People Wanted

Some business today…

First, there’s a pretty plum job opening with T Style Magazine, the Sunday insert that has become a closely watched showcase for luxury design. The magazine launched an online version last year that, I think all of us involved would agree, is an imperfect first step in marrying the singular immersive qualities of the print edition with an authentically digital experience.

That’s why this position could be so influential. As Janet Froelich, the magazine’s creative director, describes it, “The focus of this position is to oversee the translation of the design approach of the print publication to the Web.” It’s a pretty unique job that requires publication design skills, a refined typographic sense and a good eye for photography — and a sophisticated understanding of the nuances of the Web. We’re essentially looking for someone to really help shape how a luxury magazine expresses itself online. By my guess, there are less than a dozen people in the world qualified for this job; if you’re one of them, send your résumé and cover letter to A. J. Rourk.

Good Peoples

Item number two: you may have heard something about TimesPeople, a new feature on our site that enables some rudimentary social networking activity based around our articles. It’s currently in beta, and so only works as a plug-in to Firefox for now. But as it matures it will probably be baked into the site itself and require no additional software of any kind.

Once you install the plug-in, you’ll see a “Recommend” button appear near the first paragraph of most of our articles (nested in the box with the print and share tools). If you like an article you’re reading, just click on that button and you’ll flag your recommendation to everyone else who is ‘following’ you through the service. And, just like any social network, you can peruse your friends and your friends’ friends to see what everyone else has recommended as well.

TimesPeople is the result of a tight collaboration between a small team of our technologists and designers and, for a new feature on our site, they managed to launch it in something like record time. It was actually a lot of fun bringing it to life, but the really important thing is the try-it-and-see approach that drove it. Rather than spend months and millions on creating the ‘perfect’ social networking addition to our site, we decided to take a good idea and get it out as quickly as possible. It’s certainly not perfect, but we’re hoping to learn as much as we can about how social networking makes sense in the Times environment. Let us know what you think — send an email to the team.