BostonNOW Works Out Bugs, Prints Blogs

    May 8, 2007

It had a rough start, but BostonNOW, a newspaper that prints the words of some local bloggers, is at last up and running.  Or perhaps, to be more in character with BostonNOW’s Paul Revere logo, “up and riding” would be a more accurate description.

BostonNOW Works Out Bugs, Prints Blogs
BostonNOW Works Out Bugs, Prints Blogs
BostonNOW Works Out Bugs, Prints Blogs

The saga began on April 17, according to the paper’s blog.  “We’re pleased with our first edition and the launching of the first stage of our website (the bloggling [sic] functionality will be up soon!)” wrote John Wilpers, BostonNOW’s editor-in-chief.  Later that same day, Wilpers lost his connection to the Internet.

On April 20, there was a flap over some “lifted” content from Bostonist.  Wilpers apologized on behalf of BostonNOW, and the gaffe appears to have been forgiven, if not forgotten.

A few days later, yet another post appeared, this one announcing that “[w]e’re so close to blogging functionality.”  Then – at last! – a request to “[s]end us a link to your blog” on April 30.

BostonNOW has truly hit its stride.  A broad column titled “CommunityNOW” runs down almost the entire right side of its website’s main page, and the paper itself has gained the attention of The New York Times.  “While most newspapers are trying to stake bigger claims online, one new publication is pulling material off the Internet to be printed in ink,” noted Luke Jerod Kummer.

“With a current circulation of about 85,000,” Kummer continued, “BostonNow potentially offers a much larger readership than most local bloggers are used to.”  Bloggers aren’t paid for their contributions, but “[t]he greater exposure could translate into increased ad revenue for their own sites.”

As for the quality of the writing, Wilpers assured the Times’s Kummer, “We’ll be running the blogs through the same fairness and quality standards we run our own reporters through.”

Some good things have come out of Boston, including the hilarious radio Car Talk.  In the opinions of some area bloggers, BostonNOW might be even better.