Another neat tech offering from the New York Times: A new edition of its site called TimesExtra, launching today, which adds related headlines from around the Web directly to its homepage.
TimesExtra uses the Times‘ Blogrunner tool to add related links to homepage stories, as illustrated at right. (See below for a screen shot of the whole top section of the homepage. It’s not very intrusive above the fold.) TimesExtra does not turn on automatically. You have to activate it, which lasts for 24 hours. The next day, you’ll need to activate it again.
This isn’t for everyone — we imagine many of the Times‘ readers enjoy the editors’ edition of the homepage enough. And we imagine some Times editors are shuddering at the idea of sharing their precious real estate with random bloggers. (And we’re not sold on the scrollbar interface.) But it will appeal to some people.
Moreover, as publishers, we certainly wouldn’t mind getting more clicks in from NYTimes.com readers, and we can’t imagine outlets like the Wall Street Journal or Fox News would mind, either. So it’s a fairly bold move for the Times to share its traffic with competitors like this, even if only a small percentage of readers use it.
TimesExtra certainly won’t save the Times (NYT) from its financial crisis, but we think it’s a smart add-on, like many of the tech features the company has been working on lately under NYT digital CTO Marc Frons.
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