Jeremy Zilar is the Blog Specialist and Content Strategist at The New York Times where he has overseen the launch of over 200+ blogs, real-time news publishing, and helped convert over 600 writers and editors around the world into digital-first journalists.
In early 2006, he was hired at The New York Times as a Design Technologist to 'figure out blogs'. Over the next few months he proceeded to design and develop a scalable framework for creative online publishing on NYTimes.com and set out to teach writers and editors across the Times about the ethics of online publishing, as well as establishing the first newsroom guidelines for moderating reader comments and interaction.
Since then he has overseen the launch of over 200+ blogs, and in collaboration with some of the best writers and editors in the world, has helped to shaped the coverage of 2 Presidental Elections, 4 Olympics, 2 World Cups, 1 Mars landing, Hurricanes — both near and far, countless breaking news events, crossword tournaments, Apple Live Events, and Fashion shows.
In 2001, he graduated from the Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design in Denver, Colorado where he studied Contemporary Painting and Drawing and Digital Media, and won numerous awards. That same year his work was included shows at a number of Denver-based galleries, including shows at The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver and a show at the Singer Gallery at the Mizel Arts Center with Agnes Martin, Chuck Close and Clark Richert.
In 2004, he had a solo show of a series of large photographs at the O.K. Harris Gallery in SOHO, New York City, titled 'The Actual Plane'.
I play an active part in helping to develop the way the Times presents live coverage of breaking news events. In addition to helping to develop tools for producing, editing and publishing live blog, I also help editors plan and approach live coverage in a way that is accesible and informative to readers.
Over the years, each department at the Times was responsible for creating their own internal website, managing their own documentation, and communicating with employees about company policies, benefits and guidelines. This system, or lack there of, made for a lot of duplicated information, outdated documentation with no ability to search across the entire corpus.
I spent 3 months meeting with every department in The New York Times Company and proceeded to design, build and oversee a team of producers who combined over 32 websites into one, searchable and streamlined system for documenting how the company operates.
In 2011, I developed a dashboard for editors in the newsroom that combined APIs from NYTimes.com, Chartbeat, Facebook Graph, WebTrends, and Google Analytics. The goal was to develop a a simple interface and a consistent language for understanding newsm metrics.
Questions we aimed to answer
- What time of day are readers watching video?
- Are readers reading long-form content in the evening, more than the middle of the day?
- What type of impact are we noticing from other time-zones as they wake up, and what are they reading?
- Where in our articles are our readers dropping off, and where are they going?
- What percentage of readers on an article are new to the site, and where did they come from?
I have been fortunate to play a part in the realization of a remarkable project by the (then) 15-year-old style blogger, Tavi Gevinson. In September 2011, I was approached by a group of talented friends and colleagues in New York City who were trying to get Tavi's new site Rookie designed, developed and launched in less than a month. I helped to bring together a supporting team of developers, designers to build Rookie from the ground up.
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