The latest New York Times Web gadget: TimesWidgets, a service launching today, that lets you make — you guessed it — Web widgets from Times content.
We gave the the first look at TimesWidgets this past summer: It’s an easy to use tool — originally developed for internal NYT use — that lets you make embeddable widgets for your iGoogle homepage, blog, etc., of New York Times homepage headlines, blog posts, movie reviews, and more than 10,000 topics, including “Barack Obama,” “Recipes,” “Travel,” etc.
(Update: Technical kinks have been fixed.)
TimesWidgets isn’t an earth shattering concept, and it won’t save the Times (NYT) from its parent company’s cash crunch. But it’s another useful product from the Times‘ tech team, and if it takes off, could drive more incremental traffic to the Times‘ site from across the Web.
New York Times digital CTO Marc Frons says there’s room for a small ad on the widgets, but they won’t initially show ads. Some of the RSS feeds themselves seem to include ads, however. Specifically, sometimes when we load the media and advertising feed, embedded below, it includes Palm (PALM) ads via RSS ad network Pheedo. (Though that appears to be rare.)
Frons says the Times isn’t cutting back on tech resources because of the economic collapse, but he says aggressive plans to increase staff are temporarily on hold. He’ll also focus more next year on how the company can use technology to make more money from its traffic base.