Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Wall Street Journal to go for free online

The Wall Street Journal has announced that they are going to provide their content free online. It's always annoying when I find links to WSJ articles and then get hit with a subscription required notice upon linking, so I welcome this development.

This decision points to a broader phenomenon of more content supported by advertising instead of subscription, a phenomenon that makes libraries less relevant when it comes to finding information. With subscription based resources, we are the gateway to the resource; economically speaking, we aggregate demand for a resource and serve as a purchasing agent for our community. In the ad based model, we're taken out of the loop.

I imagine there will always be information seeking "power tools" not supportable by ad-revenue, particularly in the area of backfile content, and libraries will be there to provide them.

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