New York Times announces Times Machine

The New York Times building (new style)

Yesterday I got a great tour with my cell phone of the new New York Times building. While there I met some of the top geeks behind the New York Times and they told me a few things and showed me some interesting stuff.

In the Research and Development department they showed me:

  1. A prototype newspaper rack that could print out a custom version of the newspaper.
  2. Tons of gadgets, including a cool thin book reader following a discussion of metadata that the New York Times is collecting. They have these gadgets so they can develop new ways of delivering content to those devices. In this video they announced a Mac version of the Times Reader, coming “within days.”
  3. New York Times articles showing up on Google Earth while in their digital living room.

Then Stacey Green of NYT’s PR team took me up to the Boardroom where I got to see lots of famous photos and showed me the hallway where they have all the pictures of everyone at the NYT who has won a Pulitzer Prize — it’s like walking through history.

But my favorite interview was getting to talk with Architect Derek Gottfrid, who told me about this thing called Time Machine which is an archive of old issues of the New York Times that you will be able to look through — he gave me a good demo of it in the video I filmed. He told me how they used Amazon’s EC2 service to convert all the TIFF images to PDFs for this project. Then he also told me that Times Machine would be released Wednesday (tomorrow). Derek and his fellow coders keep a blog, by the way, which is most excellent for developers. I’ll watch for it to be released and will post the URL Wednesday evening after I get home (I’ll be flying most of the day on Wednesday).

Hope you enjoyed this little look around the “gray lady,” which is what staffers there affectionately call the New York Times. One thing they gave me a tour of, but asked me not to take video or photos of, is the newsroom. What an impressive place.

How impressive? Well, just check out what’s in the lobby. Hundreds of these little displays. Every few seconds they all change and show a different quote from someone famous in history as quoted in the New York Times.

68 thoughts on “New York Times announces Times Machine

  1. I wish I had such a tool which could print out custom versions of newspapers. I am tired of keeping that huge sack in my garage. I hate to carry those huge folded papers daily to my office, being a journalist. Seems you had a great tour with all those innovative information you have come to know.

  2. I wish I had such a tool which could print out custom versions of newspapers. I am tired of keeping that huge sack in my garage. I hate to carry those huge folded papers daily to my office, being a journalist. Seems you had a great tour with all those innovative information you have come to know.

  3. Can you tell me how can I schedule a visit to the NYT facilities? We are planning a visit with students of communication. We live in Mexico. I also accept suggests.
    Regards!!

  4. Can you tell me how can I schedule a visit to the NYT facilities? We are planning a visit with students of communication. We live in Mexico. I also accept suggests.
    Regards!!

  5. Great, more ways for the NY Times to get out their disgustingly biased editorial point of view.

  6. Great, more ways for the NY Times to get out their disgustingly biased editorial point of view.

  7. The word newspaper is fast becoming an anachronism. What makes me sad is how few papers are really embracing the future of news, which I think means that all papers need to start doing two things immediately:

    1. Create a good digital equivalent to “Subscription” in the online space, because loyal subscribers are FAR more valuable than the random Googler.

    2. Make your content easily and readily available in any format you possibly can. Be on the Kindle. Be on Google Earth. Be on the blackberry. Be in special reader format on PCs and Macs and Tablets.

    I see the NYT consistently trying to do these things when most companies are not, and that is why they are sitting on top of the world in online news.

  8. The word newspaper is fast becoming an anachronism. What makes me sad is how few papers are really embracing the future of news, which I think means that all papers need to start doing two things immediately:

    1. Create a good digital equivalent to “Subscription” in the online space, because loyal subscribers are FAR more valuable than the random Googler.

    2. Make your content easily and readily available in any format you possibly can. Be on the Kindle. Be on Google Earth. Be on the blackberry. Be in special reader format on PCs and Macs and Tablets.

    I see the NYT consistently trying to do these things when most companies are not, and that is why they are sitting on top of the world in online news.

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