Magazine article Editor & Publisher

The Thinking Behind Boston.Com

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

The Thinking Behind Boston.Com

Article excerpt

"WE ARE CONFESSING we have not found the Holy Grail or the killer app," said David Margulius, president of boston.com, Boston's community mega Web site at http://www.boston.com/.

"However, we understand that management is the key to succeeding, and we have found an interesting viewpoint for initial success."

Margulius and the Boston Globe wrote a business plan to create an inventive online resource for Boston, with integration and intervention of businesses.

"We wanted to keep our eyes open and focus on durable things" he said "like building an entrepreneurial, flexible, hard-working, fast-moving organization, which produces these services."

The idea for boston.com in its infancy, according to Margulius, was a departure from the standard model of how to put a newspaper online. He and the Globe looked around at other Web sites and saw the opportunity to do something more powerful than what was available at the time.

"We wanted to launch with as many partners and organizations as possible with a new brand," he said. "We called it boston.com because we wanted the brand to be the same as the address for better accessibility."

Then the partners program was launched. Most of the major television and radio stations signed up. Boston.com began to offer information on the upstart music scenes, museums, real estate information, etc ....

"If we build the honeycomb we thought," he said, "maybe we can get the bees to make the honey and that is the only way I can express the fundamental concept."

Keeping the home page alive and fresh is key to boston.com. Different news items are teased, there is standing content, features, and of course, the Boston Globe Online, which Margulius calls the "crown jewel of the site."

Boston Globe Online features an interactive Java news ticker and packages of archival information. There are restaurant reviews, breaking news from the AP and New England wires, chat services and a virtual tour of Massachussetts, to name a few.

"Our philosophy is no barriers, so we don't charge users, and we allow them to link their home pages to boston.com," he said. "Breaking sports news is in beta, we have seasonal content and chat with celebrities at the radio stations or at the Globe. …

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