When The Boston Globe Company divided its site to Bostonglobe.com and Boston.com back in 2011, it was a bold move. But in a time where strategies like the need to create engaging content while concurrently distinguishing your site amongst millions of others are both major goals for publishers, The Boston Globe decided the split was a clever way to visually and socially appeal to its community while also housing premier content behind a paywall of its print publication, The Boston Globe.
Fast forward 3 years and both sites are alive and continuing to innovate to push forward in the marketplace. Bostonglobe.com is moving to a metered model paywall in order to reel in readers with a certain number of free stories per month before having to pay. This change in the paywall model strategy can most likely be attributed to last year’s purchase of the Globe from The New York Times Company by Redsox Owner John Henry who assumed the role to work for “a cause worth fighting for.”
Boston.com is undergoing a much more substantial change; it’s seeking a new identity. Henry wants it to be “a phone-first website” that is completely independent of the Globe. It will broaden its scope to incorporate user-generated and flash-written content of Huffington Post and Buzzfeed. With the surge of mobile users, Henry envisions this site to be the mobile destination for Bostonians.
Henry believes The Globes journalism to be strong, in fact, irreplaceable – but George Brock, the head of the journalism department at City University London recently reminded him it’s time to “not ask his people to innovate. They need to experiment. Turn the Globe into a giant laboratory for journalism.”
Read more about the variables and controls being matriculated in “the lab of BostonGlobe.com and Boston.com” here.