This weekend the New York Times released a new feature on their website called TimesSkimmer . Go ahead and check it out – I find it an infinitely better way to go through the day’s news than clunking around their website. Admittedly, I like this primarily because I am a bit of a dinosaur and prefer to sit down and physically leaf through the paper – this new feature quite adeptly recreates that feeling while cleverly drawing the reader into other aspects of the site such as blogs and digital features that one might find while looking for hard news.
I wrote a piece a few months ago analyzing The Times collapsing revenue and declining readership, despite being the most visited news website on the net. In a sign of how fast the times (pun intended) change, they have announced they are going to start charging for their website, and have really started pushing their online presence.
It’s good to see the Gray Lady, one of the few publications still trusted (at least by most) as neutral, innovating for the digital age. Despite the rapidly exploding universe of blogs and specialty news sites, it would serve the public well to have well-financed, healthy hard news organizations focused on breaking news and investigative reporting and not catering to a political fan base.
I do wish they’d stop their annoying ‘trend’ articles though, which consist primarily of the ‘reporter’ choosing a topic and using friends and family as a sounding board and declaring the results as evidence of a trend. Don’t take my word for it, just read this hilarious article from Slate.
So what do you think about the TimesSkimmer? A new way to make the news more accessible or a cheap gimmick on an old product?