Engaging readers

Adweek, typically not a bastion of long-form reading, last week ran an article, "Among tweets and slideshows, the longform still thrives". Written by Emma Bazilian, the post points to at least three lessons learned:

  • Social works: "People like sharing things that reflect well on them, and there’s a prestige attached to the longform hashtag."
  • Time-shifting works: Tools like Instapaper, LongReads and Longform.org give people an opportunity to easily save links.
  • The long tail works: Longform reports that 30% of the most popular articles date back more than a year.

The Adweek piece wraps with a mention of Atavist, which has been licensing its software of late. Atavist co-founder Evan Ratliff notes:

"Licensing software gives us more freedom, so we don’t have to rely on story sales to bring in money. But there are lots of ways that people can figure out how to subsidize stories. It’s a great time to experiment.”

These signs are encouraging, although the Atavist example points out that long-form reading is not yet synonymous with a business model.

About Brian O'Leary

Founder and principal of Magellan Media Consulting, Brian O’Leary helps enterprises with media and publishing components capitalize on the power of content. A veteran of more than 30 years in the publishing industry and a prolific content producer himself, Brian leverages the breadth and depth of his experience to deliver innovative content solutions.