When Adam Gaffin, co-founder of Universal Hub, bought an exercise bike, he had to make sure it had a shelf for him to put his laptop on. He works on weekends, on his lunch break and on holidays. That’s how dedicated he is to running UniversalHub.com.
Even while on vacation with his wife, Nancy Reynolds, and daughter, Greta, in New Hampshire, he’s posting to the site constantly.
“What else am I supposed to do while they’re still asleep?” he jokes. “I have no life.”
Universal Hub began when Gaffin started compiling a list of Boston blogs. Gaffin and his partner, local videoblogger Steve Garfield, realized there was a better way to combine what Boston’s bloggers were saying in one place.
“It’s something that was needed,” he says. “All these people saying all these interesting things—wouldn’t it be cool to have a central place to find out what people are talking about that day. There’s value in the wisdoms of the crowds.”
While most Good Bostonians are doing things to improve your neighborhoods, Gaffin is strengthening a different sort of community: online.
Gaffin posts most items on the site himself, but all registered users can post directly to the main page. He gets a good amount of people sending in tips and photos, especially when there’s a crash on the T.
Universal Hub concentrates mostly on news, but above all, it’s concerned with Bostonians’ daily lives, so virtually anything that affects them ends up on the site in some form.
“What the daily papers can’t do very well is cover daily stuff in the neighborhoods,” Gaffin says. “I hope that what I can do is show people stuff that they’re not going to read in the daily papers.”
Gaffin claims the time he spends with Universal Hub is unquantifiable; his day job is the executive online editor of Network World, and he insists Universal Hub is just a hobby, something he does in lieu of collecting stamps or drinking whiskey.
He is also the author of the online “Wicked Good Guide to Boston English,” an Urban Dictionary-type guide to talking like a Bostonian.
Garfield holds his partner in high regard: “Over on Universal Hub, Adam provides a platform for all the lurkers on the web … Adam finds the good stuff for you. [He] adds his editorial spin to the interesting, newsworthy and quirky blog posts he finds on the web. Adam is like Boston’s John Stewart.”