Saturday, October 4, 2008

Wilpers takes Bloggers to Print and then International

According to Universal Hub, Former EIC of the now defunct BostonNow, John Wilpers, is seeking global bloggers for GlobalNews Enterprises. As GNE’s Director of Global Blog Development (fancy sounding, eh?), Wilpers is teaming up with local TV exec and NECN founder Phil Balboni and former Globe publisher Benjamin Taylor, among other notables, to form the “first fully web-based news organization to provide daily coverage of international news.” They plan to get 70 bloggers on board from around the world. While their site won't be up until early 2009, you can register in the mean time as a future subscriber or contributor. Don’t be intimidated by GNE's impressive Nova-esque graphics; if you’re interested in writing, contact them.

Wilpers is known in Boston for his work with TAB, Metro, and AOL's Boston CityGuide and has also worked with the Washington Examiner. He was EIC for BostonNOW for its first eight months in 2007 and then served as a consultant. The paper went under in April of 2008 when its main Icelandic backer, Baugur Group, pulled the plug due to poor foreign credit markets (a little bit of foreshadowing that hits close to home).

Although BostonNow was frequently slammed for its outrageous, often tabloid content and antics, it was the first US print paper to publish local blog content and to seek out and recruit bloggers. Even with the paper’s random and disjointed organization, its influence is undeniable. Since the publication's brief run excerpts from blogs are now printed in many papers, including Metro and The Boston Globe to name a few. Many heavy-hitter publications even have their own staff blogs (cough cough, Fringe?). BostonNow, despite its flaws, played a part in that.

I’m interested to see how GNE develops and whether it will be successful as BostonNow once planned to be. You can read more on Wilpers' thoughts on the evolution of blogging and its importance in the print world here.

1 comment:

johnwilpers said...


First, thank you for the mention. And for the compliments (and accurate criticisms) about BostonNOW. I wish it were still around for more proof-of-concept work!

One quick note: Global News Enterprises is contracting with 70 correspondents (not bloggers) in 53 countries around the world and enhancing that coverage with 350 of the "World's Best Bloggers" (writing in English).

That's what I (with my admittedly fancy title) am in the process of doing: searching out the best bloggers in each of the 53 countries who will add a truly local flavor and local insights to GNE's reporting.

Check us out in mid-January when we launch. Or, better yet, check us out in mid-February when we've had a month to show how these international bloggers will add to the complete package of coverage of each country.

Thanks again.

John Wilpers