Visitors who clicked over to the website for Beta620 could be forgiven for thinking they happened upon some cutesy social media start-up. The clean minimalist interface! The wacky adorable animal illustrations! In actuality, it’s a public beta testing site launched yesterday by The New York Times to let users experiment and weigh in on new features. (“620″ refers to The Times‘ street address on Eighth Avenue.) It appears its the beta-testing site may have had its own beta-testing issues, as the launch was delayed from last summer, due to the small matter of trying to figure out how to get readers to plunk down money for a paywall.
Denise Warren, who serves as both senior VP and chief advertising officer at the New York Times Media Group and general manager at NYTimes.com, told AdAge that Beta620 “gives a permanent home to the tradition of innovation. And it invites our community in to help us formulate an opinion about the innovation and the new products.”
Hey if city governments can get into hackathons and glossies friend Facebook, why shouldn’t print dinosaur take a spin at beta-testing?