The web was supposed to kill longform journalism. And it almost did. For years, conventional wisdom held that for text to work online, it had to be short and digestible. Nobody had the time to read 5,000 words on a web browser, and fewer still were willing to pay for the privilege. But at the same moment that many publishers scaled back their longform work, or abandoned it altogether, a new audience of readers emerged thanks to innovative apps like Instapaper, Read It Later, and Readaility. Turns out, the problem wasn’t that the stories were too long. People love stories! The problem was the delivery method—we finally had the tools to read pieces when, how, and where we wanted. This panel will discuss: what those tools are, how they’re being used, how some publishers are taking advantage of them, how other publishers are failing to take advantage of them, how the digital reading experience will continue to evolve, why journalists will always be the core audience for longform journalism, the iPad and the Kindle, Instapaper and Readability, and whether or not anyone is making any money from this stuff. This panel will not discuss: the upside of paginating long stories.
Max Linsky is the co-founder of Longform.org, a curated archive of new and classic journalism that's been covered by Slate, Wired, The Guardian and New York Magazine. His latest endeavor, an iPad app called Zagazine, features longform articles from a host of top magazines in a dedicated reading environment. The former online managing editor for the second-largest chain of alternative weeklies in the country, Max began his journalism career in Cape Town. He now lives in Brooklyn.
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