Another resource for searching, indexing and finding longform journalism stories. Byliner.com has about 30,000 non-fiction articles. The design and UI of the site is pretty great.
Byliner.com is a referral service, not a library. The database contains tens of thousands of article previews: the hed, the deck, the source of the article, and its first 300 words or so, followed by two discreet buttons: “Read at Source” or “Read It Later.” These are substantive hooks, and they lead to many different online magazines and news sites, some of them (including, of course, The New Yorker) behind paywalls. “We’re approximating the leads as pushed out by RSS,” Tayman explained in an email, when asked about the length of the previews. “We’ll make adjustments if required, but…the intent is to give the reader enough information to see the value of the article, and then point them to the full article at the source.”
The real innovation of the site, however, is the meticulously edited metadata attached to each article preview. Each article and author is labeled in many ways, from the predictable, like the topics it covers, to the unexpected, like where the author hails from in the county or the world. This metadata is what will power Byliner’s recommendations to its readers. Do you like tech stories by writers from the midwest? Southern crime stories? Byliner’s Pandora function will note the preferences of each user, based on what they read and share, and present them with increasingly tailored suggestions.
Certainly, a free site like this pertains to a small audience that already has Longform and Instapaper, but one more entry can’t hurt, can it?
The site functions like a mix between Pandora and Facebook for non-fiction writing. Which is weird. If you like or follow an author on the site, you’ll get updates as to whenever they’ve published something on your dashboard.
Again, a small audience will be interested in this, but it seems to offer some nice features for those that are.