As plenty of others are reporting elsewhere, the New York Times has launched the public version of its MyTimes customizable home page, which has been in beta for almost a year now. I tried it out when it first launched and I confess my reaction was very similar to some of the other responses out there — in other words, the new offering has some not bad features, but nothing that’s going to alter the fabric of the Web or cause the earth to stop rotating.
I think one of the most interesting features is the ability to check out — and add the RSS feeds for — some of the sites that New York Times reporters and columnists like to go to. I confess I haven’t really spent much time on the site since I checked it out initially, but the last time I looked they hadn’t done much apart from letting you add feeds from NYT writers and add tabs specific to each of your favourite authors.
My friend Mike Masnick at Techdirt isn’t very impressed with the site, and I share his lack of enthusiasm. While it’s not a bad offering, I wonder why the Times bothered with MyTimes when there are others offering much the same features. I assume they’re hoping faithful readers will gravitate to the site because of their love for the brand, but I’m not sure that’s true. If I were them, I would have spent a bit more time trying to make it unique.