Break it Down: The World in 100 Words or Less

November 6th, 2007 by Larry Smith

snacks.jpg Sad but probably true: if you wanted to launch The New Yorker today, you probably couldn’t get it funded. So we’re in a bit of a pickle. Long-form storytelling is a tough proposition online, and magazines are increasingly in trouble in a culture where information wants to move fast and the notion of waiting 30 days for the new issue of Esquire to arrive seems more and more antiquated each month.

I’m not sure if a new web site called Brijit is good or bad for storytelling. Something like The Week meets DIGG, the site boils down best long-form content (magazine, TV, radio) into abstracts of 100 words or less, “providing busy, omnivorous, and increasingly mobile readers with rich, qualitative summaries as well as better guideposts for what to read, watch or listen to now.” And, naturally, the abstracts are done by a community of freelancers who earn between $5-$8 per entry. So then what? Will these 100-word dangles delight us to read the whole piece? Or will readers be satiated with a series of 100-word snacks?

Photo credit: Flickr user M0les

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