The august New York Times has been giving a hard look at what they do well, and what their competitors do better. And they've come up with something that they figure they can leave to others: collecting and archiving favorite stories. They sent out a memo today to all "Times File" users that they'll be killing their personalized-file-space program:
Thank you for being a loyal user of NYTimes.com and Times File, the tool that allows you to save articles from NYTimes.com and other Web sites. (On NYTimes.com, Times File is the "Save" option that appears on the top right area of
most of our article pages.) We wanted to inform you that, as of Dec. 22, 2008, we are
removing the ability to save articles to Times File from NYTimes.com pages, and on Jan. 21, 2009, we are removing Times File from the site entirely. Social-bookmarking sites like Delicious and Digg, which can be accessed through our Share tools, have proliferated since the creation of Times File. This changing Web landscape has resulted in the decision to divert resources from Times File to other areas of NYTimes.com.
First of all, cool, fine, great. Digg and del.icio.us and the rest of them are great and people who like to collect things online tend to use them. Second, you know the program wasn't going well when, in the cancellation e-mail, they had to explain to its registered users what it actually was.