The Real Reason For WSJ Social

As I discussed in a previous post, The Wall Street Journal is launching their WSJ Social today which is a way for the denizens of the Facebook deep to be our own WSJ editors of sorts.

Well, I just got my update to hop on board the “water down your business news to mush” train and learned the real reason for this grand social gesture by the WSJ. Here are the permissions I am supposed to give to them to have the privilege of using this app within the ultimate data grab, Facebook.

I know many folks don’t mind cluttering up their Facebook streams with just about anything. I thought that the whole purpose of this exercise by the Wall Street Journal (NSDQ: NWS) was to let me do with their content as I wished. Instead it’s the pathway to gaining access to my friends for whatever it is the WSJ wants to post in my stream, whenever they want to do it.

This is bush league and should be beneath the folks at the Journal but now we know where the real power lies. It’s with Facebook and that is not a good sign for any of us.

UPDATE: I received the following from @AshleyWSJ regarding my concerns:

@frankreed WSJ Social sharing is under direct user control. Users must click Like, Comment or Post for anything to appear on profile/wall

OK, Ashley we appreciate the clarification. Trouble is that Facebook’s “explanation” of these permissions (see image above) doesn’t read like that at all. I wonder how many people will say no to this app because of these permissions?

Frank Reed is the managing editor of Marketing Pilgrim. He also provides consulting, speaking and education services relating to local Internet marketing through Local Basix. Frank contributes weekly to Mike Moran’s Biznology blog and he writes even less frequently at his original home base, Frank Thinking About Internet Marketing.

This article originally appeared in Marketing Pilgrim.