Whoa. The new Wall Street Journal project by Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg is pretty good, not for what the writers have to say (that’s okay) but for how the site is produced.
One word: WordPress.
I’ve been arguing for three years that blogs are, at their fundamental heart, open-source content management systems for everyman; easy ways for the you’s and me’s of the world to quickly publish, format, and monetize content. In a post I made earlier this year, recapping some advice made to a friend who had assumed the editor-in-chief position at a regional business magazine, I argued that an editorial enterprise that invested big money in an expensive content management system was investing in the wrong things. Publishers don’t need ornate Content Management structures, but should be investing in quality editorial material — writing, photography, video, audio — and putting their production infrastructure down on the strategic ladder with telephones and electricity.
Alas, my friend was outshouted by a moron who insisted the publication’s web presence wasn’t worth squat unless it was constructed on the back of a $500,000 commercial publishing system.
Well, along comes the Wall Street Journal, and its two best tech reporters, and what do they use?
WordPress. The same free CMS/blog software that runs Churbuck.com. The big difference? They designed and implemented an awesome template that supports advertising, looks like a “magazine” (whatever that means), yet which supports the essential functions generally associated with a “blog”, commenting, tagging, permalinking, etc.
Me, I’d say this is hands down the best implementation of open source publishing technology I have ever seen, one that should serve as a wake up for any online publisher wondering if they should invest $1,000,000 in web publishing technology.