Time.com Dips its Toes Into the Real-Time Stream

For mainstream newsweeklies like Time Magazine, Newsweek, the Web must still feel like a wild and wooly place. Now that we expect to get news in real time over the Internet, a weekly publication rhythm seems almost quaint to many news consumers. While all of these weekly magazine now have a Web presence, speed isn’t necessarily a strong suit. Time Magazine’s website, however, is launching NewsFeed today, a new feature that tries to bring the world of newsweeklies and the real-time web together.

As Dan Fletcher, the lead writer for Time’s new NewsFeed site, as well as a Time reporter and social media producer, told us earlier this week, NewsFeed will offer Time.com’s readers fast updates about trending topics with lots of links to third-party sites. NewsFeed’s team of editors plans to post about 20 updates per day, with topics ranging from politics, to breaking news, sports, tech and entertainment. According to Time Magazine, the site is meant to “put breaking news and online memes into perspective as they happen.”

Time Magazine is using WordPress as its publishing platform and the site’s comments are powered by JS-Kit’s Echo commenting platform.

NewsFeed will also become Time.com’s hub for breaking news. It will replace the “Latest Headlines” widget on Time.com’s homepage that is currently populated with headlines from the Associated Press. Besides the editorial content, NewsFeed will also display the raw feed of trending topics from Google and Twitter. NewsFeed will offer daily email digests and breaking news updates by email.

For those of us who take real-time updates and the publishing speed of modern technology blogs for granted, Time magazine’s excitement about these new features feels almost a bit strange. The real-time web, however, is something these publications have to adapt to and even if they are just dipping their toes into the stream for now, the fact that they are now taking this movement serious is a good indicator that the real-time web is indeed becoming a mainstream phenomenon.

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