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.