NYT MyTimes – the way to go for newspaper sites

20061031_nyt_poguejournalistpage.pngThis night i received the followong mail from the New York Times:

“Dear Readers,

I’m pleased to introduce My Times — a new way to personalize NYTimes.com. My Times lets you create a customized page gathering your favorite information from The New York Times and elsewhere on the Web, with guidance (if you want it) from Times reporters and editors.

http://my.nytimes.com

Please know that My Times is still under development, and that you may encounter some bugs. “

So i immediately set out to try it, and i must say that i’m pleasantly surprised. MyTimes more or less goes the way of the web2.0 startpages of likes of netvibes (my current browser startpage), pageflakes etc.

The MytimesPage is prepopulated with a number for feeds from the NYT as well as the “usual” core widgets: weather, gmail, ….

You can add your own feeds: either from the wide range of NYT feeds, a number of selected feeds from the net recommended by the NYT, or by freely entering a feed URL ). You can then rearrange the feeds position, edit the number of articles shown and the style of the articles.

A number of features of dedicated startpages are missing right now but thats more or less ok,and hopefully the features i miss most will come in a subsequent release. These features are the ability to have more than one “My PAGE”, the possibility to im- and export OPML, and an API for writing widgets.

But these missing features are more than overcompensated by the fact that the NYT acknowledges that there is a world and good news sources outside their own premises. And that it is their responsibility to forward this sources to their readers because it they are not doing it, they will in the (not so) long run loose the trust of their readers and along with the trust the reader itself.

Hence i escpeially liked the journalist pages. If having the functions of being guides to good content, and act as filters is more and more at the core of the job description of a journalist or at the core of journalism, than journalist pages are the logical step to do.

The journalist pages are selections of feeds from various NYT staff members with the focus of feeds external to the NYT. Journalist pages can be bookmarked (I immediately bookmarked David Pogues and John Markoffs pages) and feeds from their selections can be added to the “MY PAGE” with one click.

In summary: IMHO with the personalized version the New York Times sets a new mark for newspaper websites. For the newspaper websites i know (not too many) only the guardian and the International Herald Tribune are not to far behind. Unfortunately, i don’t know any german newspaper site that only remotely is where the NYT and alikes are today.

2006 World Digital Publishing Conference- The guardian gets it ;-)

Last week the 1st World Digital Publishing Conference took place in London. Unfortunately only the summaries of the different talks are available. There is also only little resonance in the blogosphere.

As somebody with a technological background i’m especially pleased with the following quote:

“We need to realize that our star software developers are as important to our business as our star journalists. I think if we said this three years ago, it would have been heresy, but I think it is true.”

Carolyn McCall, Chief Executive, Guardian Media Group

Compare this to the absence technical people i noted in my newspaper next article.