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Summary:

I’ve spent some time off and on today with the latest tool from NYTimes.com: TimesPeople, a Firefox add-on that functions as a combo recomme…

imageI’ve spent some time off and on today with the latest tool from NYTimes.com: TimesPeople, a Firefox add-on that functions as a combo recommendation engine and low-frills social network. The add-on is part of the beta phase: NYTimes.com promises that it will be “baked into the site” for the 1.0 launch. For now, it works like this: log in as a registered NYTimes.com user, pick a display name and location, add people to your network by searching the TimesPeople database or by letting TimesPeople load contacts from other networks (the only option right now is GMail), start recommending. It’s not just about NYT articles — TimesPeople members can share ratings (hotels, movies, restaurants), reviews, and comments. The feed also can be sent to Facebook pages. The site’s CTO Marc Frons describes it “as an example of opening up our site as a place for
our engaged community of readers to convene.”

If NYTimes.com had added TimesPeople a couple of years ago, I might have been wowed. Instead, it’s more like whelmed. Pages with TimesPeople enabled take longer to load and provide less real estate for actual news. (On the other hand, at least the toolbar is only visible when I’m on NYTimes.com.) The idea of claiming people as “My People” whether or not you even know them is a little off-putting. Still, it’s another sign of the willingness to experiment. If it winds up only limited to people trying to follow what Times staffers are doing — and those staffers actually keep updating, that’s probably the lowest form of engagement. But if the service keeps evolving and — big “if” coming — if even a small percentage of readers become users by creating NYTimes.com-based networks of their own, the potential is significant. In the meantime, if you’re looking for me, try sdkstl.

Video embedded below is of CNET (NSDQ: CNET) News.com’s Caroline McCarthy interviewing two NYTimes.com software engineers, courtesy of CNET and Beet.tv:

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  1. "Pages with TimesPeople enabled take longer to load and provide less real estate for actual news. "

    Thats 'kind-of true' but not really (in my opinion at least) :)

    The extra page load time is due to javascript libraries like Prototype loading. We use that across nytimes.com for auto-suggest and other dynamic features. However, after loading one page these files are cached by your browser so the load time becomes minimal.

    To be fair, the toolbar only takes about 35 pixels off the top of the page and I believe it makes a minor impact on space dedicated to news. In fact, the purpose of the toolbar is to list even current headlines, comments, blogs, travel guides, slide-shows etc from those you in your feed. In my opinion its a bit of a plus rather than a minus.

    The is one feature that I haven't heard in the various commentaries on this service – that the data is yours. There are links to xml and json versions of the 'your' and 'everybodys' feed at the bottom of the page with the last 75 actions. I'm eager to see if and how this gets used and embedded elsewhere.

    I hope you continue to use it as it grows and develops.

  2. I agree with you.

  3. I use it everyday and i confirm that it's a very usefull tools ! Thx to them !

  4. Thanks for pointing that out. I visit NYTimes.com almost every day, but did not know about this plugin. I've now download it and it seems a great tool indeed! Thanks again.

  5. Often use and I can tell you qu' it is very useful,
    thanks a lot

  6. I agree with you. Thanks

  7. The extra page load time is due to javascript libraries like Prototype loading. We use that across nytimes.com for auto-suggest and other dynamic features. However, after loading one page these files are cached by your browser so the load time becomes minimal.

  8. miapuestapuntocom Sunday, May 2, 2010

    beautiful for me , and good luck for next time

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