Techdirt has beat up on the New York Times a lot over the years for its bone-headed use of the web. For years, it treated the website as an afterthought, serving up warmed-over versions of its print coverage and charging
for the privilege. As we pointed out repeatedly
, the web is different from older media. Success online requires that you be part of the conversation. Users expect a faster-paced, more connected experience from a website than you get from a newspaper. But in the last six months or so, the Times has made a series of decisions that suggests they're finally starting to understand that the web is its own medium with its own unique rules. They've dropped their paywall
, launched a ton of great blogs
, produced podcasts
, and added new personalization features.
This summer, they unveiled Open
, a blog by and for geeks about the use of open source technologies at the Times. And now they've launched Blogrunner
, a news aggregator they snapped up last year and are integrated in various places around the site, starting with the technology section.
Integrating links to other sites into their subject-specific pages makes it more likely that people will make that page their starting point for information on that subject. None of these developments are that Earthshaking by themselves, but when you add them all up it starts to look like the Grey Lady is finally taking the web seriously. Now if we can just get them to give us full-text RSS feeds
of their blogs!