By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Don’t buy this paper

The Boston Globe did something pretty smart yesterday: It blew out about two-thirds of the City & Region front for a feature whose sole purpose was to drive you to the Web. The online presentation, “Ten from 20 to 30,” is a multimedia package on 10 young Bostonians with lots of photos and audio but not much text.

You might wonder why you should pay for the paper when the Globe is saving some of its more provocative content for the Web. But that’s where the audience is going anyway. Far smarter to give people a reason to go to the Globe’s site,, than to chase them away altogether.

The trick, as always, is how to make money from this.

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  1. Anonymous

    Yeah, wicked smart: Copy a format that has become hackneyed since regional business journals starting doing it 10 years ago [“Thirty under 30 – Palookaville’s youngest movers and shakers”], tease it in your Sunday paper and post it on the web. I’m guessing that of the Sunday Globe readers who even noticed the thing, 98 percent of them didn’t bother checking it out. Brilliant!

  2. Anonymous

    The paper I work for is trying to do this sort of thing, too (though perhaps a bit less elegantly and consistently at this point). Despite this, I didn’t notice it in yesterday’s Globe, either. And when I just went to to try to find it — prompted only by your post — I got sidetracked by the James Bond feature (OK, the “Bond girls” feature), so I still haven’t seen what the Globe was trying to get me to see. I’m not saying my experience is everybody’s experience, but as a Boston-born, college-educated person with a decent salary and a good 25 years or more from retirement, I’m certainly in the Globe’s target demographic.

  3. Neil

    I saw it too but as part of the unattractive fogey demographic, didn’t…no, that’s not why. I didn’t even notice the article (even though it has maple syrup on it so I was at the page during my Sunday AM feeding frenzy) because the topic was too broad. People in their twenties in Boston! Huh? So what? Contrast to the article above, “Patrick learns how to be governor”, where the headline tells you that it is actually about something. It even has a verb in it! More potential topics similar to “In their primes”: –Bostonians who use the Internet! –Trees of the world–There’s a lot going on in Europe!–People with brown hair!–Animals, they may surprise you!Multimedia can’t be an end in itself. It has to be about something. Far more interesting and deserving of special treatment was the page one lead about colleges cracking down on kids who owe them money. With the demographic bonus that they too are in their twenties. Ask them followup questions like oh, I don’t know, what kind of bullshit excuse is that nobody in your family “knows to say, You should read these letters”! You’re in college for Christ’s sake. At what age do you think you should start opening and reading your own mail?That’s the kind of online feature I might pay to see. Yea I know–doesn’t matter–wrong demographic. My grandson says you can get a good deal on Depends shopping “on line”–I’ll give that a try…

  4. Anonymous

    Interestingly enough, this is an excellent example of how the people at the Globe seem to see themselves. Artistic, iconoclastic, often obsessed with sexuality. Oh yeah, and unable to get to the end of a sentence without the superfluous, verbified “like”. Write about what you know, I guess.

  5. Anonymous

    I publish a blog about the Globe, but I’m pretty selective about what I read in it on Sunday. I confess I missed the whole thing.The Globe is, I believe, getting much more experimental with their site in the past couple of months, since the recent announcement of the organizational melding of the Globe and

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