Financial-news organizations have been negotiating a tough balancing act between charging subscriptions for high-value information and luring in the broader community with free content and blogs. The FT led the way for financial news blogs when it launched FT Alphaville in 2006; today, the blog is an example of how a free, online product can peacefully coexist -- even enhance -- the paid online and print products.
Alphaville moves fast, tailors coverage to what the readers find interesting and doesn't shy away from something truly foreign to markets coverage: some light-hearted humor. In addition to weighing in on the stories, Alphaville wants to own the conversation around them. In 2008, they launched a forum, The Long Room, where financial professionals (9,300 members) chew the fat over everything from restaurant reviews to financial reform.