We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Take a look: it's got books, "Taste", Arts and Leisure, Taranto's Best of the Web plus the "Opinion Journal Federation" of websites.
At this point, the WSJ main site is handling the internet as well as, or better than, any other of the MSM, (although the NY Sun is doing a great job too) and will force the (still marginal, I believe, in the larger scheme of things but not without some influence) blogworld to reconsider what we/they can do best.
Meanwhile, the clever MSM like the WSJ is absorbing and integrating the best of the blogworld. Since my crystal ball broke when I dropped it a few years ago, I do not know what the best role of the blogworld might be, but it's probably in opinion and entertainment, and info which is either not mass-market or is neglected by the MSM.
One of the great mysteries of the internet is the idea that 'free' sells. It does, too, forcing large companies to give more free content and base their income on what it has been based on for decades: advertising.
The world of porn is leading the way, as it has for awhile, with 'free' homemade porn now getting more hits/views than the slickly produced, but relatively plastic sort of porn. Some sites are even publicly giving un-airbrushed images (no photo rendition beyond generic color balance) to show that beauty can be seen in pores and moles... mind you they have to follow the free folks who get more views, more clicks, don't ask for payments and have scads of ads. And the free blog and image/video content is swamping the payfor stuff, too.
The NYT not only had to pull down its subsciption wall, but is now offering scanned material in their archives going at least as far back as 1907 if not earlier. The multi-page stories now get put into pdf and made available for searching via OCR extraction of text for metadata. It isn't 100%, yet, but reading that old content makes me really scratch my head at the current NYT.
Big printing presses will still be needed for content distribution for a decade at least. The first of the thin-film displays are, however, starting to appear and after that the question is rendition and resolution. Get resolution up to that seen in high-end screens for photo work today at low price and on thin film and you will kill newspapers... the reason is that thin film or other methods become display surfaces to add into other things.
Fusing now is seeing folks like Baen books giving out free old material which, strangely, increases sales of those books for higher long-term royalties. Newspapers don't get that, but they will get links and readers coming for full articles quoted elsewhere. Pushing that out for 'free' means that you get more readers and more views and, possibly, some longer term viewers coming back for other content. Blogs and blogging communities that can generate their own verifiable and reliable content will do the same. As the internet moves from its radial star pattern to a more internetworked cloud pattern, the connections and trust networks will become 'lateral' not towards portals and big sites. Older sites will still exist, but new communities will augment and often replace them over a decade or two.
The internet, by being many-to-many and not one-to-many, is changing about how we think of news, reviews, communities and corporate structure. That has already started... expect it to continue.
"Meanwhile, the clever MSM like the WSJ is absorbing and integrating the best of the blogworld."
Not to pop any balloons, but the layout change of OpinionJournal doesn't have anything, in the least, to do with blogs and the blogosphere. It's just a professional opinion page, not much different than TVGuide.com's about 10 years ago.
And I would presume the regular authors are incensed, as they've lost their platform. Not only is "OpinionJournal" gone from the top of the page, but now the regular authors are just another voice trying to be heard in a page full of enticing articles. In the old format, it was them or nuthin'. Personally, I liked it that way.
As far as Taranto goes, he's be absolutely aghast to think that anyone was implying he was a "blogger". If you'll look through the archives, it wasn't all that long ago that he stopped calling them "bloggers", in quotes. Ditto his quoting handles, like "TigerHawk", in quotes.
Also, let's keep in mind that the WSJ is generally considered a liberal paper, and was one of the three, along with the NY Times and the LA Times, to reveal the SWIFT overseas banking anti-terrorist program, and how they pushed for open borders last summer. I laughed when I noticed the omission in their little 'About Us' box this morning when I saw the new format:
"We speak for free markets and free people..."
They left out, "and free borders."
And if you want proof that, despite the cutsie layout, these guys think they're God's gift to journalism, check out this line from their 'About' box, and remember that this is just a quickie little 'About Us' box, not the big, ponderous "Our Philosophy" page linked below it:
"against confiscatory taxation and the ukases of kings and other collectivists"
My dictionary defines that as, "An authoritative order or decree; an edict."
So why didn't they just use the word "decrees" or "edicts", which everyone knows?
Because then you wouldn't know how much more eddycated they are than us dumb country folk.