New York Times Introduces Labs Project

The New York Times has introduced its long-delayed Beta620, a public beta testing site where people can experiment with new products that could eventually make it on NYTimes.com.

The site went live earlier this month with seven projects for consumers to try and comment on:

  •  The Buzz, which shows how much traction Times articles are getting on social media
  • Times Companion, which lets you summon information on topics in the article you’re reading without taking you away from the page
  • TimesInstant, a search page that shows results as you type
  • Smart Search Bar, which sorts results and displays them without taking you away from the page you’re on
  • NYTimes Crossword Web App, an HTML 5 version of the puzzle’s aging digital versions
  • Longitude, which plots the day’s Times articles on an interactive Google map
  • Community Hub, a dashboard featuring stats on your comment history, a feed of comments on Times articles and, soon, Facebook friends’ comments
The “620” refers to the newspaper’s address on 8th Avenue. It’s a fun and great idea and something that few newspapers could afford to do. I kind of wish the New York Times also served as a digital technology company for other newspapers around the world.

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