What's missing from the Boston Globe's "Westword" blog

I just checked out the Boston Globe's "Westword" blog, aimed at the folks who live in the newspaper's western coverage zone (an awkward collection of towns and cities stretching from cities inside 128, to semi-rural towns beyond 495).

There's a few things wrong with the blog, in Borderline's opinion.

One, there are no comments, so readers cannot communicate with Globe staff, or leave their own opinions and observations.

Two, it's all about articles that appear in the paper. In other words, a promotional tool.

Third, it's overwhelmingly oriented to the bigger cities and towns, especially Newton, Waltham, and Framingham. That's great for residents of those towns, but not fair to folks farther out.

For the first two reasons, I don't think Westword qualifies as a blog, and I am not going to link to it in the local blogs listing on the right side of Borderline. The Newton Tab does a better job with its blog, which not only has comments enabled, but sometimes posts about issues that aren't covered in the Tab. Sure, the Tab uses the blog as a promotional tool, but it's also a real community resource and place for people to voice opinions.


Anonymous Ralph Ranalli said...

Thanks for the candid assessment of Westword. As the blog's manager, I appreciate any and all feedback, since Westword is something of a work in progress as we try to drag the Globe into the 21st Century. As far as the comments issue goes, virtually all the Globe bloggers are eager to have the comments software turned on ASAP, and we have been assured that it soon will be. You're right, they are an essential part of making a blog a community resource. We are also aiming to increase the amount of blog-exclusive content.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Borderline said...

Thanks Ralph. I appreciate the honest answer, and I look forward to when the Globe flicks the switch on comments. Be ready for some fun moderating them!

10:39 PM  

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