The Grey Lady sports some "social news" tattoos

I love it when blogs cover media covering media adapting to new media (like blogs). By the time I arrive, the scene is so thick with meta I can barely move my mouse.

Today we have the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporting on the New York Times' adoption of social news widgets on their article pages, allowing users to share news stories via Digg, Newsvine, and Facebook.

The New York Times unveiled a new service today that allows readers to quickly post stories that they find on the newspaper's Web site to Digg, Facebook and Newsvine.

It marks the first time that the country's third-largest newspaper has added a news-sharing tool to its Web site, allowing readers to develop conversations and post comments about specific stories. Readers will be able to add headlines and a small portion of text to the social media sites by clicking on the logos of Digg, Facebook and Newsvine. Those logos began appearing next to The Times' stories this morning in the same box as the print and e-mail tools, although they're initially hidden until users click the "Share" link.

The Times has always been smart about joining in the online conversation, so I'm not suprised to see them do this. The Times did, after all, arrive early at the RSS game through a partnership with UserLand.

The addition of these sharing tools works in the Times' favor, after all: it makes it even easier for their readers to take the Times' content into places (and in front of audiences) it might not otherwise go, and making things easier for users is goodness. It allows the Times some insight into social news activity—they can see what stories get shared, when, and follow the comment stream.Without these widgets, users would have been sharing Times stories anyway, but the newspaper wouldn't have had a convenient method of tracking it.

Of course, if you don't buy the whole "social news is the future" thing, then this might appear to be one of those embarrasing instances of an old media matron dressing a little young for its age. Personally, I think she looks good in this outfit.

One small aside; I'm surprised at the lack of support for, what I still consider to be the grandaddy of social news.

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