By: Joe Strupp
MyTimes, The New York Times’ personalized Web page service, is finally opening to the public today. For at least 5,000 people anyway.
First launched in April along with the paper’s redesigned Web site, the MyTimes feature has been available only to Times staffers on an internal basis, according to spokeswoman Diane McNulty. But those seeking to utilize the service have been able to sign up for it since April 3, she said.
With “tens of thousands” of Web users subscribing, the newspaper has decided to allow the first 5,000 to begin use today. “We are testing it, we don’t want the system to crash, we are rolling it out slowly,” McNulty said about the limited beginning. “We will move on to the next step, another 5,000, when we have this under our belt.”
The service allows users to create a home web page on the Times site that will link them to any requested Web sites and Times material related to various subjects. “Anything on the Web,” she explained. “You will sign up for a Web site and everyday when you check on MyTimes you will see the page with your information. It is all part of personalization of the Web.”
The service is free and offered to both subscribers and non-subscribers of the paper. “You can link to our competitors,” she added. “The idea is to be the destination page.”
In addition, users can see the MyTimes home pages for Times newsroom employees who are signed up, she said. So far, 23 Times journalists are using the service.
McNulty would not say what the timeline would be for full accessibility for all users, but said people can continue to sign up for the service at www.nytimes.com.
Related E&P column by David Hirschman:
— The Mixed Blessing of ‘Personalized News’