NYTIMES: This is the Innovation I Was Hoping for

You may remember when I trashed newspapers for not innovating and then looking for taxpayer handouts? Well I did – and many weren’t happy with the fact that I pointed out Obamanomics were in part responsible for the problems the newspapers were facing and moreover, I showed how the newspapers themselves were in-part responsible for the election of President Obama.

Interestingly, the New York Times with its massive circulation and influence has been perhaps the most influential cheerleader for our president and rather than rely on subsidies the company is innovating and has a new site called Beta620 – a play on their street address, which will showcase the company’s latest innovations.

Bravo New York Times, Bravo.

What sort of exciting new things might we enjoy if we visit this new site?

  • The Buzz, which shows how much traction Times articles are getting on social media
  • Times Companion, which lets you summon information on topics in the article you’re reading without taking you away from the page
  • TimesInstant, a search page that shows results as you type
  • Smart Search Bar, which sorts results and displays them without taking you away from the page you’re on
  • NYTimes Crossword Web App, an HTML 5 version of the puzzle’s aging digital versions
  • Longitude, which plots the day’s Times articles on an interactive Google map
  • Community Hub, a dashboard featuring stats on your comment history, a feed of comments on Times articles and, soon, Facebook friends’ comments

It is staggering to see how media companies have an audience and massive amounts of web traffic yet they rely on a myriad of other companies to innovate so their content can be shared more efficiently. So hats off once again to the paper which may hopefully start a trend of “old world” companies who innovate – bringing web excitement to companies who some left for dead.

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