I used to read the New York Times quite a lot — this was several years ago. Eventually I just trailed off. It seemed like I was spending more time logging in than actually getting anything read. Now NYTimes.com is making My Times available, which is a portal (AAAAH! NOT THE P-WORD!) for Times content. I might have to do some more reading. You can check it out at http://my.nytimes.com/ .
I dusted off my ancient account and logged in. And actually it’s quite a bit more than NY Times content — as you can add RSS feeds and other content modules from all over the Web. When you first log in you’ll actually have a pre-populated page with all the usual portal favorites (weather, stock quotes, etc.) Choose Add Content to start making the page yours.
The front part add content page has three columns: one of Times content, one of stuff from around the Web (BBC, Yahoo, etc.) and one of widgets (photo browser, movie showtimes (?!), etc.) (You can also add RSS feeds of content that the NYT doesn’t list. Do that from the home page.) Be sure when browsing available content to explore the tabs on the left, which will give you access to more in-depth NYT items. These tabs are divided into topics and show the New York Times’ offerings and then suggestions for other content from around the Web. The eager recommendation of other stories in addition to the Times’ own makes the NYT look generous, confident, and smart. Good on you New York Times.
Anyway, moving the content around the page is as simple as click and drag. A nice feature is that you can add additional tabs to the main page; so you could have several sections divided out by category. (Gee, just like a newspaper.) As a matter of fact, if you didn’t have TOO many to read, My Times would make a very nice RSS feed reader. I’m going to have to try that for stuff I don’t want to check every day.
The only oddness I found about this site was the search for sources. I did a search for sources relating to Google and while I got Google News from the NYT as a search option, I also got pointers to NYT’s China news section. Since Google/China have recently been in the news, I can sort of see it, but I would rather see search blogs, official blogs from other engines, etc. in my search results. A search for Yahoo brought more expected results.
Lots of content, very responsive, easy to use, might be a useful feeder for low-moderate numbers of RSS feeds. I think My Times might be a portal I actually like.