"The online world no longer needs to be 500-words-or-less."

Mark Arms, the founder/curator of the Longreads hash tag and twitter account, which has just launched its own full-blown website:

Here’s a problem that we, People of the Internet, should solve: The web is not yet organized in a way that recognizes that there is more than one type of text-based web content. There’s quick, snackable stuff, formulated for 5-minute scanning between checking your email and getting some real work done. But then there’s the long, in-depth content better suited for the couch, the commute, or the airplane. Most sites jumble these two types of stories together. When I click a headline at NYTimes.com, I can never tell whether I’m going to get a 200-word blog post or a 10,000-word epic. At work, I want the former; at home, the latter. But my browser doesn’t care. Graydon, you would never ask me to read the Vanity Fair cover story standing at the newsstand. Yet that’s precisely what VanityFair.com and others do. Now that I have the ability to “read later,” I will. It’s time for publishers to start recognizing this need for “time and place”-specific content. I humbly offer up “Longreads” as the tag by which we, The Internet, will understand when content is meant not just for scanning but for reading, savoring and digesting.

Instapaper (in conjunction with my Kindle/iPad) and Longreads have literally changed the way I consume online material, and if you love long reads but haven't been able to find a pleasing format for them, I'd recommend both services. I can't tell you how good it feels to be regularly consuming 10,000-word features on a regular basis. It makes me think that the internet might not be making me so stupid after all....

2 comments :: "The online world no longer needs to be 500-words-or-less."

  1. Here here. As a fellow recent Kindle/Instapaper devotee, I am looking at the web in a whole new way.

    The concern though is that this consumption style essentially replaces the need for magazines, and it'll be interesting to see if the sources for good #longreads dries up as the print media that backs them falls by the wayside...

  2. I use Instapaper with my work computer, home computer and especially my iPhone and I love being able to read the long articles I need to.

    The most common combination for me, though is Twitter/Instapaper -- saving articles I know I'll want to read from authors and media members I respect and follow...

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