Battlepanda: Blogger Friendly at the Washington Post


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Blogger Friendly at the Washington Post

I noticed yesterday that I got an unusual amount of traffic -- directed to my site from the Washington Post. A few clicks revealed that they have partnered with Technorati to link back to bloggers who linked to their articles. Maybe I'm the last person to realize this.

I agree with Henry
that newspapers ultimately function not to consolidate their influence and prestige but to make money, like every other business. When the New York Times decided to put its editorials behind a subscription wall, I think they knew full well that the reach of their columns will go down dramatically. They decided that the extra revenue was worth alienating a bunch of bloggers.

This creates an opening for WaPo to actively court the blogisphere, especially in raising the profiles of their editorials, which are not anywhere near as influential as the Times even now, when they are no longer free. They also create a little extra value for their average user, who can continue reading blogposts about the article they just read at the click of a mouse.

Personally, I think both those decisions are good moves by the New York Times and WaPo respectively. It was time for the Times to translate some of that prestige into dollars. While the WaPo (who would not have made much money with a subscription model) siezed a great opportunity to build up its readership in a sector where it was previously crushed by the Times.