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Thoughts On Indiatimes’ MyTimes & Times Rewards Loyalty Points For Readers

A few weeks ago, Indiatimes* quietly rolled out two new social features, to increase engagement on its properties: MyTimes and TimesRewards. On MyTimes MyTimes is a profile page for each user, that lists their activity on the Times of India online, and emulates a social network by sharing activity feeds from other readers. It integrates with Facebook and Twitter, allowing users to share activity feeds, and more interestingly, to follow specific topics. The integration of topics to follow, is particularly interesting, and something I feel I am most likely to use. MyTimes feeds into three tendencies that social networks currently cater to - firstly, voyeurism, allowing us to see what others in our network are doing, and in this case, reading. Facebook has done the same with publications creating social readers. Secondly, the fear of missing out, and not being on top of what is going on, and what people are talking about, something which twitter trends address. Thirdly, the fear of not being aware of the latest topics that you're believed to have expertise in, or knowledge about, which is something that social networks can't address. With users being inundated with information, MyTimes appears to create a page that allows you to take a slightly more organized approach to reading. This is a role which is also played by RSS feed readers, with access to a wide variety of resources, and I wonder if either of the two things can be done by Times: firstly, the ability to allow…

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

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