I’d like to share with you one of Mullen’s latest experiments in partnership with Boston.com and Points Local. It’s called The Pulse/Boston Red Sox and it launched today in beta. Basically it’s a simple platform that combines high-quality professional content (boston.com sports coverage), fan blog posts, reader participation, interactive social data, and the opportunity for branded sponsorship that enables real time engagement. The deck below does The Pulse more justice than a blog post or press release could do, so take a look.
As you’ll see, there’s Twitter volume and sentiment about both the Red Sox and individual players. You can filter it by time frame using the horizontal bar across the top of the page, or by state and region, using the map below the player’s analysis. If you want to participate, you can tweet from the page, which will automatically add a #PulseRedSox hashtag, or simply include that tag whenever you tweet about the Sox. Prefer pictures to words? We’re streaming Instagram, too, using the same #PulseRedSox hashtag.
If you’re an advertiser, The Pulse lets you engage in a much better way than just buying a banner ad. You can post in a branded tweet box at the top of the stream or additionally join the conversation via the hashtag. And, as an added bonus, we’ve created what we think is the first ever Instagram ad. You can always post images in the stream using the hashtag, but if you’re sponsoring the page, your images will also be scheduled to appear in larger sizes photos, filling the Instagram box for a few moments before returning to the stream. The only catch – but it’s a good one — is that you have to make your ad using Instagram nomenclature. Think picture plus Labelbox.
Oh, I should also mention that the widgets you see on the The Pulse, will eventually be embeddable. Which means we can make them branded units, run them on other sports pages on Boston.com and release them to bloggers to add to their sites.
The thinking behind The Pulse? Simple. The lines between content and readers, brands and consumers, old media and new media are blurring. Why not accelerate the merger? We’re inviting readers and fans to get more involved with a topic they care about. We’re providing access to data so they can see what the rest of the community thinks. And we’re inviting loud-mouthed or, better yet, clever SoMeSox fans to build their own community of followers using this public page.
Right now The Pulse is in beta. We know it’s far from perfect and that some of our basic assumptions about what features to develop might be wrong. We probably need more team and player stats in the form or pop-up windows. We need better scrolling for the Instagram images. But most importantly we need feedback. Since we didn’t build this first phase using lean startup techniques, we now have to learn fast, iterate and test again. So please help us out.
Check out The Pulse. That alone will give us some data – sources of traffic, time on page, most engaging widgets, etc. But give us more feedback if you can. If there’s not feedback link there yet (we’ll have it there soon), you can leave suggestions here.
Does it work?
Would you use it?
Would you tell your friends?
If not why?
What’s missing for you?
Do you even care?
We want to learn and get it better. That way we can make The Pulse/NE Patriots, The Pulse/Campaign 2012 and The Pulse/Whitey On Trial a lot better.
Thanks for reading and for checking out The Pulse/Boston Red Sox.