Microsoft and The New York Times are excited to announce the recent availability of a Silverlight /NY Times Open content API’s toolkit for the development community at the May 5th Microsoft Enterprise Developer Conference in New York City.  The real significance of this partnership is that for the first time web portal designers and developers can include a variety of The New York Times media content within a rich expressive Silverlight user interface eco-system.  This unique mash-up satisfies what developers and portal architects desire the most – compelling news content, an expressive, immersive user interface and frictionless integration.  Probably more importantly is that this New York Times Open API/Silverlight toolkit empowers developers to be creators of how news content is presented and consumed.  News media organizations like The New York Times are increasingly adopting a new trend to combat the tough market conditions in the media industry - looking at citizen journalists, and their own communities to help craft content and ultimately drive traffic and new communities to their content.

While at the Enterprise Developers conference we asked Derek Gottfrid – Senior Software Architect for The New York Times what his thoughts were behind this alliance, - “The NYTimes Silverlight toolkit provides an easy to use interface for using The NY Times APIs. Silverlight and The Times APIs provide a powerful combination to developers interested in creating compelling news applications.”

You can get the new Silverlight/NYTimes toolkit at http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/NYTimesSilverlight .  The NYTimes  REST based family of New York Times Open API’s that includes content for best sellers, movie reviews, top stories and many other interesting content areas is available here -  http://developers.nytimes.com.  You can take a finished example of the Silverlight/Times toolkit for a test drive at http://xmldocs.net/nyt.   If you want further technical information on how the kit was actually put together get it here - http://blogs.msdn.com/synergist/archive/2009/05/05/the-new-york-times-silverlight-kit.aspx.

Like many sectors of our economy news media content providers are not immune to tepid economic conditions.  Financial tycoons like Warren Buffett recently stated that there is one industry in particular he will no longer maintain financial positions – news content providers – stating that most people under senior citizens age are ingesting news content in such a wide array of mediums it is difficult to quantify and even harder to monetize.  The federal government is also taking notice of the ailing print media industry – Senator John Kerry as recently as this week is sponsoring a study to look into the rapidly changing landscaping in the news industry.  It is clear that how we view news content is changing and initiatives like the Silverlight/NY Times Open API toolkit sets its sights directly at addressing what consumers are really after – compelling news content in a very flexible environment.