Inside the Dow Jones R&D operation

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WSJ iPad Newsstand

The Economist has a brief story about the research and development operations at Dow Jones & Co., the parent of The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and Marketwatch.com.

The story reads, “The team has been in existence for under a year, but it’s already developed a few products that are soon to launch. One is a ‘digital vault’ designed to protect sensitive user-owned content and provide Dow Jones customers with a channel for sharing and discussing the content with one another. The vault will initially focus on the exchange of sensitive information between lawyers, accountants and tax advisers, among others.

“Another soon-to-debut product is built to encourage conversation between Wall Street Journal readers. This technology, which Levy describes as a hybrid between email and chatting, is meant to take engagement a step further than just commenting on a Journal article. ‘We have over 2 million people paying for the Journal. And these are highly educated, influential professionals who have a lot in common with one another,’ Levy explained. ‘Right now, we engage our readers, but we don’t necessarily encourage them to engage with one another in a long-lasting way that will build relationships and enable collaboration.’

“The products coming out of the R&D department are ultimately developed to prepare Dow Jones for an all-digital world, a key tenant of this innovation lab’s philosophy. ‘It’s my expectation that in a number of years, 100 percent of [Dow Jones] revenue will come from digital. People aren’t going to want to hold a newspaper,’ Levy said. ‘For as long as people want to hold a newspaper, we’ll give it to them, but sooner or later that will change. And by then, we’ll have a digital business model in place.’”

Read more here.