New York Times Launches MyTimes
Posted on August 23, 2007The New York Times has launched a personalized news start page called MyTimes. It's located at http://my.nytimes.com. MyTimes is currently running in beta. Silicon Valley Insider blogs that the service provides similar features that are common on other web portals.
MyTimes, in other words, appears to provide much of the functionality that portals like Yahoo began offering circa 1996. If the Times had rolled the feature out in 1995, therefore, who knows where its online presence would be today--probably a good deal larger than the 14 million uniques it currently has. Unfortunately, MyTimes does not seem to offer much that a committed NYTimes.com browser could already find on the site, and its feature set as a start-page almost certainly falls short of those offered by Yahoo, Google, NetVibes, and the dozens of other "My" portals out there, at which most Internet users have already established a presence.MyTimes lets you add rss feeds from your favorite sources. Some of the New York Times journalists have also listed some of their favorite blogs and feeds.
TechDirt also points out that the service is similar to other portals. The New York Times MyTimes definitely copies some of the features already found on other Internet start pages but the Times has a captive audience so it probably makes sense for them to take advantage of it in this manner. The Times may also have many visitors that are less web savvy than the average NetVibes user so it is possible some of the features on MyTimes will be new to them. However, they aren't likely to win many converts that are already happy with existing start pages like My Yahoo, NetVibes and iGoogle.