Online Community Building
Wall Street Journal rolled out a new social network this past weekend. Catch: it has a paywall. Will users buy access to a social network?
NO WAY: Tech.Blorge writes…
How is the Wall Street Journal missing the boat with their attempt at community building? For starters, they have made their community an exclusive, behind-close-doors paid subscription service. By trying to be another FaceBook or LinkedIn for paid subscribers and excluding casual visitors and readers, the Wall Street Journal effectively eliminates the most important aspect of social media for enterprise – community building.
MAYBE: Mashable writes…
While I’ve never been a fan of the pay-wall in general, there have been a number of situations where I think it’s a very viable business model. PEHub, for one, offers some of very advanced information that’s available by paid subscription only. The information contained therein is generally only useful for a very short and finite period of time, and the folks it ends up being useful for usually have the money to pay for it.
Similarly, the Wall Street Journal came from those types of roots. In recent years, they’ve gone a lot more mainstream with their editorial policies, not to mention their readership. Chances are, though, if you use the Wall Street Journal as your filter on the news, you belong to a somewhat elite community.
There are other ways of restricting membership. Facebook used to only allow students from certain Universities then more and more. Then they went open access.
Who has the best online communities? Network elitists or democratic users?