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Is the New York Times (becoming) a software company?

Nothing is more old news than the good old newspaper from yesterday. Silicon Alley Insider reports on the New York Times' attempt to counter the continued print media decline by establishing new revenue streams through several online initiatives.

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Nothing is more old news than the good old newspaper from yesterday. Silicon Alley Insider reports on the New York Times' attempt to counter the continued print media decline by establishing new revenue streams through its online initiatives. Marc Frons, chief technology officer of the Times' digital operations, provides cues as to where the company is placing its bets: "Widgets, iPhone apps, APIs, and more."

In essence, this means the Times is turning into a software company, applying the same business model philosophy "as many start-ups in Silicon Valley:" "Build neat tools, get traction, and then figure out how to make money off them later," as the Silicon Alley Insider describes it.

The Times' plans indicate a larger trend in the media industries: Responding to the effects of the "Distributed Internet," content companies have begun to compartmentalize their content and provide it through myriad, hyper-targeted, personalized, socially aggregated micro-channels. Hard content is becoming soft, and, who knows, maybe news will soon be coming straight from the "clowd," with Google serving as the only editorial filter.