Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Boston Spirit Magazine’s coverage goes daily with new web site


by Chuck Colbert

A Boston-based LGBT publication has a new web presence, one that makes bimonthly Boston Spirit Magazine more dynamic with day-to-day relevancy for its readers.

There are two major differences to the new site, said publisher David Zimmerman, both having to do with updated content. 

For example, one new feature is a section called the “Fab 5,” which are the top five stories from the LGBT world, updated almost daily. 

“We search the net to find the biggest stories, nationally and internationally, and we link to them,” Zimmerman explained in email correspondence. “It is a one-stop-shop to see the biggest stories all in one place.”

“On the blogs” is another new feature. “In this section, we link to some interesting and sometimes quirky stories that we think will interest people,” he said. “Between these two sections, we have quite a bit of new content that is updated all the time.”

Boston Spirit’s new site, launched last October, also includes digital versions of past issues of the magazine.

What prompted a freshening of the publication online? And what purpose do the new features serve?

“We have been thinking of updating the website for a long time. We just needed to work out a way to do it economically,” said Zimmerman. “The purpose of the new site is to have an LGBT portal where people can go, on a daily basis, to see the big stories of the day in the LGBT world. We want a site that will be a daily-visit spot for the LGBT community in this area.”

The new site also “allows us to cover daily news and bring daily news to our followers. As a bimonthly magazine, we had been more focused on feature articles, and there was a gap in that we were not delivering daily content to our [readers]. The site allows us to fill that gap,” said Zimmerman. “We can now bring everything to our followers — daily news, features stories, events and more.” 

Reactions from readers and advertisers have been positive. “People like the new site, its design/layout and the content,” said Zimmerman.

When asked how the site’s new features fit within the Greater Boston LGBT and mainstream media landscapes Zimmerman replied, “Everything we do at Boston Spirit, we do with an internal lens. We do not think about other media when we make decisions. It is all about our offerings and how we can better serve our readers.” Previously, “There was a gap in our portfolio of offerings,” Zimmerman said, referring to the print magazine (published six times a year), sponsored events and a Boston.com blog.

But Boston Spirit was not covering daily news. “I thought if we could add that to our mix, it would be a tremendous benefit to our readers and it would really allow us to be the media outlet for the LGBT community in this region.”

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