The Wall Street Journal is ranked #1 circulated
paper in the Nation. However, in terms of online application the
WSJ.com is indeed lacking.
The initial page is entirely too lengthy. The downward
scroll seems never-ending. This is a hindrance for at least two
reasons. Those who frequent the Web not only dislike the inconvenience
of continually clicking the down arrow, but it also impairs the
concept behind the visual presentation. This layout is also not
conducive to people who have slower modem transfer rates. If the
WSJ.com could configure a home page of literally half that length,
the problem would be resolved.
The second most irksome aspect of WSJ.com is the
mandatory subscription. With the exception of the site map, help,
contact us and the links to other sites, a log in is required
on every page. In terms of turning a profit, this format is a
plus, however most publications are of the "free Online information"
ideology, which causes many Web surfers to visit another newspaper's
site, especially people of a limited income. In addition, while
some people may prefer the immediacy of a paid subscription to
an electronic paper, others may argue for the delivery of a real
paper for the lesser or equal cost of the Online Journal.
As previously mentioned, the site map is accessible.
It is another large document even though it does not list every
document, which in terms of a newspaper is a wise decision. However,
the initial rule applies: only paid subscribers can gain further
The help button was one of the best aspects of this
site. Not only does it pop-up in its own window, it has a wide
range of detailed topics from site features to how to navigate
through the site to a glossary.
Establishing multiple forms of contact are possible
at WSJ.com, rather than a single generalized e-mail address. They
are well set-up to accept all forms of praise or complaint. Editors
and columnists can be e-mailed, as well as the U.S., Europe and
Asia offices. WSJ.com also accepts e-mailed comments about articles
and submissions of press releases. The customer service information,
including office hours and a telephone number, is a nice touch,
but it should not be stuck at the bottom of the page, piled under
a heap of other contact information; customers who need help now
are often quite impatient and want general information, like service
hours, to be posted closer to the top.
Advertisements are not totally obtrusive. Though
on the large side in size occasionally, the ads are at least stationary,
non-flash oriented, and tastefully done.
Another good feature of WSJ.com is the inclusion
of other sites on their menu bar, all, of course, offshoots of
the Wall Street Journal, but more focused nonetheless. There are
six variations of Journal: CareerJournal, CollegeJournal, OpinionJournal,
Personal Technology, RealEstateJournal, and StartupJournal.
In terms of the online world, the Wall Street Journal
is just beginning to emerge. It seems as though they are not taking
the opportunities of the Web very seriously. They need to take
a lesson in free samples from their competitors as well as brush
up what little is accessible on their site through the Web. With
the new layout change occurring, it seems clear that the Wall
Street Journal puts most of its stock in its print version. Then
again, that is where they are ranked number one, in addition to
being in the top 20 internationally, so they must be doing something
to Page 1 of this story.
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