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 missedTechdirt reacts with derisionEveryone 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. 

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.