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Summary:

From the overeaction to what is just a nifty tool addition, you’d have thought Moses popped down from Sinai and offered to share new command…

From the overeaction to what is just a nifty tool addition, you’d have thought Moses popped down from Sinai and offered to share new commandments. As is the case at a number of other news sites, NYTimes.com users now have the ability to easily share links. In this case, direct sharing is enabled to Digg, Newsvine and Facebook; more important for some, it also allows the creation of a permalink that lasts after the story is archived. (Not surprisingly, content behind the TimesSelect paywall is not included, thus setting off another wave of laments about that service. ) But it’s not NYTimes.com’s first foray into sharing. Emailing stories long has been a staple of the site. Remember that archaic form? More important, the site was among the first news organizations to offer RSS, allowing continued access to stories through urls obtained via RSS. This latest “extends the web-based conversation,” as SVP/GM Vivian Schiller put it in the release, so it matters. Still, it’s just another in a series of efforts by the Times — some small, some grand — to make the most of online.
Seattle P-I: John Cook, who had the story first, looks at what it could mean to social media sites involved. Newsvine’s Mike Davidson says it could lead to a boost in traffic, doesn’t include revenue sharing, and might open the door for more deals. Christine Topalian, manager of strategic planning and business development at NYTimes.com, doesn’t rule out adding comments directly to the site or adding more partners.

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  1. I agree with your characterization of the nytimes.com news as an "overreaction." But it does seem curious (maybe even newsworthy?) that a site that was a leader in RSS is so behind the pack in social bookmarking.

    In your research did you happen to find any word on how many sites already have bookmark buttons for places like Digg? And does anyone know why the Times left out reddit and del.icio.us?

  2. Staci D. Kramer Tuesday, December 12, 2006

    No, I don't have a good number. Maybe someone else will see this and respond with one. According to the PI article linked to above, the Times was approached by Facebook earlier this year and invited Newsvine and Digg. Not sure why they left the others out, particularly del.icio.us.

    I've noticed over the years that being ahead in one area doesn't always mean a site will be a first mover — or that they will even continue to lead in that area.

  3. Ahem…Several Web sites have been doing this for quite a while. Roanoke.com probably paved the way for a lot of newspaper sites when it put multiple social bookmarking/sharing sites on every article page. The Washington Post put del.icio.us tags on all its article pages more than a year ago, and just a few months ago washingotnpost.com added quick links to other tagging sites — Digg, Reddit, Facebook etc.

  4. The Times doesn't link to delicious because it's a competitor to their TimesSelect feature TimesFile. Why publicize something free if they can encourage you to pay for it?

  5. Thanks for the shout-out Russ!

    <a href="http://www.roanoke.com">The Roanoke Times</a> has indeed been doing the "share" thing for quite some time. I built and introduced the feature — I was an online producer for roanoke.com, and am now a Web developer for the site — way back when <a href="http://www.newsvine.com">Newsvine</a&gt; was still in beta, and <a href="http://del.icio.us">del.icio.us</a&gt; wasn't owned by Yahoo!

    But I believe this is yet another instance of the blogging community, at least the one I pay attention to, beating the MSM to the Web 2.0 bowl. It was on those Web sites where I first saw social networking sites being used in this way.

    Online news staffs at all newspapers should be paying close attention to Web development/design blogs and the up-and-coming Web 2.0 community for new ideas and trends.

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