NY Times Redesign and the Death of Blogs

I like the redesign over at the New York Times site — it’s fresh, clean, open, accessible, and, yes, blog-informed. It is a good reminder, in case one was ever really needed, that one of the reason blogs emerged was to do with mundane interface issues at traditional news publications. Among other things, it was too hard to find most recent stories, too hard to comment on things, and too hard to see new stories. The redesign fixes all of these things.

The upshot: The traditional media could still put paid to a significant subset of the blog-o-sphere — and more than a few social news startups — by simply stealing some good design ideas from blogs.

As a related aside, this redesign will please Jim Cramer [obDisclosure: I write a weekly column for the Cramer-founder RealMoney/TheStreet]. In his latest New York magazine column he calls for the Times to follow its nose as it dumps stock tables and go “all digital”, to drop newsprint and really push its news brand globally:

…the Web is not just better for stock quotes, it is better for everything. Web ad rates are soaring, the growth on the Web is staggering–the only impediment to more Times on the Web is, frankly, psychological: a fear of destroying a legacy business, a fear that has no place in a world where the Times is worth only $3.7 billion and Google nearly 30 times that. The idea that cutting down huge Canadian trees and shipping giant wheels of newsprint south so it can be made into antediluvian broadsheets delivered door-to-door by expensive carriers is, alas, positively uneconomical, if not totally insane, in an era when anyone younger than 30 doesn’t want the thing in that package.


  1. A fair point, Paul — and something bloggers might want to think about before they get too cocky. I think the Times redesign definitely looks and works better — the “most-blogged stories” section is a great idea.
    A lot of the changes that the NYT is making are ones that we’ve also made at the paper I work for (www.globeandmail.com) over the past six months or so. One thing the Times hasn’t done, however, is to allow readers to comment directly on stories — which is one of the things that makes the blogosphere (for better or worse) such an active place from a “conversation” point of view. We’ve been doing it at globeandmail.com since about September and have had a huge response from readers.

  2. Yes, I should have mentioned the Globe & Mail. I actually think you folks have been leaders in making news more conversational, and I’m not surprised it’s generating a big response.
    While I’d happily see the Times do the same, the reader numbers are so large (and partisan) that screening posts could become an entire cost-center in itself.

  3. I think The Onion does a better job than most newspapers.

  4. Nice to see tag clouds.
    Wonder where they got that idea ?