Monday, April 30, 2007

Send us a link to your blog

We are having a few last-minute (OK, they're later than last-minute...) bugs with our blogging functionality on, so we're going to go to a stop-gap measure for a day or two because we don't want to wait any longer to publish Boston bloggers in the paper.

So, here's what we're proposing — If you'd like your blog to be considered for publication in the paper, e-mail us at with your name and the URL of the item you'd like spotlighted. If chosen, your blog (writing, photography, videography) will be excerpted in BostonNOW's print publication with a link back to your site.

After the blogging functionality is up (later this week), we'll start the system of having you post on, but for now we'll simply point off.

We look forward to seeing your submissions.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

We're so close to launching the blogging functionality

Thank you all for your patience.

It's been frustrating for us to have launched the BostonNOW without being able to get bloggers into the first editions, but we wanted to make sure we had the blogging functionality right.

We knew we had to get our content online the day we launched, so we focused on finishing the content part of the site and kept working on the blogging side of things.

But now we're ready to test the blogging functions tomorrow in hopes of launching the blogs on Friday. By Sunday then, we hope that a bunch of you will have posted and we can put you in the Monday paper.

In the meantime, we hope people have enjoyed being able to watch and participate in our news meeting (clicking on the NewsroomNOW tab at the top of our home page will take you to the meeting room for the 1 p.m. event every day, Sunday through Thursday).

I look forward to reading your stuff starting, we hope, on Friday.


John Wilpers

Friday, April 20, 2007

Apologies to bostonist

In our rush to get some items in the paper and get the paper to the press Thursday night, one of our editors lifted some content from without authorization from the folks at bostonist. We attributed it, giving the web address of the item, but we did not seek permission in advance.

Following a post about BostonNOW by Cory Doctorow on, Jon Petitt of bostonist noted the unauthorized lifting of content. I have e-mailed the following note to both Jon and Cory. We apologized and assured them it would not happen again.


Let me apologize for our unauthorized lifting of copy from bostonist. I am embarrassed and chagrined. I did not authorize or clear it, nor was I even aware of it. I will certainly find out how it happened and make sure it never happens again.

That (unauthorized lifting) is definitely NOT our model. We hadn't planned on doing that and we don't plan on doing that in the future.

Our vision is based entirely on contributors coming to our site and posting, not us going out on the Internet and poaching.

Our model is to attract Boston-area bloggers to the website to become part of a community and to have the opportunity to be published in a metropolitan daily newspaper with 150,000 circulation and a readership of between 300,000 and 400,000 people. We hope people want to share their stories, ideas, arguments, photos, videos, podcasts, etc. with hundreds of thousands of other Bostonians.

We hope we can give aspiring writers, reporters, photographers, videographers, etc. the kind of exposure that can help jump-start their careers. Ultimately, we hope to develop a compensation system to reward them for their work with something beyond fame and massive exposure.

This incident will not happen again, and, at the risk of over-doing it, I apologize once more for this instance.

If you think it's appropriate, please forward my apologies to other members of the bostonist staff and management.



John Wilpers
365 Media USA
30 Winter St.
Boston, MA 02108-4720

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Aaaargh, we lost conectivity for the news meeting


Just when our news meeting was going strong with attendees giving us some great ideas about how Boston-area colleges treat security in light of the Virginia shooting, we lost Internet connectivity. Whoosh.

We've regained our connection, but we have to go back to putting out the paper, so we'll just have to meet again tomorrow at 1 p.m. (the poll asking attendees if they preferred the 1 p.m. time to yesterday's 10:30 a.m. time was a runaway win for 1 p.m.).

See you tomorrow. Sorry about the glitch.

John Wilpers

Later editorial meeting today

Good morning!

We're pleased with our first edition and the launching of the first stage of our website (the bloggling functionality will be up soon!).

We're also exhausted, having stayed up WAY too late and we're postponing today's news meeting to 1 PM (we're such wimps!).

My apologies if this inconveniences anyone.

See you at 1 p.m. at

Bring your ideas. And tell us what you think about both the paper and the website.

John Wilpers

Monday, April 16, 2007

First news meeting available for online viewing

Hey, all!

Our first news meeting is available for online viewing here. Thanks to all who attended! We're still learning and experimenting with the technology, so if you had issues with the video or audio feed, please leave a comment on this post or send me an email at with your concerns.


News meeting time moved to 10:30 AM

Good wet morning.

We're moving the daily news meeting time to 10:30 a.m. to give us more time each day to gather stuff to make it more interesting (and to let us recover from putting out the paper the night before...).


Remember, there is a 60 "seat" limit to the online auditorium (we're using Adobe ConnectPro). Notify us if you can't get in (email me at and we'll look into adding more seats if the demand remains high.

It's a cool system -- you can watch and send us notes about story ideas or people we should talk to and we'll answer. If you don't get in or can't make it at 10:30, you can catch the archived meeting at your convenience.

Until the website is up, we'll post a link here to the archived meeting. When the website is up, you'll use the NewsroomNow tab at the top of the home page.

The website is coming along. Lots of last-minute details to attend to. We're shooting to have it up sometime today or tomorrow, but you know how launches go. We'll keep you posted right here.

John Wilpers
Editor in chief

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Getting close to launch

Things are pretty frenetic here as we count down the hours to our Monday, April 16 website launch and Tuesday, April 17 newspaper launch.

We can’t wait. (Well, that’s not entirely true, as we wouldn’t mind having an extra day or two to tighten things up a bit.) Building a website and newspaper from scratch in less than two months is, to put it mildly, a real stretch. Our Web Content Master, Regina O’Brien, and our developer, David Sawyer of Metaface Development, are building a site you’ll really, really enjoy.

There were a couple of problems that looked daunting at first: how to find and then encourage a lot of top-quality Boston-area bloggers to participate, and, second: how to webcast our news meeting so people could see and hear and interact with us.

We hope we’ve begun to solve the first challenge. Over the last two months, we’ve been checking out hundreds of Boston-area blogs. We found a lot that impress us, and we’ve reached out to a lot of folks and had a lot of people come to us looking to be included in the paper and on the website.

We’re sending e-mail invitations to as many Boston-area bloggers as we can over the weekend. We’re inviting them and all other Boston bloggers to post on on Monday (sometime after noon) to be able to get into the inaugural edition of the paper coming out on Tuesday.

Instructions for posting and being considered for publication are discussed in earlier posts on this blog.

On the second challenge, we think we’ve solved the news meeting webcast challenge. Most remote video cameras don’t include sound, so we had to find a solution and Adobe ConnectPro seems to be the ticket.

Every morning at 10am, up to 60 readers will be able to get a virtual seat at the table when we discuss the direction of the paper: what we should write about in the next day’s paper and in the near future.

Seats in ConnectPro’s virtual auditorium are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis and are limited to 60 (at this point). So, go to starting at about 9:55am each day. Click on the tab “NewsroomNOW” at the top of the page and follow the instructions to be taken to the “Green Room,” where you will find the meeting's agenda, a poll, and instructions on how to participate.

If you get shut out, we’ll be notified and we’ll look into adding more seats. You can still catch the meeting, though, as we’ll be recording the meeting and archiving the last five sessions. So, you can watch it at your convenience and send us a e-mail with your thoughts.

That’s the latest from the BostonNOW aerie at 30 Winter Street in Downtown Crossing as we brace for both our launch and what (hyperbolic?) meteorologists are predicting will be another “Storm of the Century!”

I look forward to seeing your stuff on

John Wilpers

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Berkman Center follow-up

At the weekly Berkman Center blogger meeting last Thursday, there were several questions that we promised to answer later. Here they are. If any of you who attended (or anyone else, for that matter) has any more questions, please ask them here and we'll get back to you.

Libel/obscenity on the Web: How will we deal with it?

The BostonNOW online community will be self-policed. If readers see a post they consider obscene or libelous, they will report it to us via an online tool. We will review the post and take the appropriate action (delete it or leave it alone). What we will NOT do is edit it. The integrity of the blog is essential to presenting the true voice of the blogger.

What will be the ad-to-content ratio in the print newspaper?

Initially, there will be much more editorial content than advertising content, but as we grow we will be anywhere from 40% advertising to 60% advertising.

Will we resell the BostonNOW original content for syndication?

We will resell our own content for syndication and we will offer bloggers the opportunity to resell their content through a content marketplace (possibly Before we offered blogger content for resale, however, we would reach a revenue-sharing agreement with bloggers prior to making their content available.

What will the real estate section look like?

Initially, the real estate section will focus on homes and condos for sale as well as on interior design concepts and cool examples of interior design from homes around the city.

What is the first print run number?


Will BostonNOW sponsor events?

Yes. As a matter of fact, we are the primary sponsor of the Jazz Week which runs from April 21-29 throughout the city. We have several other sponsorships on our calendar already (a BostonNOW band competition series, among others) and we will be looking for more.

Will advertisers be able to purchase print and Web advertising? What packages will be available?

Absolutely. Advertisers can purchase space in the paper, on the Web and in combination. The packages can be obtained by contacting Bev Post, our VP/Advertising, at