NYT launches Compendium, a Pinterest-like tool for the paper’s content

Many newspapers and magazines have already created accounts on Pinterest, and it’s not surprising they’re thinking about other ways to get readers to share their content. This week the New York Times (s NYT) Research & Development Labs launched a new tool called Compendium, which lets readers “use articles, imagery, videos, and quotations to tell your own stories using New York Times content.” A good comparison might be Storify for a single source’s content, or Pinterest with more text.

Users sign in with Facebook or Twitter, add the Compendium bookmarklet to their browser and then create a collection with a title, description and choice of format — standard, timeline or gallery. They can then add NYT content to that collection. When you click on the bookmarklet from an page on the New York Times site, a Pinterest-like box pops up with options to add the entire article, a quote, or images or video. You can share finished collections on Twitter or Facebook (s FB).

Screen Shot 2012-12-07 at 2.45.24 PMThe collections are featured on this page and can be filtered by topic; so far, most seem to be created by NYT employees. Among them: “My Favorite Reads of 2012“” by NYT tech reporter Jenna Wortham, “The Best/Worst Dining Reviews” by NYT R&D director of technology strategy Matt Boggie, and “ComPANDium,” “an attempt to catalog all the pandas we mention in the Times.”

The fact that Compendium only allows the collection of Times content (if you try adding content from another source, an error message pops up) is probably a limitation against widespread use. Then again, avid Times readers — especially those with a digital subscription that gives them access to the NYT’s entire archives online — may find it a useful or fun way to store content or do little projects. And if the tool gains more popularity, it could open up to other sources. If it did, it might be a useful middle ground between Pinterest and Storify. It’s more text-based than Pinterest, which makes it a natural fit for saving passages and quotes. And it’s less linear than Storify, which is nice if you want to collect items without stringing them into a narrative.