Jeff Jarvis points to an interesting post by Chris Riley that compares the editor-controlled content on the BBC homepage to the content on the BBC Most Popular Now page, which is determined by usage patterns of site visitors. He found editors and users were in synch in the stories they chose 37% of the time.

Reading this reminded me to write a about the Most Popular feature on the New York Time’s website. I am not a voracious reader of the New York Times but like to check in on it every few days. I do this not to catch up on the “latest news” so much as to read some of the great long form pieces they churn out on a regular basis. I read the Times more like a magazine than a newspaper.

The Most Popular tool is a great way for me to pretty quickly find the most interesting articles to read. Look at some of the stories they are highlighting today:

To me, the Times homepage is less interesting. It features links to articles about the big international news stories the day (which I’ve already heard about elsewhere), a bunch of business stories and some regional stories I’m not interested in since I’m in DC.

The Most Popular feature isn’t perfect – there isn’t an RSS feed to subscribe to or a way to view the most popular stories by topic (I’d love to drill down further). But for me it is a great way to quickly discover interesting Times stories I would probably have missed otherwise. The fact is the readers of the the Times are pretty smart folks and do a great job of identifying interesting content.

About the Author
Todd Zeigler
Todd Zeigler serves as the Brick Factory’s chief strategist and oversees the operations of the firm. In his sixteen year career in digital, he has planned and implemented campaigns for clients including the Pickens Plan, International Youth Foundation, Panthera, Edison Electric Institute, and the American Chemistry Council. Todd develops ambitious online advocacy programs, manages crises, implements online marketing strategies, and develops custom applications and software. He is bad at golf though.