What the Times got wrong about kids and phones

strict approaches aimed only at limiting screen time aren’t the most effective. You have to be a role model and engage alongside your kids, a notion that the Times stories largely skirted.

.. But when parents take the time to appreciate and connect with their kids’ digital interests, it can be a site of connection and shared joy”—and a way to mentor kids to discover their own creativity.


New York Times CTO Looks Beyond Cloud to Serverless Computing

Nick Rockwell, chief technology officer of The New York Times Co., gave a talk at a tech conference in early October, arguing for a major shift in the way software is developed and deployed. He maintained that information technology leaders were putting too much effort into a relatively new architecture in which applications are broken into smaller, standardized and reusable pieces, often compared to the shipping containers that revolutionized freight. Instead, he endorsed an even more radical approach that does away with the need for developers to manage computer servers and operating systems.

“I argued that serverless architectures are a huge innovation and will take over and everyone is just scared and why is everyone messing around with containers, it’s stupid,” he wrote in a blog post shortly after the O’Reilly Media Velocity Conference in New York. “It was not very well received.”

New York Times: Tech Stack Interview

This is the fourth episode of Stack Stories, sponsored by STRV. Hosted by Yonas, Founder & CEO, StackShare and featuring special guests Nick Rockwell, CTO of The New York Times and James Cunningham, Ops Lead at SentryFollow us on SoundCloud or subscribe via iTunes.

.. The New York Times is one of the largest publications in the world with 150 million monthly uniques on their own site and 2-3x that number on third-party platforms like Facebook.

..  In the few years he’s been there, Nick has brought the paper from managing their own data centers and using a LAMP stack, to the “modern age” – using React and GraphQL and migrating to Google Cloud.

Listen to the full interview or read the lightly edited transcript below:

The Woman Behind the New York Times’ High-Risk, High-Reward Business Strategy

Meredith Kopit Levien, chief operating officer of the New York Times

a deal: the $14 million, 15-month commitment included Samsung “360” cameras distributed to hundreds of Times reporters, as well as heaps of ad space. The resulting 360 videos got prominent placement, some on the home page, and they carried a credit for Samsung.

.. It is the kind of nontraditional pact that Ms. Levien, who became chief operating officer last year, has pursued as she tries to steer the Times through unforgiving waters in publishing.

Through the Samsung deal and others with the likes of General Electric Co. and BMW AG , the 47-year-old executive is upending the Times century-old ad sales strategy, shifting away from one-off ad placements of the low-six-figure variety, in favor of more elaborate and lucrative deals that resemble corporate partnerships.

.. It’s worth it, she said, because the old ad business—which she describes as selling rectangles of ad space in the paper or on the website—“is just falling away.”
.. Last year, the Times’ revenue grew 7.7%, powered by a run of digital subscription sales tied largely to interest in politics and the Trump era.
..  it wasn’t enough to offset weakness in print that resulted in a nearly 4% contraction in overall ad revenue.
.. The Times has been among the most aggressive outlets at pitching nontraditional ad deals, advertising executives said.
.. she joined the Times in 2013 as head of advertising. At the time, the seemingly inexorable decline of print advertising wasn’t the paper’s only problem; digital-ad revenue was dropping, too.
.. Ms. Levien quickly rose to chief revenue officer.
Although the ad-sales group has grown to around 500 people from 350, fewer than 100 of them work in conventional ad-sales roles.
.. They’re now working on a partnership that could involve a sponsored video or podcast series reflecting Principal’s expertise on people’s financial behavior.
.. She and her team sat in on an editorial meeting to see “how the sausage is made.” Bringing an advertiser to a news-planning meeting isn’t typical in mainstream news organizations
Mr. Baquet says the Times opens up its meeting to various outsiders, including advertisers, from time to time.

.. After the initial Samsung 360 deal ended, the two sides got to work on a new deal that would involve displaying a New York Times news briefing on Samsung smart TVs that are in Ambient Mode