How the WSJ failed the Web 2.0 test

Traditional media outlets like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times have begun to use some of the tools of social media — blogs, Facebook pages, even Twitter accounts. But they seem a lot less eager to adopt some of social media’s core principles, including a commitment to the two-way nature of the medium and all that it represents. This means a lot more than just talking about “the conversation” and how great it is to get links or comments. It’s about taking those comments seriously, responding to them regardless of whether they are positive or negative, and incorporating that approach into the way you do your job. It’s about looking at “journalism,” broadly-speaking, as a process rather than an artifact.

This is something that most of the blogosphere, or at least the part of it that cares about accuracy and integrity, does pretty well. Sites like GigaOM and others update their posts when information is added or corrected, and in many cases link to critical or differing opinions (and if they don’t, they should). In that sense, truth — to use a loaded word — is not absolute, nor is it something that a single entity has a monopoly on, particularly around a developing or complicated issue. The most we can hope for is that an outlet of any kind, whether it’s a blog or a traditional newspaper’s web site, does its best to represent an issue fairly and completely, and that requires additions, updates, links and discussion.

The WSJ arguably failed that test on Monday, with its story on Google (s goog) and how its position on “net neutrality” had allegedly softened.

read the rest of this post at GigaOm

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