The Boston Globe

Site Name and Description: 

The Boston Globe is one of the largest local metropolitan newspapers in the U.S., and one of two major newspapers in the Boston metro area (along with the Boston Herald). Wholly owned by The New York Times Company since 1993, it has a weekday print circulation of approximately 225,000, and has won 21 Pulitzer Prizes to date. The Globe’s current subscription-only website was launched in September 2011, and while it does not have as expansive a selection of multimedia content or as many spin-off features as larger sites like the Times and Washington Post, it does feature a “Globe Insiders” section with photo galleries, a full-fledged ePaper version, and The Boston Globe Magazine in all of its content. It also loosely remains a part of the Boston.com umbrella of sites that includes job, real estate, and auto listings. As of February 2012, the newspaper reported upwards of 1 million actual users per month and 16,000 subscribers, making it the most successful launch of a paywall-based news site ever.

URL: http://bostonglobe.com/

Type: News media

Design Overview:

The site’s design is perhaps its most notable quality. It attracted attention when launched in late 2011 for not only its clean, minimalist look that tastefully imitates a print newspaper, but also its responsive design model that uses CSS to adjust the width and number of columns in real-time in response to the width of the browser window. While this “liquid” or “fluid” layout is becoming increasingly popular among Web developers, it remains virtually unseen among larger news publications’ websites.

Audience:

The Globe prides itself on being one of the top newspapers and regional news sources in the country, but it caters primarily to the greater Boston and New England areas. The Boston.com portal reportedly gets approximately 6 million users a month,  and BostonGlobe.com is set to see an increase from the 1 million users/month it reported in February as well. A 2009 internal study of the print edition (newspaper) found that its readership was 49/51 male/female, 59 percent were married, 51 percent were white-collar workers, 48 percent had college degrees, and age was roughly evenly spread from 18 to over 65.

Business/Site Goals:

Though there is no corporate/investor relations section on BostonGlobe.com, it states its goals on The New York Times Company’s career opportunities section as “[enhancing] society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news, information and entertainment,” with a focus on the greater metropolitan Boston and New England areas.

Social Media Integration:

The Globe has only a rudimentary level of social media integration, with official Facebook and Google+ pages as well as a Twitter feed that are linked to from the footer of the site. It does feature an official YouTube channel (thebostonglobe) with more than 1,900 subscribers; curiously, it is poorly integrated with the actual website.

Technologies Used:

The Globe is quite progressive among mainstream news sites in its adoption of Web technologies: it utilizes extensive HTML5 and CSS3 for its site design and implements XML, XSL, and JavaScript libraries. Its content management system is EidosMedia’s Méthode. The Globe uses Omniture as its primary tracking and analytics system. On its back end, it uses a combination of the SiteCatalyst, Discover, DoubleClick (DFA) , Webtrends, and Coremetrics reporting and analytics tools as well as the Atlassian JIRA project tracking system.

Team Members: Iku and Brad

Reviews:

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