beta620 invites public feedback on New York Times' website experiments
paidContent.org | Nieman Journalism Lab
The New York Times has unveiled beta620, a site that showcases experimental features for NYTimes.com and solicits feedback on them. Marc Frons, chief technology officer for digital operations, tells Nieman Lab's Megan Garber that the site is intended to spur "continuous innovation." Among the projects are Community Hub, a dashboard of social activity on the site, such as reader comments, recommendations and reviews; The Buzz, a real-time display of social-media activity for Times content; and Longitude, which presents Times stories geographically. PaidContent's David Kaplan writes that the site "recognizes that in order to get users excited about new features, it has to take a more hands-off approach and invite as many ideas as possible." Garber writes that the site is similar to Kickstarter in a way, with the projects presented as pitches. "Developers are selling their ideas to the public, hoping they’ll catch on. Instead of funding, though, they’re asking for something that can be much more valuable: plain old feedback."