NYTimes.com is introducing new features to the public via a new site called beta620, in an effort to encourage more involvement from dedicated users and outside developers. All NYTimes.com registered members, both paid and unpaid, can access the beta620 site, which currently debuts seven projects and features.
TimesInstant facilitates instant search across NYTimes.com, while the Smart Search Bar delivers semantically-aware search results from the NYTimes.com homepage. The Times Companion app gives readers context-relevant content via page overlays, and Longitude offers them an interactive map of links for each day's news. The Community Hub provides a dashboard of daily social activity, and The Buzz aggregates and displays social media mentions about NYTimes.com content.
Additional projects and apps will appear on the beta620 site, where users can comment on them and provide suggestions for improvement. Eventually, outside developers will be able to submit proposals for projects. Beta620 is named after the New York Times building address, 620 8th Ave. in Manhattan.