NYT Unveils Alternative Home Page

The New York Times Co. announced today the beta launch of Times Extra, an alternative view of the home page featuring headlines with links from third-party sources.

It aggregates headlines from across the Web, and matches the most relevant of those sources with lead articles on the nytimes.com home page.

An excerpt from the paper’s release follows:

In the Times Extra view, relevant headlines from around the Web appear beneath many of the articles in the upper half of the homepage. Source names are highlighted in green. Users can scroll within these boxes to view up to eight Extra headlines.

“The days when content sites were afraid to link to other sites are over,” said Marc Frons, chief technology officer for digital operations, The New York Times Company. “Times Extra is an important part of our strategy to become a destination for compelling journalism, not only by The New York Times, but by other content providers as well. We want to give our readers a comprehensive view of the news and opinion our editors think is important.”

“We are addressing a common desire for comprehensiveness, enabling people to find all the news and information they could want from all sorts of sources,” said Denise Warren, senior vice president and chief advertising officer, The New York Times Media Group. “Initiatives such as Times Extra and our other new products allow us to do an even better job of responding to our audiences’ demands for interactivity, community, multimedia and news and information on an increasingly wide range of topics. This makes Times Extra an appealing buy for advertisers.”

To view Times Extra, users click on the new “Times Extra” button at the top of the home page, above the search bar. After 24 hours, readers will need to click the button to reactivate Times Extra for another 24 hours. The “Switch Back” button at the top of the Times Extra view returns users to the standard home page.

The automated ranking of news stories is powered by Blogrunner, a news aggregator owned by The Times Company that continually crawls the Web and links to stories from more than10,000 sources; the ranking on Blogrunner is determined by its popularity on the Web.