Platform Agnostic? The Needle Points Toward the Web

platform080808 Platform Agnostic? The Needle Points Toward the WebThe New York Times’ digital maestro Jon Landman brings out his favorite term again this week for his newsroom memo: platform agnostic! As we’ve previously discussed, Mr. Landman has been using a broad definition(s) of the term.

In one case, he’s saying why in a breaking news story it’s great to publish on the Web and in print, especially if the news can be broken on the Web first. (So, score one for the Web.) Then in another, he’s saying why some material is better for the Web than for print and vice versa.

Today, he talks about more "agnostic platforms" (what?), but now it’s how print was really getting the better of the Web in the way The Times was dating its stories. No longer, according to the memo:

Agnostic platforms. Our favorite kind. We publish when ready, on Web or in print. That’s progress. But hey, nothing’s simple. When we’ve published an article on the Web first, it’s created an annoying anomaly: Our publishing technology has until now been able only to supply a print publication date.

What if we put a Sunday story up on the Web on Friday? It carries Sunday’s date. We’re publishing in the future. Readers have noticed this. They hate it.

Fixed. Articles now carry the publication date of the actual publication date, agnostically. If it’s Web first, a note will appear on it as soon as it’s published in the paper with the print date for reference.

Agnostic … But another victory for the Web.