I buzzed a little in my Social Media: What’s Hot? post about the concept of using RSS feeds to aggregate online content and also mentioned Google News service as an example of dynamically created news site. I pointed out to the dire consequences these services might have for ad revenue streams of prime content sources and online media industry. The reason is that as long as you can get your eyes on a headline and a lead, you are very likely not to click through to the full article. If you are anything like me, you will maybe visit 1% of the original full-article pages for all the general news headlines you get in your RSS reader.
One service I found very inspiring yet didn’t mention in my last post is FeedChronicle. It is basically an RSS reader that presents the feeds in a newspaper-like format. I used this service as an example of aggregating content from various sources in user-friendly service.
Today I read the NYT Article Skimmer: Recreate the Sunday Morning Paper in Your Browser on ReadWriteWeb. What New York Times offers is actually that FeedChronicle/Google News feeling. It is this ability I was thinking about: to go through you daily newspaper in a way you like – by skimming. Whatever you say about the interface, I think it is great example of media company answering to real needs of people reading all sorts of information online. Instead of fighting Google News in court, NYT tries to reinvent themselves and offer new value to their readers. The whole mass media industry is struggling, but in my personal opinion the Article Skimmer is a little step in the right direction. Embracing the Web as it stands now with content aggregators, user-generated stuff and hyperconnected information consumers. Way to go, Times!