January 9th, 2007
Hot on the heels of naming “you” as the Person of the Year, Time Magazine has unveiled a new site architecture and layout that focuses more on blogs and content aggregation than before. For instance, a new politics blog called Swampland features Ana Marie Cox and Joe Klein, among other authors, and uses at least a few standard blog features such as reader comments and permalinks. No trackbacks, though — c’mon guys, give us a little sugar here. (Andrew Sullivan’s pre-existing blog is the other way around, supporting trackbacks but with no reader comments allowed.)
The content aggregation seems limited to a section called The Ag (get it?), which reminds me a bit of Slate’s long-running “Today’s Papers” feature except done in a blog format. The site design also emphasizes advertising, with ads running “above the fold” apparently for the first time. Overall impression? Not a bad start — the design is clean and relatively easy to navigate, and it does use some basic participatory media concepts, since it includes social bookmarking along with unique blogs and blog-like content aggregating. Still, without trackbacks and any kind of audience input other than reader comments on blogs, Time is lagging behind the Post and other organizations that have dived into the new web world head-first.