Tag Archives: New York Times Co.

NYT’s Zimbalist at Inman: Everything Must Sync

Michael Zimbalist, who runs R&D at The New York Times Co., told Inman Real Estate Connect attendees in San Francisco yesterday that the rise of social networks has spearheaded a very real shift from “the paradigm of publishing to the paradigm of communicating.”

“The consumer is squarely at the center,” said Zimbalist, noting that there are now more global users of social networks than even email. “Time spent using email has completely flattened out.”

The new paradigm has lead to a change in overall behavior, with users now active creators of content. “Every minute, 20 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube,” he said. Mobile is also integrated into everything.

The implications for the publishing and software industries are that they have to plan for multi-purpose devices and services and incredibly rapid innovation. “We are seeing a Cambrian explosion of evolution,” said Zimbalist. Many things are coming up, and some don’t make it.

Features that have been seized upon include search with voice, location, image recognition, multi touch, augmented reality and “gestural navigation” such as WII game devices. To stay abreast, it is critical that publishers and software producers work to sync everything at all times.

Regarding the iPad, Zimbalist took note of an audience member’s disappointment with The New York Times initial iPad app, which is just a “best of” product (I like it, actually). A new premium version will come out soon. Addressing rumors that it will be priced as much as $360 a year, Zimbalist only joked that users will “definitely pay more” than they do for The Wall Street Journal iPad app.

Boston.com Launches Virtual Bulletin Board

It would be a pity if The New York Times Co.’s Boston Globe were shut down, because its Boston.com site continues to innovate with local online advertising capabilities. Today, the company’s YourTown hyperlocal sites launched Flyerboards: a virtual bulletin board on which businesses can post “flyers” to advertise their services and events.

The technology behind Flyerboard, by New Haven-based PaperG, automatically converts images into flyers . What makes it different from other print conversion programs is that it also enables various Web 2.0 functionality, including email sharing, social networking and online maps (although vendors like Travidia and HarvestInfo have been adding a host of advanced solutions to their own offerings).

Boston.com’s plans are to initially launch Flyerboard on Newton, Needham, Waltham and Wellesley. Other communities will eventually being added.

One touted advantage of the Flyerboard is that it can be sold on a self-serve basis. Alternatively, publishers can bundle Flyerboard sales with other sponsorships.

PaperG CEO Victor Wong tells us that more deals for the Flyerboard are set to be announced in coming weeks by several additional newspaper companies. “It is already live with 50 websites,” largely focused on the college market, he says. For those sites, Wong says it is “outperforming the click through rates of banner ads and Google at a fraction of the cost.”