Yesterday, Digg founder Kevin Rose made one of the shortest blog posts in Digg’s history, announcing that the Wall Street Journal has added Digg buttons to its site which in turn give Diggers free access to paid content there. What’s this new deal mean? Let’s take a look.
Currently, the majority of the Wall Street Journal’s content is available to paying members only. There are some free articles, but for most stuff, you will get prompted with this screen:
Or perhaps just a snippet of the article like this:
Now the Wall Street Journal has added Digg buttons at the bottom of each article. Digg is the only social media news button that is currently on the site. Digg also said that this is not an exclusive deal, which means that we are likely to see more buttons down the road. I wonder if they will actually ever add buttons from another News Corp property called MySpace News (oh yeah, these are only supposed to be for sites that can actually drive you lots of traffic – heh!).
The way it seems to work is that if you are a Wall Street Journal subscriber logged into your account, you will see the Digg button at the bottom of the page. Once you click on it, the Digg window pops up (as Techconsumer notes, it’s very similar to the one on the NY Times). They are officially calling it their Remote Digg page. It’s a nice, simple pop-up that is co-branded with both the WSJ and Digg logos. From this screen you can either digg the story (if it has already been submitted) or submit it yourself (just as if you were on Digg.com):
One of the most interesting parts is what you see towards the bottom of this pop-up. Here you have a listing of the last 4 stories that have recently hit the homepage of Digg and also a listing of the 4 that are closest to going popular.
The interesting part is that if you click on any of these links, you are brought to the page on WSJ, not directly to the Digg page. I will be interested in seeing if this changes down the road as the Journal figures out that their members can help push their stories to the homepage by sending them directly to the Digg page and voting (especially since it’s already in a pop-up).
Now from Digg’s side, its users have access to content that is currently available to subscribers only. Taking the example from above (that at first I only had Free Preview access to), if I now click on it from the Digg page I can now see the entire story. It seems to be tracking this via referrer URL (Digg = Free and All Else = Pay).
Is this the first step in Rupert Murdoch’s promise to drop subscription fees when his News Corp takeover goes through? Yes. Does this also signal the end of all old media rules and traditions? YOU BETCHA.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.