The New York Times has launched beta620, a site that highlights experimental and ongoing projects at NYTimes.com. It will also be a crowdsourced venture, where Times readers can offer feedback and ideas -- taking, essentially, formerly live events and making them virtual.
It is similar to Google Labs, Google's experimental playground that shuttered last month, where users could suggest projects and Googlers could share what they were working on. At the Times, just like Google, some ideas may be turned into real products.
Current projects include Times Instant, which provides results lightning-quick as users type queries. There's also Community Hub, which will gather all user comments in one place, and have comment statistics, with future plans to include Facebook friends' comments and updates as well.