Total recall: the people who never forget
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Price was the first person ever to be diagnosed with what is now known as highly superior autobiographical memory, or HSAM, a condition she shares with around 60 other known people. She can remember most of the days of her life as clearly as the rest of us remember the recent past

How to engage readers with digital longform journalism
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Major enterprise stories — stories that take deep dives and attempt to inform readers in substantive ways or to elicit impact... require considerable resources... the potential audience is limited... how can journalists get readers to complete these long pieces?use multiple elements and platforms to tell the story... the parts that pull your reade…

Coda Story, focused on deep dives around single themes, is now tackling a “post-truth” Eurasia

We have ideas for sponsored Codas, that are of interest to specific groups.

Some publishers appear to be cooling on Facebook Instant Articles
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NBC News has found that people are willing to click through to its site when there’s breaking news, so it’s posting less of those articles on Instant Articles while posting more feature-type content... The New York Times ... tended to be long-form think pieces or analysis, not breaking news

People will read your long stories on their phones

...people are willing to engage with longer content (i.e., news stories over 1,000 words) on their phones... All of the articles studied here were read on the mobile web, not via apps. Since most apps are designed to deliver a better reading experience, “that could further the time people are willing to commit to longer stories,”... Pew found no s…

Shorter isn’t better, photos aren’t always alluring and deep digging pays off
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After two years work analyzing more than 400,000 stories, the American Press Institute is beginning to find general patterns in what works to attract and hold the attention of digital readers... stories longer than 1,200 words, got 23 percent more engagement, 45 percent more social referrals and 11 percent more pageviews... photos (or audio or vid…

Terrorism, Migrants, and Crippling Debt: Is This the End of Europe?
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from a locked-down Brussels to a grieving Paris to a refugee camp in Greece, Henry Porter reports on the European Union’s existential crisis.

Our ten most popular articles from 2015
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A FEW trends emerge from the list of The Economist's ten most-read articles of 2015. The theme of inequality remains top of mind for our readers; articles about Asian-Americans, working-class males and inherited privilege all found their way into the top four. Many articles in this list are amongst our longer offerings, suggesting that readers set…

The Sunday Long Read: Best of 2015
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The very best long reads of the yearChosen by Don Van Natta Jr. (@DVNJr) and Jacob Feldman (@JacobFeldman4)

Gary Marcus, A Deep Learning Dissenter, Thinks He Has a More Powerful AI Approach
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One cognitive scientist thinks the leading approach to machine learning can be improved by ideas gleaned from studying children.... With its radical approach to machine learning, Geometric Intelligence aims to create algorithms for use in an AI that can learn in new and better ways... deep learning... systems need to be fed many thousands of ex…

The Electric Mind — The Atavist Magazine
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When I first met Cathy, she had been unable to move or speak for 14 years.

Why I Believe in Text
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Text takes more thought and time. Writing is an inherently vulnerable act... numerous websites... demonstrate that long form writing can and does succeed on the internet... If text is to survive on the internet, sustainable structures need to be implemented to support it ... The next step is to have publishing and blogging platforms introduce “…

Political journalism really is broken
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most politics coverage is about politicians, not the things I care about and the actions I could take... Political journalism could imagine the audience as agents, people who act. Political journalism could be genuinely empowering, if it started from the concerns of the people it’s supposed to serve and not the spectacle of elections... In t…

Productivity, innovation, community & more (Top3ics, 1 Dec)
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Over 40 new resources ... some great longreads to enjoy as the nights grow long, the productivity tips you’ll need to find the time to read them, and a free set of steak knives. The Christmas season, after all, is almost upon us.

Kristin Beck: A Navy SEAL in Transition
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Back when she was a member of SEAL Team 6—Kristin Beck liked to grow her beard real long. But as disguises go, that was nothing compared with the life she lived as a man. What’s it take, and how does it feel, for a paragon of masculinity to travel so far to find her true self?

The Doomsday Invention
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true artificial intelligence, if it is realized, might pose a danger that exceeds every previous threat from technology—even nuclear weapons—and that if its development is not managed carefully humanity risks engineering its own extinction... Bostrom is arguably the leading transhumanist philosopher today... bringing order to ideas that might o…

Ray’s Wildest Prediction
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Ray is a brilliant technologist, futurist, and director of engineering at Google focused on AI and language processing... of the 147 predictions that Kurzweil has made since the 1990's, fully 115 of them have turned out to be correct, and another 12 have turned out to be “essentially correct” (off by a year or two), giving his predictions a stunni…

The most beautiful theory
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Some people might be satisfied just to let each theory be used for what it is good for and to worry no further. But people like that do not become theoretical physicists. - The most beautiful theory | The Economist

Readers will finish long stories - especially from a trusted source
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readers finished 94% of the longform pieces they started... with much faster download speeds and the advent of the tablet’s “lean back” reading experience, journalism has seen a rise in “longform” ventures... analytics offer an incomplete picture of reader behavior, and little real insight into how readers engage. Page views, entrances, ti…

Science journalism, longform & authenticity (Top3ics, 12 August)
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In this week’s newsletter I return to the “3 Topics, 12+ links” template of week 1, but present things a little differently…

The Optimal Post is 7 Minutes
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A decent long read: on @medium, The Optimal Post is 7 Minutes: "Don’t feel constrained by presumed short attention spans. If you put in the effort, so will your audience." - The Optimal Post is 7 Minutes — Data Lab — Medium

How to write long-form articles that go absolutely viral
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"Thoughtful, longform content is king... A young, bare-bones website called Wait But Why is disproving the notion that thoughtful, long-form content and virality are mutually exclusive... monthly averages of 1.6 million uniques and 4.6 million page views... Its newsletter has over 106,000 subscribers... Its most viral article... has well ove…

The Death of Snackable Content
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"at some point, you start to crave something with more substance. Today’s readers want more than listicles and clickbait, and this is driving meaningful change across the digital publishing industry... In the maelstrom of Internet content, we are drawn to articles that make clear promises for what we will get out of them, as well as those that …

2015 is the year the old internet finally died
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"the internet of five or 10 or 20 years ago, is going away as surely as print media, replaced by a new internet that reimagines personal identity as something easily commodified, that plays less on the desire for information or thoughtfulness than it does the desire for a quick jolt of emotion... longform could be the steak, but it couldn't be …

Breaking Smart launches
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Breaking Smart is a technology analysis site... binge-worthy collection of essays approximately once every 2 years. Season 1, comprising 20 essays...written by Venkatesh Rao and illustrated by Grace in-depth exploration of Marc Andreessen’s observation that “software is eating the world... subscribe to our email list, featuring a…

Awesome longread on anti-GMO campaigning
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Whatever your position, this is worth a read, and worth using in any discussion of science communications: do you 'keep it short and simple', or 'going long and into depth'? "The more you learn about herbicide resistance, the more you come to understand how complicated the truth about GMOs is. First you discover that they aren’t evil. Then you …

Longform bubble? Latterly promises to be different – and international
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The post titled “Longform Overload” argues that the term longform emerged a few years ago in reaction to the kind of short news stories that are common online but now it’s just a buzzword... Latterly is by no means the first longform project to find success on Kickstarter... Latterly may be best known for its approach to ads – there are none. I…

The BBC gets its own 'innovation report'
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With a very nice longform, multimedia html5 presentation to boot. "In this bustling environment, there is less news and more noise. ..." More news but even more noise, rather.

Longform overload
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"... Both outlets are trying... to crack the task of making a viable online outlet for in-depth, narrative journalism of several thousand words, paid for by readers. They are the most recent, but far from the only, entrants into an overcrowded genre." Good overview of the intense innovation and first failures in the oversaturated longform marketp…

Can Longform Become A Netflix For Journalism?
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"What's fascinating about Longform isn't its success... but how it went from a fairly simple website to an ambitious world-changing platform by nothing more than user feedback. No abstract theories... Just the simple power of going iteratively from MVP to a product people want... the new Longform app allows you to follow individual writers' wor…

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