August 24, 2007|
The New York Times launched a Netvibes/My Yahoo style Ajax start page on their site called My Times a few days back. These start pages allow users to create a custom home page that features only the information they are interested in. In the case of My Times, users can select from a bevy of Times-related content and add RSS feeds from external blogs as well.
The reaction from the tech community has basically been a giant yawn. Dave Winer sees it as an opportunity missed. Techdirt reacts with derision. Everyone seems to be noticing that these kind of start pages have been around since the mid-90s. Nothing to see here. Move along.
They are right. My Times is inferior to start pages like Netvibes and Pageflakes that have tons of widgets and can be customized in pretty much limitless ways. But I’m pretty sure the folks behind My Times would answer by saying that they aren’t trying to compete with My Yahoo or Netvibes or whoever. I doubt the Times staff expect folks without an intense, pre-existing relationship with the Times website to sign up specifically to use their start page. My Times is intended as a value added feature for their loyal website readers – a way to get them to spend more time on the site. My Times accomplishes that goal very well I think.