires, All Things D’s tech coverage, and Factiva), their own stock portfolios, and to interact with each other. Seemingly part of a larger strategy to unify Dow Jones’s many platforms, it might be a good or a bad idea, but the presence of LinkedIn (or Twitter or Facebook or any other social media product) will have little bearing on whether it succeeds or fails. LinkedIn (LNKD) is mainly a career-focused site aimed at the general public. WSJ Profile seems to be more of a way for Dow Jones to extract more value from its own products.
“It’s not surprising that the people who are always quick to champion ‘openness’ and to favor social media over professionally produced media (even though the former relies so heavily on the latter) would see this as ‘the Journal vs. LinkedIn.’ But by all accounts, Fenwick was fairly clear about the company’s intentions: WSJ Profile consolidates all of Dow Jones’s services together and syncs brokerage accounts. It’s designed to increase subscriber ‘stickiness’ (a term left over from the dot-com boom that simply means keeping people on the site longer) and to better target ads based on readers’ interests and behaviors.
“Fenwick also mentioned how it helps Journal readers participate in the ‘sharing economy’ (another rather hoary sounding term). That seems like a tertiary consideration, but people who value the Internet’s ability to facilitate online yammering over its ability to disseminate valuable information are, unsurprisingly, more focused on the yammering part.”
Read more here.