"The lock- in that we've had around pages has held us back in terms of innovation and how to use this medium. When we got here [to the Web] there was nothing, and we flopped a 500-year-old metaphor of pages on top of it, a browser that by its name says you will browse, not touch, this content. But it was not meant to be a one-way experience. We're only a fragment of the way into this journey."
-John Borthwick, The Real-Time Web and Its Future
Living Stories is the name of a new experimental collaboration between Google Labs, the New York Times and the Washington Post that seeks to transcend that 500 year-old metaphor with a parsable flow of news content around big stories. It's very cool. We offer a 5 minute video tour of the project below.
First, Google's official tour of the experiment.
And now our tour of the service, twice as long and more detailed.
What do you think? It looks inspired by blogging and by databases. I'd like to see more opportunity to comment and a clear method to surface the most high-quality reader comments. I'd like to see a mobile interface. I can imagine other publications employing this kind of system of organization, though, and it's great to see some web-centric innovation. We really are just beginning with this powerful medium.
Disclosure: ReadWriteWeb is a syndication parter of the NYTimes.