Times Wire Gives You NYT In Real-Time. But The News May Be Old.

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picture-56One of the biggest knocks against traditional media isn’t necessarily that it’s not online — most of it is now — but rather that it’s slow when it comes to delivering news. By the time an old media site gets a story approved, written and edited, a dozen blogs probably have already covered the same news. That’s not always the case of course, and for those stories, Times Wire, a new service by The New York Times, will be very useful.

Times Wire allows you to see New York Times articles, blog posts and stories by some wire services as they are placed on the web. It automatically updates every minute, placing the latest articles at the top of a stream of content in reverse chronological order. As an overview of the entire NYT site, it’s actually quite interesting. Looking at it right now, I’ve seen five new stories pop up in the past five minutes. But for the individual sections, such as technology, it’s pretty limited.

The reason goes back to content. If I only focus on the technology feed in Times Wire, there have only been 5 new stories in the past 2 hours, so it’s not like you really need a live look at that feed. Further, while some are certainly interesting reads, none are particularly new, again negating the need for a live feed.

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Business and Technology is actually one of the sections that has its own tab right now, as the NYT clearly knows that tech lovers will probably be more interested in this than the average reader — at least right now. For all other sections, you can use the “Your News” area to filter the various sections of the site into your wire feed. There are also photos featured on the right hand side of the site, that you can click on to go to the story they pertain to.

And there is a RSS feed for the Times Wire, which is a nice touch — though the speed at which RSS travels to various readers will again likely negate any real-time bonus you would get if you kept the main Times Wire page open.

Times Wire is the first NYT product built using the Times Newswire API, which the organization developed to give other sites access not only to its content, but to some of the interesting data it collects as well.

Beginning tomorrow, Times Wire will be available on the homepage of the New York Times. For now, you can find it in action here. Overall, it definitely seems like a step in the right direction for the organization, as real-time is a hot trend right now. And it’s useful as a live overview of the entire site. But for people only interested in certain topics, it’s probably fine to stick with RSS because the real-time river isn’t flowing fast enough to necessitate keeping the page open.

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