Most news organizations seem to use streams on a one-off basis. We livestream video or tweets from events, storify breaking news coverage, or create hubs/landing pages for stories related to a single topic or series. But what if the news pages were more like your Twitter stream, always on and always updated? Only better — you don’t have to leave Twitter or load another page to read them?
Now, the Wall Street Journal is playing with just that idea. It announced on Twitter this week the launch of a new feature: Market Pulse.
This always-on stream updates constantly with the latest business and market news. What’s awesome about this — because really, they update Twitter frequently too — is from the Pulse page you can click on the story and read it as you would see it on their homepage (so some content is still subscriber only for full access). When the story opens, you can see the graphics, watch the video, read the full piece… all without leaving the stream. Then close it up and move on down to the next headline that grabs your eye.
Neimen Journalism Lab talked to the editor behind it, Raju Narisetti, managing editor of The Wall Street Journal’s Digital Network, who said:
“Markets is kind of an ongoing story all day, especially when the U.S. markets are open, and there’s an audience that follows it fairly religiously all the time. Rather than having to go to an article or a video in different, discrete places, this allows them to kind of have one place.”
Not every newspaper has the resources to do this. Nor does every news beat need or lend themselves to this kind of always updated coverage the way Wall Street markets do. But this is one of those rare things where I’m hitting my head, wondering how this idea is not already standard for news sites? Yes, many sites will self-refresh after a few minutes, but this one does it just in the stream, so you don’t lose your place, and without any weird clunkiness from reloading everything. (In fact, I was impressed at smoothly the entire thing operated. I didn’t hit any hiccups or slow downs. Everything I clicked worked, and worked intuitively. So kudos to the WSJ team.) It’s like the ultimate sticky news site — readers don’t need to leave your site or this feed at all to stay abreast of the news, as long as there’s always something more coming down the stream to read.