Through the new platform, the news organizations said in a news release, “Readers will be able to submit pictures, links and other media; track discussions; and manage their contributions and online identities.” The news outlets can then collect and use the reader content “for other forms of storytelling and to spark ongoing discussions.”
The NYTimes is rather aggressively marketing their "Comments" features. They previously offered a subscription to the "Comments" feature. This morning I got the "Try it Free" email. They're selling it as a way to "personally interact" with their columnists. Does it make sense to not be able to read the articles and have an avid interest in the comments? I can see it has useful applications, just not for anything I'm doing.