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Longreads Joins Forces With Automattic, Owner of WordPress

Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 1.36.20 PMDuring the month of its five-year anniversary, Longreads was bought by Autommatic, the web development company best known for its ownership of WordPress (also Gravatar and Polldaddy, for the nerdiest types).

Longreads, started by former journalist and longform journalism enthusiast Mark Armstrong in 2009, announced April 9 it was joining forces with Autommatic in order to expand its impact and better equip itself to share the best longform (1,500+ words) work on the web.

“The world cannot live on 140 characters alone,” Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg said to Bloomberg Businessweek. “Longreads embodies a lot of what we really value with Automattic and WordPress.”

This move makes total sense. WordPress.com is the “largest and most influential publishing ecosystem in the world,” as Armstrong wrote, and its content management system powers the work of big news brands like NYPost.com and Quartz, and lesser known yet immensely talented freelance writers. Longreads is constantly looking for great journalism to share, while competing against sites like Byliner, and Automattic’s WordPress offers writers a place where their journalism can live. So, it’s a win-win situation. And, in a SXSW talk last year, Mullenweg said WordPress was looking for a way to delve deeper into — and monetize — longform journalism, as what became known as the longform “renaissance” had really started to take shape.

 


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Nudged by Social Media, Martin’s Breads Removes Controversial “Yoga Mat” Additive

Few consumers knew exactly what Azodicarbonamide was before food blogger Vani Hari of foodbabe.com campaigned Subway Sandwich Shops to remove the controversial “yoga mat” chemical and food additive from their breads.

martin's post picNow, in response to hundreds of customer requests via a combination of calls and social media messages on Facebook and Twitter, Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe, Inc., makers of Martin’s Potato Breads and other baked goods, announced it is planning to remove Azodicarbonamide (ADA) from its’ products “as soon as they are able.” Read more

NPR Partners With Quora to Cover Sochi 2014

72415v4-max-250x250Sochi 2014 is well underway now, and news surrounding the event, whether journalist complaints about hotel conditions on social media or traditional Olympics coverage, is pretty easy to find.

But to add another layer of context and value to the Olympics experience for the viewer at home, public radio broadcaster NPR is partnering with Quora. NPR is teaming up with the popular blogging/knowledge platform to cross-post interesting questions and answers created by Quora readers specifically related to this year’s Winter Games.

Kate Myers of NPR Business Partnerships announced the collaboration in a post on Quora last week.

“A key part of our mission at National PublicRadio is to create a more informed public — one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and cultures. That’s why I appreciate Quora: it helps foster that understanding with quality answers to your questions, small and large,” Myers wrote.

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How to Stop the Online Harassment of Female Journalists

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“Happy to say we live in the same state. Im looking you up, and when I find you, im going to rape you and remove your head.” That’s a tweet Slate writer Amanda Hess received from her stalker. Unfortunately, Hess’ situation is not uncommon. In fact, female journalists being harassed and threatened online has become an epidemic.

Hess recently wrote a lengthy piece on the subject for the Pacific Standard. She discovered that of all the people who reported being stalked and harassed online from 2000 to 2012, 72.5 percent were female. “No matter how hard we attempt to ignore it, this type of gendered harassment — and the sheer volume of it — has severe implications for women’s status on the Internet,” Hess argued.

How can we change this situation? Read more

How Starting a Blog Can Help Market Your Book

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As part of Mediabistro’s Profit From Your Passion series, we gave you advice on creating your book proposal (whether it be nonfiction or a novel). The next step in getting your work into the hands of millions is marketing. Although it may seem daunting at first (thoughts of hitting up every Barnes & Noble in the country spring to mind), it’s not as intimidating as it sounds.

We got the lowdown from agents, authors and publishers on the key ingredients to an effective, mostly-DIY marketing campaign. One great revelation is that starting a blog is a great way to sell your book — and keep interest in your writing alive:

As an author who may also be a full-time writer chasing deadlines all day, regularly maintaining a blog may be the last thing you want to do with those precious free moments off the clock. But, says Sherrie Wilkolaski, founder and president of Author’s Boutique and PubSmart, a blog is actually the best way to build a platform that ultimately generates book sales. “Obviously, the search engines love it, it keeps the author’s website active and it gets [the author] out there building more content.” Not sure what to blog about? For nonfiction writers, Wilkolaski recommends providing daily content and tips that position you as an expert in your subject area. And for novelists, she’s had a lot of success having her authors blog as one of their characters to keep readers interested and engaged between releases.

For more marketing tips, including advice on hiring professional help, read: 6 Ways to Effectively Market Your Book.

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