Boston.com has rolled out a new photo blog during the past month called, appropriately enough, The Big Picture.
For those who were fascinated by Life Magazine or National Geographic as kids, and let’s be honest who wasn’t?, what Alan Taylor is doing over at the digital domain for The Boston Globe is nothing short of amazing.
Andy Baio of WAXY interviewed Taylor to get some behind the scenes information regarding one of the best new blogs on the internet.
Tell me a little bit about your curating process. Are you browsing the wire randomly for amazing photos and building a post around it, or do you start with the story you want to tell?
A little of both. Browsing the wire is really fun, and leads to some incredible finds. If there’s a specific story I want to tell, I’m at the mercy of what I can find. Sometimes there’s a lot, other times, not. For instance, I’m dying to do some “daily life” entries about Iran, but the wire feeds I have available have almost no images from there at all, other than photos of Ahmadinejad ? but that’s not what I’m after. I try to stock up for a rainy day too. I have some stored searches, some favorite photographers, some perpetually interesting subjects, and so on. I’m trying to automate the gathering as much as possible.
How’s the response been? I’ve seen the buzz in the blog world and the over-the-top positive comments in every one of your posts.
Yeah ? totally unreal. Over-the-top positive response. More than I expected for sure. Internally, externally, everywhere, people are being really thankful to me. I need to make sure (with some link-love in my upcoming blogroll) that the response gets directed to the photographers as well. I’m just a web developer with access to their photos and a blog ? they’re the ones out there working hard to get these amazing images. “Photographers” here is a loose term, encompassing photojournalists, stringers, amateurs, scientific imaging teams and more.
Taylor spends about 2-3 hours putting together a post, which usually includes a collection of photos and a short background blurb.? He posts 3 times per week on current events like Sadr City, the floods in Des Moines, Ethiopian food shortages, The Boston Celtics victory parade, California wildfires, etc.? What he does is surf the wire for the best photos and puts together a collection. The technical side of how he does it is fascinating as well, but you should really read the entire interview and go look as his blog.
It’s not hard to believe that a programmer has tapped into one of the best innovations in online publishing this year.? It’s just a shame more newspaper sights aren’t trying new things.? [The Big Picture]