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Newser Versus The New York Times, Revisited: Who's Copying Whom?

Interesting. We made a comparison a little while back on whether Newser was competition to the New York Times in news.

Interesting. We made a comparison a little while back on whether Newser was competition to the New York Times in news. After all, it produces none. But reports a lot.

Now, let's see.

This was the front page of Newser, a little while ago. It's in its habitual form: A Hollywood Squares-like look at the top headlines of the day. Rich on images. Light on text. But basically, you scan square by square until you see a story that interests you, then you pick it, and get to a synopsis page.

That synopsis summarizes the essence of the story, reported somewhere else. And you can go to it, if you like. But Newser tries to give you all you need to know in that short summary.

Now, here is something that the New York Times has come up with. It's a screenful of rectangles, with the highlights of a story. See one, drill in for more.

This apparently is something called an "article skimmer." Or at least that's what Michael Wolff is calling it, in his rant on what the Times is up to, in his blog posting on Newser today.

So, what do you think? Who's copying whom? And even if the Times is copying Newser, what's wrong with that?

That's the nature of news -- and news formats -- on the Web.