Nice Touch On The NYTimes Site

Ever read an article on the New York Times website, only to encounter words (especially names and places) that you don’t recognize? Or ones that you kind of get, but need more information to really understand? Now, if you’re at all like me, the last thing you want to do is open a new window or tab and do a Google/Dictionary/Wikipedia search for the word. As a result, I know I’m missing out on a lot of knowledge and stuff, but sadly I am too lazy to care that much.

Coming to the rescue is a feature included on the NYTimes site that I stumbled upon this weekend. I happened to be rhythmically tapping my trackpad button on my MacBook Pro (I sometimes do this while reading) and all of a sudden, a window popped up! At first I had no idea what I had just done and was peeved that a window was popping up on my Mac. “Stupid ads,” I thought, until I saw what had just appeared.

And what does appear?

It was, in fact, something incredibly useful: A page with a definition and description of, apparently, the word I had been clicking. Turns out, any time you are reading an article, you need only double-click a word - any word at all - and a page pops up with the appropriate information. Easy as pie, and helpful as Omega-3 fatty acids.

Here is a screenshot of the window:


Check it out for yourself and you will never feel stupid again. It is pitifully easy to get the information. Awesomeness like this is precisely the benefit of content located online, and it is great to see this being taken advantage of by such a major institution in the print world. This is a beautiful illustration of the NYTimes’ devotion to moving from print to internet publishing, captured by this statement from chairman Arthur Sulzberger:
I really don't know whether we'll be printing the Times in five years, and you know what? I don't care either ... The Internet is a wonderful place to be, and we're leading there.
Very refreshing, Mr. Sulzberger. Very refreshing.