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Video Overview: MyLATimes launches; it’s not bad, it’s not awesome
The LA Times launched a new "my" option today. I had a look and it looks like a traditional start page. They claim the big difference is that they also allow you to incorporate other feeds as well. This is a big to me because users of this site can now add the feeds they care about and create a great start page.
"latimes.com is filling a vital gap in the news reader market for the average online user," said General Manager of latimes.com and Vice President of Times Media Group Robertson Barrett. "My LATimes features a simple, easy to use interface that allows users to quickly organize and view content from a variety of outlets all at once — both from The Times and other high-quality, complementary sources suggested by our editors."
There are 37 default feeds that users can add as editors feel are "high-quality". TechCrunch gets a listing under technology and those 37 feeds will get a huge boost in RSS feed readers just based on being a default.
You can add other feeds to the site to make it personal. No registration appears to be required to customize but without registering you can't take it with you.
In my opinion, this "Vignette" looking portal feels still so 1999. If I was their consultant, I would have pushed for them to partner with sites like Goowy or Netvibes. Then users could really create the start pages they want with all of the widget goodness and the items they care about. For example, I want personalized weather on my start page. Can I do that with MyLATimes? No. I think this is a good first step, but its not as "awesome" as I would have hoped.