The New York Times
has launched a personalized news start page called MyTimes. It's located at http://my.nytimes.com
. MyTimes is currently running in beta. Silicon Valley Insider blogs
that the service provides similar features that are common on other web portals.
MyTimes, in other words, appears to provide much of the functionality that portals like Yahoo began offering circa 1996. If the Times had rolled the feature out in 1995, therefore, who knows where its online presence would be today--probably a good deal larger than the 14 million uniques it currently has. Unfortunately, MyTimes does not seem to offer much that a committed NYTimes.com browser could already find on the site, and its feature set as a start-page almost certainly falls short of those offered by Yahoo, Google, NetVibes, and the dozens of other "My" portals out there, at which most Internet users have already established a presence.
MyTimes lets you add rss feeds from your favorite sources. Some of the New York Times
journalists have also listed some of their favorite blogs and feeds.
TechDirt also points out
that the service is similar to other portals. The New York Times
MyTimes definitely copies some of the features already found on other Internet start pages but the Times
has a captive audience so it probably makes sense for them to take advantage of it in this manner. The Times
may also have many visitors that are less web savvy than the average NetVibes
user so it is possible some of the features on MyTimes will be new to them. However, they aren't likely to win many converts that are already happy with existing start pages like My Yahoo
. You can find a list of more start pages here