TimesPeople: A Firefox Plugin That Builds Social Media Around The New York Times Website

Posted Jun 18, 2008

The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) has created a plugin that works as an add-on for Firefox just-in-time for the new Firefox launch.  The plugin integrates social media into the popular online version of The New York Times publication.

The first step to get the plugin is to download it from http://timespeople.nytimes.com/packages/addons/timespeople/

The second step is to register a New York Times account if you do not already have one:

The third step is to import contacts using GMail.  What I don’t like is that it gives The New York Times the ability to read who your contacts are and add them to your feed.  But what I do like is that the import process goes through the google.com domain name.  This means that the login information is not stored in any NYT databases.

Below is a sample of what the plugin tracks from your friends’ data and your data when surfing around the NYT site:

[Credit: NYT]

As you notice from the screen shot above, the plugin essentially acts in a similar fashion as the news feed on the Facebook member homepage.  TimesPeople encourages you to build friend lists and share the information based around their website.  The company stresses that this is not for social networking purposes, but only intended for information sharing.

The news feed will have RSS subscription capabilities and has a design tailored for the iPhone.  Below is how the plugin looks on an iPhone: