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A New York Times In The Digital World

mbcircus4.jpgThree members of The New York Times‘ digital newsroom joined the Circus today, giving a dynamic presentation about some of the interesting visual and interactive items they are using today.

Fiona Spruill, the editor of the Times‘ Web newsroom, kicked off the panel with a look at some of the interactive tools the paper’s site is using to generate feedback from readers. Of course, the Times allows commenting on breaking news stories and highlights the best comments on its homepage, but they’ve been trying to “involve our readers in other ways and getting them to think of interactivity more broadly,” Spruill said.

To that end, they have launched tools like one that asks readers to type in a single word to describe their mood about the economy. The way those words are visually represented — bigger or smaller — shows Web visitors how their fellow readers are feeling.

Multimedia editor Andrew DeVigal and graphics director Steve Duenes also highlighted the latest interactive items on the Times‘ site, including the new Lens photo blog and the “One in 8 Million” weekly photo and audio feature.

“We are interested in innovation, experimentation and developing new visual forums,” Duenes said of the graphics desk. “We are surprising readers in a good way with the forums we create.”

However, from the quality and high production level of the interactive and visual tools used by the Times it was obvious that a lot of time and money went into their production. One Circus attendee asked the panel if it was possible to do the same with a smaller budget.

“Graphics are not beyond the reach of smaller staffs,” Duenes said.

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