Online news media’s new mantra: building user loyalty
This column appeared Aug. 2, 2001, in the Online Journalism Review. Here’s the version on the OJR site. For an in-depth backgrounder on personalized news services and a look at the industry’s rocky track record, see the companion article, The Promise of the Daily Me.
Personalized news — a dream that has greatly exceeded online media’s grasp over the past five years — is getting a second look at major news organizations.
The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times unveiled ambitious new customized news features during the past two months. CBS SportsLine has introduced a slick set of personalization tools. The New York Times and Better Homes & Gardens are planning significant personalization projects this fall. The Wall Street Journal Online plans to overhaul its Personal Journal with a revamped personalized news site early next year. And an inventive new Web-based news site called the FeedRoom is basing its business model on users’ thirst for news they can choose.