Newspapers really need to learn to share

Generally when blogs talk condescendingly about the newspapers moving online we like to point out how they never link out to blogs that they mention or one’s that they quote. To a point I can understand the reasoning behind why they go this route, I don’t agree but I understand, however when it comes to other kinds of linking the policy is just stupid.

The reason I mention this is because I saw a mention of some music tagging software on Friendfeed and the link provided was to a Wall Street Journal Technology online post. The post by Geoffrey Fowler talked about two specific software packages that you could use with your MP3 files to help clean them up. The two programs were TuneUp Media and MusicBrainz Picard neither of which I had heard of before so I was interested in taking a look.

Except there was a problem with trying to do that – no links. The only link in the whole post was for Apple because iTunes was mentioned in relation to TuneUp Media and it only lead to a WSJ page for stock information for Apple. When it came to the two software packages though nada.Zip. Zero links.

The thing that gets me is that neither of of the products mentioned had anything to do with what WSJ could construe to be a competitor. They would have been links to products that maybe their readers would have appreciated being able to check out. This would have been an added value (although blogs would have linked out naturally) for the WSJ readers.

There was no ‘threat’ to WSJ losing readers. In fact they would have been helping their readers. It is this kind of attitude regarding linking that is only going to make people look for alternatives to these old media online efforts. It might seem like a simple thing to get bitchy about but sometimes consumers really appreciate those little things – especially when they don’t cost anything to give.