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New York Times debuts aggregation homepage

December 4th, 2008 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Newspapers, Online Journalism

The New York Times has launched its beta news aggregation feature Times Extra. As the screengrab below shows, it makes for a pretty busy page with scrollable links to external, relevant content below each main news item:

The alternative version of the homepage features up to eight links from blogs and other news organisations’ sites beneath each of the top articles.

“The days when content sites were afraid to link to other sites are over,” said Marc Frons, chief technology officer for digital operations at NYTimes, in a release about the launch.

“Times Extra is an important part of our strategy to become a destination for compelling journalism, not only by The New York Times, but by other content providers as well. We want to give our readers a comprehensive view of the news and opinion our editors think is important.”(Not dissimilar to Scott Karp’s argument for a newspaper using link journalism)

Mashable’s Stan Shroeder wants to see how the Times’ algorithm performs in selecting the links and while supporting its decision to link out, is concerned about some of the design elements:

“NYTimes adds boxes with additional sources quite erratically, and I expect many users to get a headache, reverting to the standard view very fast. It would be a pity, though, if this initiative were to fail because of unfortunate design choices,” he writes.

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NYTimes people get together with NYTimes people

September 23rd, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Newspapers, Social media and blogging

‘Oh my god, we read the same newspaper!’ It’s like Guardian soulmates, but Stateside, and not necessarily for single people. Ok, so it’s not at all like a singles website at all.

In fact, today saw the public launch of the New York Times social network, TimesPeople. As we reported in June it’s a social network that links up the NY Times audience through their shared interests.

It’s a free service, which allows:

  • RSS feeds with the latest activities of other users in each network, which can be synced to their updates to their Facebook news
  • Users to join in public activities, including readers’ comments, recommendations, reviews, ratings

“We created TimesPeople as a community built around sharing news and information, giving our readers a way to connect with other like-minded readers,” said Marc Frons, chief technology officer of digital operations, at the New York Times, in the release.  “TimesPeople is a great way for our readers to discover content on the site they might not have otherwise.”

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NYTimes innovation plans: Widgets, iPhone, APIs

Silicon Valley Insider talked to Marc Frons, chief technology officer of NYTimes digital, about the projects he’s working on and the development that they’ll be rolling out in the near future. Here’s a brief overview:

Things we have already covered:

The shock of the new:

  • Widgets: Customisable box of Times stories, video, slideshows and the rest on your blog or social network page? Yes please.
  • Aggregation: It bought Blogrunner an eternity ago and uses it now just to pull content from partner sites into NYTimes – think PaidContent, CNET stuff on the Tech pages. But ‘bigger plans’ are afoot – Frons won’t say more though.
  • Apps: Yes, NYTimes.com is working on apps for Apple’s forthcoming iPhone store.
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