SXSW Interactive 2013
Too Long Didn't Read: The Future of Indie Longform
With the rise of listicles, photo slideshows, and content farms, the survival of long-form writing on the web seemed bleak. But in fact, there has instead been a renaissance of long-form writing. While traditional outlets have taken an arduous decade-long path to finding an online model, a handful of new, independent sites have emerged that publish polished prose and are unafraid of lengthy word counts. These "indie" publications went outside the traditional media-industry channels and tapped into their own networks and have thrived, fostering a new generation of writing talent, building new communities of readers, and displaying a new energy that sometimes outshines their old media counterparts. Editors at venerable publications The Morning News, The Millions, and The Bygone Bureau discuss the advantages of publishing long-form work on the web, the challenges of attribution, and how tools that encourage lengthy reads, like Instapaper and Readability, can hurt as much as they help.
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Additional Supporting Materials
- How does long-form content published by traditional outlets differ from that published by independent sites?
- How is the audience for long-form changing? Is that audience growing or shrinking?
- How does a leaner, less conventional editorial structure affect the writing and editing process?
- What kind of business model can support independent sites that don't cater solely to racking up pageviews?
- What kind of impact have reading tools like Instapaper and Readability had on publishing long-form content?
Kevin Nguyen, Editor, The Bygone Bureau