“It doesn’t matter if you’re running a Fortune 100 company, a newly minted startup, or a photoblog that just happens to be seen by millions. This is how you communicate.”

As a little sneak peek, I’m intending to write a web review article for the Indianapolis Business Journal on The Big Picture soon, but they came to my attention today in a way that can’t be ignored.

A quick primer: The Big Picture is a photoblog hosted and maintained by The Boston Globe. Each day, Boston Globe web developer Alan Taylor compiles a set of photos related to something in the news and presents them with captions on the site. Big, amazing, high-resolution images that work hard to tell a compelling story. A very simple communication tool, beautifully realized.

Today I noticed, in addition to the recent photo additions, a message from Alan. “Just a brief note,” he started, “three things to mention.” Two of the three things were a new feature and a teaser for a very important upcoming entry. Sandwiched between them was this:

“A second ad position has been added (yes, I know, I know) but I wanted to be upfront about it, and not sneak an ad in. It’s below the photos, above the comments – I’ll never put ads in amongst the images – please feel free to give your feedback here in the comments. Just so you know the rationale: the bandwidth bills must be covered. In a single day, last month the entry on Hurricane Ike was served up over 1 million times. The 28 images on that page add up to a bit more than 5.2 megabytes. Multiply that a million times, and we (The Boston Globe) ended up serving nearly 5 terabytes of images for just one entry from one blog in less than 24 hours (not counting the HTML or the thousands of comments). And we topped one million daily pageviews at least five times last month.”

Honest, transparent, succinct. Following a classic strategy too often ignored: “Here’s what we did, here’s why we did it, we hope you understand, tell us what you think.”

Folks, it doesn’t matter if you’re running a Fortune 100 company, a newly minted startup, or a photoblog that just happens to be seen by millions. This is how you communicate.

Well done, Alan!

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