No time to do this justice, but: briefly, you'll have seen that the NYT is adding links (AJAXy, web2.0 links!) to various social news sites, particularly Digg, Newsvine and Facebook. (Why Facebook? Because they asked. That's strategic rigour for you.)
TechCrunch pitches this as a surrender - everyone else seems to think it's great news for the Grey Lady. It's not. Greg Sterling comments that "These days you can’t survive with only a “destination” strategy. You have to have some sort of viral and/or other distribution strategies to get your content in front of users." The comparison that are usually drawn here are with Apple and the (alleged) success selling depackaged music over iTunes or the pioneering bravery of Disney and (if they ever get around to actually doing it rather than merely announcing it) Warner in distributing their TV/film content over the web with embedded ads.
Ah, there's that glaring difference. Selling depackaged music. With embedded ads. The inclusion, in brief, of an inherent commercial upside in the packet of content that's being punted out there. Perhaps NYT has signed a rev-share deal with Digg and Newsvine and Facebook. (If so it isn't mentioned and it doesn't therefore explain the excitement of the commentators.) If not...well, presumably they're hoping to get eyeballs back to the central NYT site where they can be monetised. And if that's the game I hope they have a plan to battle the widgetisation (Niall Kennedy) and the imminent death of the page view (Micropersuasion) that are already eating away at that strategy. Sure, newspapers need a distribution strategy. But one that distributes something they can make long-term money from, not just another giveaway.