NYTimes.com Tests My Times

The New York Times confirmed it began beta testing a service called My
Times this week.

Five thousand NYtimes.com subscribers were selected to try the
product, which allows readers to select from a variety of syndicated
content modules to place on one My Times home page.

The content modules range from top New York Times stories to
the latest articles from daily sections, to unaffiliated blogs and
online publications, selected by New York Times editors and
reporters.

It’s a pre-fab feed aggregator.

My Times is the New York Times‘s latest addition to their
NYTimes.com property and another attempt at solving some of the many
problems facing publishers today as they try to monetize their
content online.

One of the latest of those issues has been dealing with syndication technologies, such as RSS.

Syndication technology is convenient for readers because it lets
them bring all their desired content to one place in a feed
aggregator, such as Ask’s Bloglines.

It’s an increasingly popular technology publishers must
contend with.

According to Ask.com, subscribers to Bloglines jumped by 300 percent
between June 2005 and June 2006.

The trouble for publishers is that it is hard to include
advertisements in syndication feeds.

Aggregators are constantly reading the feed distorting the
“impression” numbers publishers use to determine how much to charge
advertisers.

“People think about RSS as a double-edged sword and that’s definitely
true,” Evan Hansen, editor-in-chief of Wired News, told
internetnews.com.

“It changes the role of the news provider. You need to manage it very
carefully to be successful,” he said.

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