Pinning the NY Times

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The New York Times’ in-house R&D lab continues to do interesting work. Its latest release is Compendium, a Pinterest-like tool for collecting and organizing Times content. Users sign in via Facebook or Twitter and then add a Compendium bookmarklet to their browser that lets them clip and save Times content. Unlike Pinterest, which is primarily for images, Compendium lets users compile articles, videos, images, and quotations a la Storify. Users can then share their Compendium pages on Facebook and Twitter.

Right now, the service is limited to Times content and has no explicit monetization angle. But as with Ricochet, the Times‘ new platform for allowing brands to aggregate Times content and wrap it in their own advertising that I wrote about last week, it’s not hard to see how Compendium could also become a platform for brands to leverage custom aggregation of Times content for their own social media brand building efforts.

Not knowing anything about the underlying technology, I don’t know how hard or easy it would be to integrate Ricochet and Compendium. But it’s encouraging to see the Times working to develop tools that it the publisher participate directly in the aggregation and social media economy around its content. In the long run, that’s likely to beat trying to fight those trends by putting up paywalls or charging for access.