The New York Times will not go quietly into the dark knight of new media. Amidst constant rumors of the death of traditional news, the much-respected industry stalwart is moving quickly to build a compelling and forward-looking solution that redefines “the newspaper as platform”, as ReadWriteWeb’s Marshall Kirkpatrick notes.
Today the NYT announced that 2.8 million articles will be exposed to the digital world through the site’s API, allowing anyone to link, annotate, mashup, and crawl the data for meaning. This opportunity to construct data visualizations that abstract patterns & trends from within the articles is perhaps the most interesting element that immediately adds human value to what is otherwise an overwhelming amount of information (2.8 articles).
The recent Twitter Superbowl visualization, as well as other visualization experiments at NYT.com, are indicators of how the company is gathering data and parsing it in meaningful ways. A list of Twitter posts related to the Superbowl is just a long index table. Even reading the Summize Search feed for such a huge event is dizzying. But a geo-located, timeline mashup of tweets & key terms with a map of the US is immediately valuable to anyone trying to get a bead on trends. Their implementation is simple & entertaining, and you can derive substantial meaning at a glance.
The next step is offering meaningful business information from this data and competing with LexusNexus.