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writing

Jill Abramson, Steven Brill Back Long-Form Journalism Start-Up

jill abramson picA new start-up venture spearheaded by former New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson and award-winning journalist/Court TV founder Steven Brill focusing on long-form journalism says it will advance writers around $100,000 to produce substantial, longer-than-magazine length articles, according to Poynter.

Abramson, who fleshed-out plans for the as-yet unnamed venture at a Journalism and Women’s Symposium last weekend in California, said the venture will feature one story per month and will be available by subscription.

Although Abramson did not elaborate on potential investors, she said that she and Brill “were very close” to a possible deal with a funder.

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Beegit Brings Content And Project Management Together With New Platform

BEEGITFINALCollaborative writing is hard to do. Former journalist Mike Cottrill understands that. Which is why he, along with co-founders JD Eaton and Kris Ciccarello, created Beegit (BEE-GET), a web based editor that’s also a project management platform. There are a lot of really great web editors and a lot of really great project management tools. But they never seem to work together. Says Cottrill:

The thing that messes up most projects ad deadlines is getting the content down. So we said, we can actually create a project management tool that has the content management system in it. Otherwise, you have to write in Google Docs, or god forbid, you write in word and track changes. So what is the project management tool doing for you?

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Israeli Tech Start-up Spot.IM Enables Publishers To Turn Visitors Into a Community

spot.im post picThe creators of Tel Aviv-based Spot.IM say that their free platform, now currently in Beta, can turn any website into its own social network, thus greatly diminishing the need and reliance on external, social media giants such as Facebook, Twitter and countless others.
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Hacks and Hackers New Executive Director is Planning for Growth

hackshackers post picFor the uninitiated, the Hacks and Hackers Network is an international, grassroots organization of journalists and technologists who use technology to visualize information and find and tell stories.

Since the group’s first meeting five years ago, in a bar in San Francisco, more than 80 communities worldwide now boast a Hacks and Hackers group.

In an effort to continue that growth, Jeanne Brooks, the group’s first-ever executive director, has come up with a plan to help the global journalism and technology group bolster its numbers as well as its impact.

Brooks, who is supported by a 2014-2015 fellowship from the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, wrote on her blog, “At the outset, my aim is to create a roadmap for not only sustainability but for scaling the impact of the network.”

She added that while a global network of volunteer leaders has helped grow the movement, using various methods to organize and nurture local communities, a more comprehensive strategy is now needed to encourage new growth. Read more

This User-Generated Magazine Wants to Pay Contributors

storybyThis week, StoryBy officially launched as the first peer-generated, crowd-sourced, forum-based “magazine” that also aims to share its revenue with contributors.

The platform was spawned out of frustration with what CEO Olavi Toivainen calls “old style” forums: hard to search, difficult to follow and to contribute to. StoryBy is focused on making reading an immersive experience, which will benefit users and brands. Organized by topics, or what they call “zones,” users can write their own articles. Right now, lifestyle topics like home, travel, and entertainment populate the site.

In addition to creatine a reading experience using an algorithm that ranks entries by popularity, Toivainen is focused on making the site easy to use and personalizing the experience. “The ranking order is driving the experience,” Toivainen says.

For readers, there’s no obligatory log-in, so you can create your adventure within the site without the algorithm. Contributors do need to log in. But once you write an article on a topic, that’s it. Their platform categorizes and tags it for you. Like Quora, StoryBy is founded on the belief that everyone is an expert on something.  Read more

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