At the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2007, BlastMagazine.com launched. A new, scrappy little online magazine with two goals: To be an independent voice and to combine the monthly quality of a long-form magazine with the hourly timeliness of the web and blogs.
In 2007 we were born. In 2008 we gained direction. In 2009 we got popular. In 2010, Blast will explode.
Another thing that makes Blast unique is the fact that we never hide anything from you. Even when we do a redesign or major change on the site, we do it live, and we collect your feedback to make it better.
So here’s what we’re trying to do next year:
While most news outlets are closing their bureaus and getting rid of foreign news, Blast — an entertainment website — added reporters in Dublin, London, Rome, Brisbane, Sydney, Toronto and New Delhi. We have domestic reporters all over the country.
We’re looking to add some important things to the site in 2010.
Blast has always had a presence in New York. One of our biggest strengths as a publication is our ability to review concerts and interview bands a few days before they arrive in Boston — and a few days before the rest of the publications in Boston.
By the end of the winter, we will be able to announce specific details about expanding our New York operation. We are looking to add a New York Page to BlastMagazine.com, and we are currently looking for a sponsor (perhaps a NY company looking to expand to Boston or a Boston company looking for exposure in NY?) to get that off the ground. We have a domain name registered for New York that will either host a New York Page or (more probably) redirect to a NY page on BlastMagazine.com.
In 2009, Blast brought its unique style to the West Coast, with a fantastic entertainment reporter named Connie Allen at the helm. A bureau in California allows us better access to television and movie stories. She has pulled down exclusive stories for Blast.
On top of that, we have two tech/games reporters out west (including one in Seattle) and two general assignment reporters in Denver.
Even more out in the West Bureau: We have three political analysts writing a regular feature called Power Behind Closed Doors, and it’s really riveting stuff.
In 2010, we will continue to build strength out west, and we will continue to cover the E3 expo in Los Angeles, PAX in Seattle, and Comic-Con International in San Diego, making us the only publication in New England (online or in print) that sends reporters to all three conventions.
We are also recruiting for a reporter in Las Vegas.
We do not plan to make a West Coast site just yet, but we do have a domain name registered just in case.
Blast Miami/Blast South is something brand new, and still in development.
Miami — and the whole South really — has a unique scene. The beaches, the music, the people, even the food all make for interesting reading and viewing.
We’ve already been able to put out fantastic stories like this.
We can confirm that Gabriella von Rosen will be the chief of our Southern Bureau. We are in the process of recruiting freelancers and student interns to staff it right now.
We will launch a South/Miami page as soon as possible. We have secured a domain — again, probably for forwarding purposes.
We are looking for a primary advertising partner to get the page off the ground.
No, we’re not starting a theme park. (But how cool would THAT be?)
Since the start, world news and a truly global reach made Blast a much more serious force in modern media than people might think at first glance. I mean, did you really think a site that covers indie rock, porn and video games would also have coverage FROM the 2007 South Ossetia War? The Mumbai terror attacks? What about news from Rome about historic discoveries? A local Ted Kennedy hook on a news story reported from the UK?
Scary huh? Blast is the only local publication — print or online — that doesn’t rely on a wire service for international news.
We’ve taken that global reach and put it to work in much less serious situations, too. We dramatically expanded our travel section in 2009 to include Paris, Rome, Liege, Barcelona, San Juan, Santa Fe, Lisbon and more.
Admittedly, the first half of the year wasn’t too good for our blogs. We rebranded, refocused, or closed down all four of our sports blogs and had several fashion blogs come and go.
But we rebounded int he second half by focusing on established blogs that had dedicated writers already. We added Mark Baard’s Sci-Tech Heretic and a cars blog called The Diva of Driving, and both have been very successful. Our Terra World News blog expanded with a weekly podcast. Finally, we formed a relationship with YawkeyTalkies.com, a local sports blog, to make them part of our network and provide its owner with advertising.
In 2010 we will add a blog about traveling models and photographers — it’s glamorous and even a little scandalous. That’s an exciting one.
We are seeking a local Boston news blogger — someone who can aggregate and analyze the day’s top stories.
What other crazy crap are we focusing on in 2010?
2010 will be the Year of the Blast. Thanks for reading!