A couple weeks ago, The New York Times wisely introduced Article Skimmer as an additional way for readers to interact with the news. It’s fast, intuitive, and easy to use. I put this in the solidly innovative column that I’ve seen a bunch of from the Times over the last year or so.
But then let me introduce Skimmer’s Bacon topic. I’ve been trying to think of a way to kill the bacon meme since January or so, but the New York Times just did it for me. I’m tired of the internet that allows lazy marketers to layer whatever they want with bacon and score cheap internet traffic. That’s not an internet I want to live in, and I don’t think that’s the internet you want either.
I can’t help but think the bacon topic is aimed at this cheap internet traffic and by catering to it, the New York Times has debased itself. Who do they think they are, really? They could have maintained their stodgy standoffishness, but by rolling around the mud with the pigs…well, let’s just say that ‘arbiter of cool’ The New York Times is not. To say nothing of the fact that if you’re a meme, and people send around links about you, and then everyone on the internet is talking about you, and then The Paper of Record talks about you, you’re not a meme anymore. You’ve baconed the Times or some other cute play on jumping the shark. It should be noted for the record that, for the sake of my argument, I’ve ignored the likely scenario that the Topics on Skimmer are automatically created based on what the readers are searching for and reading. If that’s not how Topics get created, well that’s just sad. (Thanks, Aaron!)