The New York Times Old vs. New: Any Better?

Looking for a job in the fashion industry? Be wary of Zappos. 101302014-zappos_r.1910x1000

Recently, the shoe company revealed they are transferring to a Holacracy self-management program. Although this is promoting collaboration within the workplace (let’s face it, this is necessary to be successful in the fashion industry), they have since lost 14% of their employees through contract buyouts. That is 210 people.

This story was published January 18th in the Executives and Management section of The New York Times under the title of “Zappos Employee Exodus Persists“. The digital format of this story, however, was distributed January 13th – 5 days prior – under the title of “The Zappos Exodus Continues After a Radical Management Experiment” and contains much more media content than its print counterpart.

eadickman_13.gifThe article catalogs how the transition has been difficult on many employees. As the public relations manager puts it, “it was a weird transition.” This resulted in the most recent loss of a group of employees working on moving the Zappos website to Amazon’s servers. Thus freezing the Zappos website.

I agree. I consider the loss of a hierarchy for self-management bizarre. But that’s just me.

To my surprise, the online and print versions contained different written content. I expected the online version to provide more media (like the photo below) and hyperlinks,

Chief Executive of Zappos, Tony Hsieh. Photographed by Brad Swonetz for The New York Times.

but I didn’t expect it to contain more personal accounts than the print article.


Because of this, I preferred  the online version. I spent about 15 minutes with it, in comparison to the 5 mins I spent on the print version (don’t tell my grandparents).



However, with that said, I will say right now it isn’t a millennial preference for the Internet – I’m not a huge Internet snob. Rather, it is because the online version offered me similar articles at the bottom about business and embedded links throughout the article. And all of the links even proved to not only pertain to the story, but lead me to other articles that proved extremely useful to understanding the issue at hand.

This page is very much so inline with the strategies stated in the Innovation Report. As it states, The Times “…should invest more in the unglamorous but essential work of tagging and structuring data” to “… ensure that the right stories are finding the right readers in the right places and the right time.”

To say the least, they certainly pushed me to other content. Sometimes sidetracked a few times with the sidebars, but I found my way back.

However, despite the sidetrack, “…[they] were becoming advocates of their own work” and supplying the reader with much more content than the one article they were reading. This I most certainly did like.

Because of this, I would give The New York Times a “B-“. They are showing an evolution from their past and are making an effort. Despite this effort, I still believe they aren’t taking full advantage of the digital capabilities and appealing to the audience as they should.

In this day and age, I won’t lie, the millennials like myself want to see and interact with the content online.



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