It's refreshing to listen to two guys from The New York Times talk about the future in terms of years and not months, as if the Times had all the time in the world to figure out a new business model. The two guys -- Nick Bilton, the Times' design integration editor, and Derek Gottfrid, a senior software architect -- who are featured in this video from Creativity Magazine, demonstrate, first off, how many really smart people the Times is throwing at the problem of its future. But they also talk specifically about some really cool stuff they're working on, that has nothing to do with debt and a lot to do with APIs. (Sorry, couldn't find a way to embed the video here.)
Personally, I didn't realize that the Times had unleashed an API onto the digital universe, but, since they've done so, it's fascinating to think of the possibility -- though not necessarily probability -- that it will be a code-crunching individual or outside company who creates the Times' killer app.
There's also some good discussion around turning readers into creators of things like reviews, and whether journalists should also be able to code. Bilton, a journalist with a tech background, sees the field breaking into two parts: one that still runs along more traditional lines, and one, that is more technologically-driven.
If you're concerned about the Times' future, the video is worth the seven-minute-or-so time investment. Maybe you'll even come away more hopeful that there is a future to the journalism business.
Speaking of the Times' future, the rumor started circulating in recent days -- even on the Times' own Dealbook blog -- that David Geffen has renewed interest in buying all or part of the company.