The Washington Post is to link to rival news sources in a move which is seen as countering the leakage of readers and advertisers to Google and Yahoo. It has signed up with Inform.com, a news aggregator which scans news and blog sites, to provide links to related articles published by others.
Inform Publisher Services provides relevant links to a story in a sidebar. They can come from the same publisher, affiliated publications, the archives and other sites. As well as The Washington Post, Newsweek Interactive, The New York Sun, NewsOK.com, The Huffington Post, The Deal LLC, and NameMedia are to take the Inform service.
The New York Times which is not taking the service, quotes Caroline Little, chief executive of the online division of the Washington Post, as saying:
Five years ago, everybody said you have to keep readers on your site, with no links out to other sites. But ultimately, people will go where they want to go.
To the extent we can provide them more Washington Post video or more information from around the Web, weâ€™re all for it. And we get the benefit of that, too, because we get a lot of referrals from the Web, also.
The Daily Oklahoman already uses the Inform service. Rather than whisking readers away from the site, they open a new browser window with the new story.