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CASE STUDY: THE NEW YORK TIMES  INTERVIEW: JEREMY ZILAR
Jeremy Zilar
Content Strategist/
Blog Specialist,
The New York Times
It’s easy to forget that it was once a
radical concept for newspapers to
have blogs. For editors to relinquish
some measure of control, for report-
ers to take on “more work,” and for
readers to understand the connection
of this more-opinionated content with
the main publication has not been
instantaneous or easy. The blogs at
The New York Times are no longer
controversial—they’re an essential
means for providing additional
commentary in an immediate and
engaging way.
One of the nimble minds behind that
balancing act is Jeremy Zilar, who
joined the NYTimes.com design team
in 2006 and has shepherded more
than 200 blogs into existence. More
recently, his work has expanded
beyond blogs toward content strat-
egy across the Times’s websites.
Zilar studied painting, drawing, and
digital media at the Rocky Mountain
College of Art and Design and also
briefly taught preschool, which he says
is helpful in his current occupation.
“You need a good amount of patience
and a good amount of handholding
and understanding because people
get very scared of technology,” he
says. “And if they’re scared, they can’t
actually make good use of it. So you
need to find the level at which theyre
comfortable and see if you can raise
them up one level from there.” We
asked Zilar about creating and grow-
ing this critical element of The New
York Times online experience.
How did blogs at The New York
Times come about?
I was hired in 2006 to figure out
blogs—everything from building
them to how theyre going to be
integrated with the site to designing
them. There were only about three
or four blogs at the time, and they
had been publishing on WordPress,
which I was very happy about..
It was a very big, open landscape.
A lot of newspapers were just start-
ing to launch blogs. Here, we had
a lot of entrepreneurial editors or
writers pushing editors, saying,
We’ve got to make this happen.”
From top, left to right: As the reader scrolls down, the already-seen images and content are covered over as a video element fades into view. At
the bottom of the first section, a view of the area rotates and stops. To keep the reader from feeling lost, persistent navigation hovers in a horizontal
bar along the top of the browser window.
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