A new way to surf the New York Times

If you’re a news hound you won’t want to miss what Dave Winer shipped yesterday. It lets you dive into the New York Times by clicking on an outline. Thanks Dave, this is MUCH nicer than even the far flashier, but much more heavyweight “readers” that Microsoft did for the New York Times.

But, the problem is that most people won’t understand this cause it looks too simple.

If you don’t get what Dave is doing, that’s OK. It always takes ME about a year to really get his more disruptive stuff. I thought RSS was too simple when I first saw it too.

39 thoughts on “A new way to surf the New York Times

  1. I just think you have this meme embedded in you that RSS is in competition with everything else, whether desktop applications or traditional forms of web publication, or that at least everything else will be more on the margins and not matter as much.

    It sounds like someone who says because we can open up a Costco and Walmart in every town in the world, its ok if corner stores are demolished and every town in the world becomes a cultureless stripmall where people buy things in bulk they don’t need.

    And people do say that, because they’re too caught up in business hype and fashion. XML is a good standard, but its also democratizing business hype by making consumers feel like they’re part of the hype machine.

    The only thing significant about RSS is that its a part of a large standardization process for things that were done a long time without standards.

  2. I just think you have this meme embedded in you that RSS is in competition with everything else, whether desktop applications or traditional forms of web publication, or that at least everything else will be more on the margins and not matter as much.

    It sounds like someone who says because we can open up a Costco and Walmart in every town in the world, its ok if corner stores are demolished and every town in the world becomes a cultureless stripmall where people buy things in bulk they don’t need.

    And people do say that, because they’re too caught up in business hype and fashion. XML is a good standard, but its also democratizing business hype by making consumers feel like they’re part of the hype machine.

    The only thing significant about RSS is that its a part of a large standardization process for things that were done a long time without standards.

  3. What’s there to get:

    RSS gives a standard format for publishing pages with tags, which can then allow clients to read tags in the pages. There have been programs to filter and select pages from sites for years; RSS just by adhering to XML is able to standardize this and make it easier for everyone to do, so different applications can use the same data.

    This will help streamline filtering and notification.

    It doesn’t mean everyone will want to view a site in an RSS dump, whether its a list or something else. The reason Drudge Report is still popular despite the number of news filters or blogs out there, is that its user formatted and edited.

    It also doesn’t invalidate the nicety of the NY Times Reader for Vista. A main problem with the Vista application, is that its restricted to NY Times, so you have a separate reader Application for the Seattle-Post Intelligencer, and you’ll have a separate reader for every single paper. Another problem is that it seems it shouldn’t necessarily be a desktop-only experience. But you know—we have WPF/E (Silveright) now. It will take a little more to make the NY Times reader a meaningful application but it was meant as a demonstration of WPF.

    I have no idea why you think NY Times Reader and Dave Winer’s demonstration are in competition with each other.

    And guess what:

    “And earlier this month at a meeting in NY, two engineers at the NY Times set me off in a new direction, with a very simple bit of advice. They told me to look in the HTML source code of their stories.” – Dave Winer (http://www.scripting.com/stories/2007/10/22/somethingNewInNews.html)

    Dave GOT THE IDEA from the people who helped make the NY Times Reader. Why do you think “Microsoft made it for them”. THEY worked on it and they’re planning to update it in the future.

    What is there to get?

    Everyone knows whats going on; Microsoft, the New York Times, Dave Winer, and everyone else who’s paying attention.

  4. What’s there to get:

    RSS gives a standard format for publishing pages with tags, which can then allow clients to read tags in the pages. There have been programs to filter and select pages from sites for years; RSS just by adhering to XML is able to standardize this and make it easier for everyone to do, so different applications can use the same data.

    This will help streamline filtering and notification.

    It doesn’t mean everyone will want to view a site in an RSS dump, whether its a list or something else. The reason Drudge Report is still popular despite the number of news filters or blogs out there, is that its user formatted and edited.

    It also doesn’t invalidate the nicety of the NY Times Reader for Vista. A main problem with the Vista application, is that its restricted to NY Times, so you have a separate reader Application for the Seattle-Post Intelligencer, and you’ll have a separate reader for every single paper. Another problem is that it seems it shouldn’t necessarily be a desktop-only experience. But you know—we have WPF/E (Silveright) now. It will take a little more to make the NY Times reader a meaningful application but it was meant as a demonstration of WPF.

    I have no idea why you think NY Times Reader and Dave Winer’s demonstration are in competition with each other.

    And guess what:

    “And earlier this month at a meeting in NY, two engineers at the NY Times set me off in a new direction, with a very simple bit of advice. They told me to look in the HTML source code of their stories.” – Dave Winer (http://www.scripting.com/stories/2007/10/22/somethingNewInNews.html)

    Dave GOT THE IDEA from the people who helped make the NY Times Reader. Why do you think “Microsoft made it for them”. THEY worked on it and they’re planning to update it in the future.

    What is there to get?

    Everyone knows whats going on; Microsoft, the New York Times, Dave Winer, and everyone else who’s paying attention.

  5. What’d make it really useful, is if you could choose some of the keywords that Dave is using to cluster stuff and say that you are not interested in that. At least I could get just relevant interesting (to me) news in a single place quickly.

    I don’t suppose Dave has done this for any other sites like the BBC?

  6. What’d make it really useful, is if you could choose some of the keywords that Dave is using to cluster stuff and say that you are not interested in that. At least I could get just relevant interesting (to me) news in a single place quickly.

    I don’t suppose Dave has done this for any other sites like the BBC?

  7. Ok, maybe it’s better from the reading standpoint than Microsoft’s Times Reader. But what about the experience? Why not swap out your iPod for a utilitarian box that just lists all the media on the device? By the same standard, wouldn’t it also be ‘better’?

    Honestly, I don’t even *like* RSS, I just do it because I have to. I’d much rather browse to a real site and look at it in the way they wanted the content to look. Reading RSS is like sitting outside a movie theater reading the script to the movie instead of watching the actual movie.

  8. Ok, maybe it’s better from the reading standpoint than Microsoft’s Times Reader. But what about the experience? Why not swap out your iPod for a utilitarian box that just lists all the media on the device? By the same standard, wouldn’t it also be ‘better’?

    Honestly, I don’t even *like* RSS, I just do it because I have to. I’d much rather browse to a real site and look at it in the way they wanted the content to look. Reading RSS is like sitting outside a movie theater reading the script to the movie instead of watching the actual movie.

  9. Dave’s explorations are interesting and I think it only begins to scratch the surface. I am very interested to see where people take this. BTW Robert – if you ever make it to nyc – let us know and we will show around the innards of nytimes.com and what the real geeks do here.

  10. Dave’s explorations are interesting and I think it only begins to scratch the surface. I am very interested to see where people take this. BTW Robert – if you ever make it to nyc – let us know and we will show around the innards of nytimes.com and what the real geeks do here.

  11. Indexing by “keywords”, with dupes. Nice project I guess. But indexing as a virgin landscape? Hah. SIRE, TExtract, Authex, CINDEX (MACREX), SKY Index, wINDEX and much much more in Enterprise space, as all I can think offa top of head.

  12. Indexing by “keywords”, with dupes. Nice project I guess. But indexing as a virgin landscape? Hah. SIRE, TExtract, Authex, CINDEX (MACREX), SKY Index, wINDEX and much much more in Enterprise space, as all I can think offa top of head.

  13. Way cool! Thanks Dave for putting this together and Robert for giving us the heads up. Just what us time challenged folks need is NYT news in easy to scan summary form.

  14. Way cool! Thanks Dave for putting this together and Robert for giving us the heads up. Just what us time challenged folks need is NYT news in easy to scan summary form.

  15. It’s nice and an interesting way to pull together different stories on a topic, but the experience is pretty awful from a reading POV. I don’t think comparing it to the NYT reader makes sense. The NYT reader is about reading text on the screen as nice as reading on paper. Dave’s work is something else entirely.

  16. It’s nice and an interesting way to pull together different stories on a topic, but the experience is pretty awful from a reading POV. I don’t think comparing it to the NYT reader makes sense. The NYT reader is about reading text on the screen as nice as reading on paper. Dave’s work is something else entirely.

  17. I don’t get it yet, that’s for sure. I haven’t figured out a use for the OPML stuff either. I think I need to find some more examples of this stuff to wrap my brain around it.

  18. I don’t get it yet, that’s for sure. I haven’t figured out a use for the OPML stuff either. I think I need to find some more examples of this stuff to wrap my brain around it.

  19. Probably some institution would find its use as well for it provides another entry point via its data organization. “Simplicity”, no prob, the real deal might be the challenge of value projection especially when it’s too obvious.

  20. Probably some institution would find its use as well for it provides another entry point via its data organization. “Simplicity”, no prob, the real deal might be the challenge of value projection especially when it’s too obvious.

  21. I really have grown to love Dave (in the meta sense). He’s always putting together cool stuff just, it seems, for the sake of putting together (and sharing) cool stuff. Also, I suggested @Flickr that he rearrange it alphabetically instead of by frequency and, thus, it was done. Awesome. I really have switched camps in a certain undeclared blog war.

  22. I really have grown to love Dave (in the meta sense). He’s always putting together cool stuff just, it seems, for the sake of putting together (and sharing) cool stuff. Also, I suggested @Flickr that he rearrange it alphabetically instead of by frequency and, thus, it was done. Awesome. I really have switched camps in a certain undeclared blog war.

  23. Did you ever use the Topic Explorer in the New York Times Reader? Seems a lot more useful to me than what you linked to.
    Flashy doesn’t necessarily mean shallow in terms of functionality.

  24. Did you ever use the Topic Explorer in the New York Times Reader? Seems a lot more useful to me than what you linked to.
    Flashy doesn’t necessarily mean shallow in terms of functionality.

  25. Thanks for the heads up. Dave posted something on Twitter the other day and I think it was regarding this. I was able to give him some feedback concerning how it worked in Opera on OSX. A year ago I didn’t get RSS either, now I’m giving talks on it to local business groups. I love RSS and related tech.

  26. Thanks for the heads up. Dave posted something on Twitter the other day and I think it was regarding this. I was able to give him some feedback concerning how it worked in Opera on OSX. A year ago I didn’t get RSS either, now I’m giving talks on it to local business groups. I love RSS and related tech.

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