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The Big Picture

Friday, June 6th, 2008

If you haven’t seen it, you should check out what Alan Taylor has been doing on He’s put together a blog of some of the most compelling photos that have come over the wire.

It’s brilliant photography and an outstanding presentation. You should check it out.

Practically green

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

I note with interest Susan Hunt Stevens’ new blog over at BoMoms: Practically Green. Susan is doing tons of things to really live green at her new home in Newton. She’s writing about what it’s like to live on the edge of these new technologies and mindsets.

She’s gone far further than we have, although we are trying to green as we go (Grawgo) — installing the compact fluorescents, upgrading the furnace, buying a reasonably fuel-efficient car.

I look forward to reading more about how she’s doing it.

I’m leaving

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

After three years, I’m moving on from My last day will be next Thursday. It’s been a great ride, and I think that we’re doing some really interesting things with the site, but it’s time for me to go back to the startup world.

I’m starting up a new project in June. It’s in stealth-mode right now — code for “I haven’t written it yet.” I should have something to unveil later this fall.

In the meantime, I hope to be able to write in this blog (and a new one I’m starting) for more often. My writing skills have atrophied so much that I can only write in bullet points now. It’s time to fix that.

Take 2 reviews

Friday, January 11th, 2008

Shill Alert!

This is pretty neat: the Globe’s Wesley Morris and Ty Burr sit and talk about the movies they review in the paper. It’s Ebert and Roeper with a Boston mindset. Plus, they get to go off on the movies they don’t like, as in the case of “The Bucket List.”

Edit: killed the embed for technical reasons…

Also, in case you ever wondered what the Globe’s auditorium looked like, you can see it here. Now, imagine yourself in a two-hour business-review meeting there…

Things to do

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

Shill alert!

I like the new Things to Do widget on the homepage. So far, it’s done a really good job surfacing interesting events happening around town. Of course, I can’t go to any of them, but it’s fun to see how the rest of the world lives 🙂

World Series windfall

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

We have a good article today on what the World Series means for hundreds of local businesses. It’s a good time to be in the hospitality business here in town.

We don’t benefit in this particular way from the World Series, but we certainly aren’t going to turn away all the additional people reading the Globe and hitting the site for the next couple of weeks.

Oh yeah, it’ll work out pretty well for those who bought furniture from Jordan’s, too.

Multimedia search

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

We launched an update to our local search product this morning: multimedia search. So now, you can search over NESN, NECN, WRKO, WEEI, WBZ, most of the tv stations, and 100 or so local podcasts. Our partner, Everyzing, transcribes the audio, and then we index the transcription.

It’s pretty handy. I heard that Bill Belichick was on ‘EEI this morning, so I just went to and searched for Bill Belichick. The entire segment was linked over on the side.

Congratulations to Lisa Williams

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

Lisa Williams, best known for her H2oTown weblog covering Watertown, just won a $220,000 grant from the Knight Foundation for her work on Placeblogger. This is great for Lisa; she’s been doing incredible work around citizen journalism and I’m happy to see her recognized.


Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

I don’t want to sound like a shill, but this is neat. Our team put together a special section called Pop-Ed, in which local musician Jake Brennan reads the news each morning, then writes a song about it and performs it that day. It plays on and WBOS that night.

I had absolutely nothing to do with this, but it is pretty frickin’ fun. Check out the first one, about our friend Roger signing with the Yankees. Lyrics.

If he can’t carry his bags how’s he gonna carry their season?

Trips I have to take

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

It’s hard to travel for work with the little baby in my life — either bringing her with me or leaving her at home with A. causes problems. But now we’re entering conference season, and travel is inevitable.

I was able to get out of going to Las Vegas for NAA this weekend, but I must be off in San Diego in a couple of weeks for the FAST Forward ’07 conference, where I can learn more about my chosen search platform and then schmooze, schmooze, schmooze. I need to re-read Never Eat Alone so that I can remember how to properly work a conference.

With wind chills below -10 tomorrow, you may be tempted to envy me my San Diego trip. Don’t. I fly out Wednesday afternoon and fly back on the red eye Friday night. I be lucky to see the sun, let alone the beach.

[tags]NAA, FastForward07[/tags]

I need to hire a Search Producer at

Tuesday, January 9th, 2007

I need a search producer to work with me at It’ll be an interesting job, helping to build the best possible search engine for Bostonians. Here’s my job description; if you’re interested, apply online!

Search Producer at

Are you a proud Bostonian?

We at know Boston. We’re from here. We love it here.

And we want to build the best site for Bostonians. We want to build a site where our readers can find news and information for living a better life. We want to organize Boston’s information in useful ways. We need your help.

Do you have at least a year or two of experience in the working world? Maybe working as a journalist or as a web producer? Maybe working as a librarian? Maybe you’re just wicked smart and want a cool job?

We have the job for you: Search Producer.

What you’ll do

So, what’s a search producer?

We’ve invested a lot of time and money this year in building out’s local search engine, a piece of software that will make it easy for our readers to find whatever they’re looking for in Boston.

We will succeed against our national competitors by emphasizing our relentless local focus and our sharp editorial voice. We can focus solely on Boston because we don’t care about anything beyond Worcester. We don’t care how search works in Peoria, only how it works in Plymouth. (Or Plimoth, as you remember from your grade-school field trips).

Our “sharp editorial voice” is where you come in. You’ll work closely with our search editors and the Boston Globe newsroom to ensure that our readers are getting the best possible Boston search experience.

More specifically:

You will tune the search engine to make sure it returns the best results for given queries. You twirl the right knobs and the search engine does your bidding. Don’t forget, though, with great power comes great responsibility.

You’ll also work to help manage our external crawl. This is where we pick worthy local sites and add them to our index. You’ll prospect for new sites and revisit old sites. If some bloggers are especially insightful, you’ll give them a little extra juice in the rankings.

You’ll also engage your mind-reading skills each morning. You’ll get a list of what our readers are searching and adjust how the search engine responds. If breaking news happens, you’ll work with the newsroom to make sure we’re delivering quality search results.

We’re also building out some specialized Yellow Pages and Shopping products. You will help set them up and ensure the data is accurate and pretty.

And of course, we also have “special projects and tasks as needed”. We’re making some of this up as we go, so if you need all the processes nailed down before you can do anything, this may not be the right job for you.

Who you are

Still interested? Great!

Here’s what we’re looking for:

You should be nimble. We’re inventing stuff in a fast-paced environment. Mistakes are OK (encouraged, even); apathy is verboten.

You like thinking things through, finding good answers to tough questions. We’ve already solved all the simple problems; you’ll work on the tough ones. You’re not afraid to think, brainstorm, dream. We’re hiring you for your smarts – and your backbone.

You enjoy mind-reading, divining intent from cryptic words in a box. (You’ll be surprised what people will type into a search box.) It’s your job to deliver our readers to what they mean, despite what they actually type.

You can handle the tools of the web trade, including text editors, content management systems, and Photoshop.

You can handcode HTML. We won’t be doing anything too outrageous, but you need to be able to do the basics. It would be fabulous if you also know some SQL and PHP or Python — you’ll have the opportunity to build your own tools, if you’re so inclined.

You can write in complete sentences with proper capitalization. We’re part of the New York Times Company – we expect you to be able to string a few words together.

Who we are

Millions of people come to each month looking for news, sports, things to do — and sometimes quick diversions from the drudgery of their own jobs. These millions of visitors view billions of pages each year. It’s one of the advantages joining us — people will actually see your work.

How we can get together

Apply online! We encourage minority candidates to apply and are an EEO.

Moving the furniture around

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

We tweaked a couple of things over at today. Take a look.

More to come…

Watch a game with Theo Epstein

Tuesday, July 4th, 2006

I’m sad that I can’t win this, because this looks like the coolest contest I’ve seen in a while: watch a game with Theo.

The grand prize winner will also receive a dinner for two at Fenway Park before a 2006 regular-season home game, and the chance to spend the game with Theo Epstein in his private suite!

Theo will also be chatting on on Monday, July 10th at noon.

[tags]Red Sox, Theo Epstein[/tags] +

Friday, June 30th, 2006

This is a nice colloraboration: We at have included “Save to” links on all our stories. I hope our customers will find this useful.

If you ever want to read my mind a little, you should check out my bookmarks.

Search is now my life

Sunday, April 9th, 2006

Change is good.

After several years working in classifieds, I’ve switched domains. I’m now Director of Search and Search Products for, working on our local-search products. This is where the world is moving, and I’m glad to be able to be a part of it. Now, instead of battling Google Base, Yahoo Hotjobs and Monster, I’ll be battling Google, Yahoo and MSN Search.

The next couple of years should be all sorts of interesting. Movie Maps

Saturday, March 4th, 2006

I forgot to mention this when it came out, but we’ve added handy interactive maps to all the movie listings. Kinda neat, and actually pretty useful.

The Big Help

Sunday, January 8th, 2006

The Big Help was published this morning in the Globe and at This is my first Big Help since joining full-time, and I’m pretty excited.

With all the new employers, we have 23,000 jobs listed. We’re also trying some new gizmos, like a gallery of the best ads, and a way you can make your own road sign.

Anyway, I hope you like it. Please feel free to drop me a note or leave a comment with your thoughts.

p.s., In a couple of months, I’ll bring you The Big Move…

[tags]Jobs, HR, Boston[/tags]