The Wall Street Journal's own strategy over the past few years has been baffling for some. They seem to be betting on the fact that there simply could never be any competition to match the WSJ. However, with a string of moves that suggest they're completely unaware of how the internet works, plenty of people have been pointing out that the Wall Street Journal is losing its relevance. Of course, this brings out cries about how much better the content is in the WSJ -- but if people don't find it valuable relative to the competition, then it doesn't matter how good the content is, the Journal will have trouble competing. It appears that the Journal's own advertisers are figuring this out, and have bailed on the paper, leading the paper to report troubled earnings and worries about the strategy of the paper going forward. So far, the strategy seems to be to convince other newspapers to make the same mistakes the WSJ did. This is the "if everyone screws up as badly as we did, then we won't look so bad" strategy that tends not to work so well in the real world. The article notes, by the way, that the Journal's online division out-performed the paper division -- but that's probably a red herring, since it's difficult to split the costs of each. Are stories that show up on both considered an expense for the paper, the online part, or both? No matter what, this shows that advertisers are recognizing that the WSJ hasn't been able to adjust with the times, and there are better places to put their money when it comes to advertising to the financial crowd. For a paper that's supposed to be on the Wall Street beat, you'd figure they'd have a better sense as to when their own market shifted out from under them.
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