Shadowing Greg Boustead

By Andrea F. Pagliai

According to his job description, Greg Boustead is in charge of the online stuff. However—that is a lot to be said. As the Digital Senior Editor for Seed Magazine, Boustead, in addition to writing his own pieces, oversees the writers who create the content that will appear online. Seed Magazine is a bi-monthly science and culture magazine that appears both in print and online. Boustead’s charge includes finding graphics and images to accompany the stories that appear on the website, SeedMagazine.com, and making the website accessible and user friendly. The magazine prints 180,000 copies every two months, but the online website gets about 1.5 million hits a month, including ScienceBlogs.com.

Seed Magazine is best described as a science and culture magazine that strives to report on science for scientists – and regular people. It combines the scientific with the artistic to create a compatible magazine for the researcher and the general consumer. The magazine uses dynamic graphics, graphs, drawings, photos, and illustrations that prevent the content from coming off dry and boring. It’s science made user friendly by art.

Seed Magazine Cover, August 2007 (vol. 11)

Seed Magazine Cover, August 2007 (vol. 11)

The magazine’s aesthetic is reminiscent of a notebook that discusses ideas, emerging research, and a league of articles in the form of essays, bios, and more traditional scientific synopsis. The goal of both the online and print magazine is to make and put out content that appeals to readers and keeps them coming back for more: having a sustainable readership is the main goal.

The writing style of the magazine is reminiscent of The New Yorker meets Technology Review meets Nature News. It is academic and hinted with a liberal leaning. The magazine knows who its readers are and is in the business of giving them what they want. Articles range from 400 to 6,000 words, so they are not get-in, get-out type of stories.

The online magazine includes most of the articles from the print version, but also contains some pieces that are more lax and straightforward. There are 12-14 people working in the digital department and they all interact with each other and work together to make the magazine work.

Boustead describes the team as a collaborative unit, regardless of rank or seniority. Boustead didn’t start out as a Journalist. He went to school for psychology and theory, with a strong science background. For this reason, he was always attracted to Seed Magazine.

The Seed Media Group also links to one of the biggest collections of science blogs out there. In between ScienceBlogs.com and SeedMagazine.com, the company brings in about 1.5 million hits a month.

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