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Weinberger attempts to promote NYTimes

Weinberger attempts to promote NYTimes

And finally David Weinberger also intervened. Two weeks after the launch of the Public beta of the new New York Times custom portal the famous expert in internet matters draws a preliminary judgment on what he sees, and decides to reward the efforts of the most famous newspaper in the world, giving him the sufficiency.

Here is what he writes on his blog: “my.nytimes.com allows you to choose your own feeds. Of course the NYT material is available, but it is also possible to create a page that shows the news from the Washington Post, Slate and BBC without the NYT appearing ”. The mechanism is reminiscent of the one already widely consolidated on other famous homepages customizable, such as iGoogle or MyYahoo: the novelty is that “the site allows you to add feeds recommended by many celebrities who write in the NY Times”.

The My Times page obviously includes the most common widgets: weather forecast, Flickr browser, stock quotes and even a crossword puzzle. It’s possible rearrange the contents according to your preferences , and also divide them over several pages to create single-issue sections. Any RSS feed from any site can be inserted among the others, integrating the NYT news and the stories of your friends on the same page.

To arouse Weinberger’s perplexities and many other blogosphere voices, is there limitation of information to the sole title of news and the absence of any form of comment : “There is not even the possibility to post a thumbs up or a thumbs down, and in the articles there is no link to a blog with a post on the subject”. Features that, in the era of social networking and Digg, appear to be neglect.

My Times is still in beta , although its development began over a year ago, “however – concludes Weinberger – the decision to allow the aggregation of other sources on a NY Times domain is already a very important symbolic gesture”. This is a significant step for the same publisher who has long since announced his plan to focus on developing their online services and which has long claimed to attract more readers online than it does with the print edition.

The potential, on the other hand, is all there: with an important name to spend, the recommendations of the various NYT journalists could become one tool to raise awareness of little known aspects and less frequented sites of the network . The ability to easily include the content of other pages could also bring that slice of NYT readers, less accustomed to the use of feeds, closer to take advantage of the most modern technologies relating to news in a user-friendly environment.

The new platform will therefore not be a masterpiece of modernity and innovation, but it will certainly help the NYT, many argue, to overcome the new challenges posed by social media, citizen journalism and the world of decontextualized web 2.0 news. Keeping up with technology could be the only lifeline for the “old” print publishing groups.

Luca Annunziata