Times launches second Website

Jumps feet first into crowded online city guide market

The competition for wired New Yorkers looking for a good time heats up today as the New York Times launches its second Website, an online city guide called New York Today.

New York Today (www.nytoday.com) will be going toe-to-toe in the Gotham market with two of the biggest names in the online world: Microsoft’s New York Sidewalk and America Online’s Digital City.

Using a calendar interface, the site will include listings and reviews of cultural and entertainment events as well as restaurant, club and bar reviews, sporting activities, a business Yellow Pages, classified real estate, employment and auto ads and local news and weather.

According to the site’s developers, New York Today is distinguished from its competitors by technology that allows community organizations — such as non-profit and civic groups — to communicate with their members through the site, and a “Planner” application that allows users to store events and activities listed in New York Today in a personal calendar. In addition, stored information can be sent as an e-mail or pager reminder to the user or others or synchronized with existing desktop scheduling software or personal digital assistant.

Jonathan Glick, product director at New York Today, said that the goal was to make the site “a daily tool for New Yorkers.”

The site’s technology was developed by Zip2 Corp. of Mountain View, Calif. While Zip2 is prohibited from licensing the city site technology to New York Today competitors in New York, the company hopes to develop similar sites in other cities, said Zip2’s founder, Elon Musk.

New York Today, which is launching with almost 300 advertisers, is hoping to attract advertisers by offering banner and tile ads that appear in relevant sections of the site as well as providing “microsites” for each advertiser that are linked to the site’s Yellow Pages. Advertisers also can list upcoming sales and promotional events.

According to Martin A. Nisenholtz, content for the site will come from the Times’ print edition, from the New York Today editorial staff and from participating advertisers and community groups.

“Our goal is to capture the richness and complexity of New York and place it in the hands of the user,” said Nisenholtz.