I wouldn’t have even noticed a difference in the New York Times‘s online layout this morning if it hadn’t been for Mashable calling attention to the new “Extra” layout. In addition to publishing their own stories, the Times links to related stories published by other news outlets and blogs.
This isn’t groundbreaking – other news sites have used the “aggregator” strategy for years. But by listing other news outlets, the Times embraces its role as a true online news source, focusing more on providing relevant information than on feeding users an exclusive diet of Times-generated content. It’s another example of how, in the modern media environment, control and influence are not necessarily synonymous: by giving putting other news sources at your fingertips, the Times paradoxically makes its own site a more valuable news source.
With old-school newspaper circulation failing, America’s most iconic newspaper is showing that old dogs can learn new tricks.