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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Armstrong’

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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Believe in Longform? So Does Longreads, Which Just Launched a Member Drive to Boost Profits

longreadsstoryEven as writers constantly engaging with the Web and social media to share and search for quality work, it can sometimes be a bother to sift through Internet nonsense and listicles to find great journalism.

Longreads, a curator of narratives both of the fiction and nonfiction variety exceeding 1,500 words, is one of the platforms seeking to alleviate this, and they’re looking to push their reach further and offer extras to their members. The company, founded in 2009, announced Monday an initiative to reach 5,000 paid members. Currently, they’ve only got around 1,000 devotees who contribute $3 a month or $30 a year for all of Longreads’ best curated journalism, represented by media big shots as well as unknown writers — but they’re looking for more.

Unlike some other “streaming reading services,” as we’ll refer to them for our purposes, the main benefit of Longreads — to stumble upon exceptional storytelling that you might not find on your own —  is totally free to users. And Longreads promises it will remain this way for those who choose not to pay for the product.

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Pocket App Doubles User Base In One Year

The content saving platform Pocket announced in a blog post today that the number of people using its service has doubled in the past year and that the app registered 240 million saves in 2012. (That’s more saves than the past four years combined.) The post also revealed some interesting stats: About 10 items are saved to the app per second, and 80 percent of opens occur after the first 4 days of saving something. As for the most popular content, three of the most-saved articles of the year had Wired writer Mat Honan’s byline, while the most-saved article was Michael Lewis’ Obama profile in Vanity Fair. Unsurprisingly, the most saved video was Gangnam Style. Hit the jump to see what stories people saved the most: Read more