Our class visit to the Boston Globe media lab was impressive to say the least. There were so many things going on at Boston.com that I had no idea even existed. Having the chance to tour the printing rooms and newsroom was great, but what really surprised me was the media lab that they have instituted over the past few years.
Snap: The Boston Globe’s own Instagram Syndication Program
Snap is an amazing program put together by the Globe to syndicate posts on the photo-sharing site, Instagram, and map them across the Greater Boston area. While at first this didn’t seem to be a newsworthy tool, I was soon proven wrong. They explained that this was a way for Globe writers to discover trend stories directly from their readers and Boston citizens. Features such as sorting by hashtags, geotags and dates were great and really well developed.
Twitter: Project Cascade
The Globe has been adamant about tracking the syndication of it’s reporters’ tweets. They have come up with a syndication and metrics tracker, Project Cascade, which measures the reach of every tweet posted by the Globe. By using bit.ly to host links to stories, Project Cascade, can see when one Retweet (by a celebrity or influencer) reaches a huge group of untapped readers/followers.
Boston.com’s own internet radio station, Radio BDC, really seemed to be the future of radio. Streaming online only, Radio BDC plays a variety of genres of music and only has one minute of commercials every hour. Radio DJ, Adam Chapman, explained that this is what keeps their listeners involved and tuned-in. TSL (Time Spent Listening) for most radio stations is typically 20-30 minutes, while BDC averages 50 minutes per listener. Unlike Spotify and Pandora, this is an internet radio station that provides an element of humanity, explained Chapman. Having DJs, song requests and discussions all keep the listener involved.
Overall, the experience was great and it was really amazing to see an older print newspaper making huge steps in multimedia journalism.