Of course I went to Starbucks for a copy of the New York Times…
I found maybe one title that related to food or connecting people. Disappointed, I opened the New York Time’s homepage in the search for my article. Since I visit their site often, I quickly navigated to the bottom of the page looking for the food section. What I like about The New York Times online articles is that they all have a line of small text indicating where on the newspaper on which day the article will appear on.
“Cooking with Friends” (Without a Fight) soon caught my eye as it presents the idea of connections over food. It was a single scroll that took me about 3 minutes. Something I noticed is that at the top of the page, there are articles in the food section but right above the headline, is the section heading that links to “Men’s Style“. This made sense to me actually after I read the article because this article talked about the dynamics of a group of males cooking together. I thought it was an approach of the New York Times to personalize content to readers who might be interested in both sections and “ensuring the right stories are finding the right readers in the right place” (Pg.37). I also had the ability to click on the writer to find out more about what he writes about and possibly follow him with the follow button underneath his name. The “follow” button is another experiment that New York Times identified in the leaked “Innovation Report” to personalize stories to their readers (Pg. 39).
I found this article, with a little help on the September 11th copy in the Men’s Style section of the printed paper. The title of the printed article, however, was: “There won’t be blood: Cooking with Friends, without a fight and Venetian Cauliflower”. Compared to the online title, this one seems less obvious to me at first is about friends cooking together but it does contain more information on what I will be able to find in the article. Like how there is cooking related stories on the top bar in the online version, there is a daiquiri making article printed right next to it. Also along this two columned article, there was a printed recipe for “Venetian Cauliflower ” that featured in the article. It took me a little longer to read, possibly because of the much smaller print on the physical copy and that it was two columns.
I did see the small print on newspapers a drawback compared to a digital copy viewed online where it offers the reader the ability to adjust font sizes. However, I liked that the physical paper had a recipe right there in front of you instead of having you visit another site to see it online. Maybe because this article was not too long, it was buried in pages of full-page ads of men’s designer brands. If the online article in New York Times didn’t tell me where to look specifically, I probably wouldn’t have found the one in the printed paper. Therefore this gives another advantage to the online version being sorted into sections at the bottom of the page for readers to quickly navigate to what they want to find.
In addition, I noticed that “Cooking with Friends” was published online on Sept 10th and appeared on the Sept 11th print. I think that this is the New York Times’s first steps in their transition into a truly “digital first” organization – an idea that digital version should be published before the print version but also prioritizing producing the best quality digital reports without constraints of the paper (Pg. 82).
Overall, I would say that I can identify the steps that the New York Times is making towards the aims in the Innovation Report but features like the “follow” button that are still in experiment mode. But I sure hope they continue to work on giving better reader experience and push more personalized content because I was actually taken aback at how many articles there are in the New York Times of various topics; I just need to find them.
The New York Times. (March 24, 2014). Innovation. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2014/05/16/full-new-york-times-innovation-report/#9abBZ6RTAOkB
Sam Sifton. (Sept 10, 2015). Cooking with Friends (Without a Fight). Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/11/fashion/mens-style/cooking-with-friends-without-a-fight-and-venetian-cauliflower.html?ref=dining