Monday, 13 October 2008

TimesPeople: I'm now one, but I don't know any others.

TimesPeople? So what's it all about? Time to find out.

Share and Discover the Best of

TimesPeople is a new way to discover what other readers find interesting on — and to make recommendations of your own. With TimesPeople, you can share articles, videos, slideshows, blog posts, reader comments, and ratings and reviews of movies, restaurants and hotels.

Getting Started
Join the TimesPeople beta and see what the members of your network are sharing on the TimesPeople toolbar, which will appear at the top of every page of Your personal TimesPeople page allows you to review the activities of everyone in your network.

TimesPeople does not monitor routine site activity, such as reading articles, clicking links or viewing graphics. Your private activities, such as e-mailing an article or video, stay private.
Any registered member of is eligible to become a TimesPeople member. After you sign up for TimesPeople, you may opt out of sharing your activities with the TimesPeople community at any time.

To learn more about TimesPeople, read the FAQ, or just sign up and start using TimesPeople (by clicking here or by using the button above). Please send comments and suggestions to

So being a signed up user I clicked on start, put in a user name and location and then.....I didn't know what to do.

I could import email contacts (no, don't want to, because I don't have any who I know are regular NYT readers and who I want to bother with this) OR I could "expand my network" by being put in touch with 'suggested readers'.

So I went for option b where I received this response:

Looking to expand your network? We have no suggestions for you right now. Click Import to add your e-mail contacts to TimesPeople.

That's not a good idea, offering something you can't deliver.

Now that I am a TimesPerson, have the user name and have given my location as France, perhaps TimesPeople can use me as a suggested person. They're welcome to.

In fact I'll drop Rich Meislin a line because I don't really know what to do with this wonderful new tool.

Bottom line: yes, I want to be part of TimesPeople but how do I do this if I don't know any?

So in the meantime I went to the settings and uploaded an image, which took a really long time and then failed because it forgot to remind me before uploading, like for example does, the size of the photo I could upload. Yes, that was dumb of me, but a little text reminder here up front would be smart to avoid me waiting for this:

Your image must comply with our Member Agreement. By clicking save, you certify that you have the right to modify and distribute this image.

So I tried again, not checking the Member Agreement because I'm in a hurry and using a resized photo.

Of Jeremy Irons which is clearly in breach of their agreement.

So now I'm stuck with a picture of Jeremy Irons, and I want to change it.

So I click Change Image, and nothing happens, so I quit and go back and try again, but when I do so, there is the picture of Mr. Irons which I don't have the righ to modify or distribute, but I am only offered the Save function which will certify that I do, which I don't.

Nevermind. I'll change it, which I then immediately do, selecting a jacket image from a book I wrote. All good.

One would think.

But now I have two images for me, the jacket image and still Mr. Irons. This is getting annoying. I click save again hoping this will resolve the problem.

(btw I'm not against using a small size photo of myself, I just can't remember where it is on my P.C - not trying to be difficult, just rushing. Who isn't these days?)

Again it's taking a very long time to load. After about 5 mins of nothing, I give up. I go back to settings, again look for that picture of me, can't find it, so use one of me in Iraq. This loads nicely because it is the right size.

However, I know have three images for my I.D - Mr. Irons, my book cover and me in Iraq.

I can't delete any of them, so, with some frustration I was about to log off, not having found and entered a network of TimesPeople (I guess I'm just a 'foreigner') and elected to email a link to this posting, with these questions:

Q. What do I now do to remove my book cover, Mr. Irons and me in Iraq and start all over and load a picture of myself? Help please.
Q. Will you please make me a suggested reader so that other lonely souls can join my network?
Q. Will there by IHTPeople when migrates to because, no offence to TimesPeople the people I want to network with are non-American, not living in the U.S.A., readers of the IHT or

I look forward to hearing from TimesPeople who can be reached at

However, just before logging off, I clicked on My Activity and clicked on to Following which allows you to enter the names of people you think might be TimesPeople and follow what they're looking at.

Some names did come to mind:

Michael Golden, VP
Bill Keller, Editor
Rich Meislin, Tech Editor
Tom Bodkin

And sure enough, I can follow them. Rich has already recommended to me, as I type, an article: A Power That May Not Stay So Super. The others are yet so to do.

Mr. Sulzberger and Ms. Robinson I can not, although there are 11 Robinsons I can follow, of which all are in the U.S.A except Drew in Perth, Australia; Guy in London and Peter in Berlin. All, with the exception of Toni, are men, and only one, Drew in Australia, has posted an image of what appears to be very likely to be Drew himself.

I searched for a good many of the IHT's masthead, but was unable to find any of them. Could it be they don't see themselves as TimesPeople yet? This would be problematic for them but perhaps, like Mr. Sulzberger, but unlike Mr. Golden, they are yet to come out of the closet.

I think this could be kind of fun, and quite interesting to see what Bill Keller recommends from his own newspaper, and why Mr. Sulzberger is not willing to identify himself as a TimesPerson and let us see what he likes.

In fact, it's so interesting, that I am going to start visiting on a daily basis to see what my 'network' is up to and I only visit the NYT site when I have to, preferrring

So thus far, I am giving it 5 out of 10, the score no doubt to rapidly increase to 6 when I get this image problem sorted, 7 when the hopeless navigation is resolved, 8 if I can recommend IHT content (were such a think to exist, but we all know what I mean: people who write and work directly for the global edition of the NYT), 9 if I can recommend non-NYT comment (there's a thought) and maybe even 10 if Mr. Sulzberger comes out of the closet as a TimesPerson.

Rich is recommending all the time and it's a little 'try hard' as I struggle to find a narrative in his recommendations; Mr. Golden about NYT's journos in jail in Zim, and Mr. Keller about all sorts (his last recommendation was September 30th, a blog post and Talk to the Newsroom.

I never knew about Talk to the Newsroom and I'm off to check it out.

(Example of hopeless, homeless navigation: there I am in TimesPeople adding people to follow, I get bored and want to go to the home page. Can't see a way of doing this.)


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