December was an incredible month for the Longreads community. Thank you to everyone who has shared, discovered, Instapaper’ed and Flipboarded your favorite longreads. From the daily #longreads recommendations to the year-end “Top 5 Longreads of 2010” lists, you’re all proving that the desire for in-depth storytelling, online and offline, is strong—and here to stay.
Last month’s Top 5 lists also proved that everyone, regardless of reading habits, loves rankings and lists. As today’s David Carr/New York Times story points out—and as anyone who has ever mined the bookshelves of a friend, neighbor, or love interest can attest—there’s also something very personal about what we read and what they reveal about the person who shares them.
So… How about we keep this going?
INTRODUCING THE #LONGREADS #LIST
“Like a mixtape, for reading”
-Pick your 3-5 favorite longreads about a certain topic (“My Favorite Longreads About Cooking”), a place (“Longreads about Nicaragua”), an era (“My 3 Favorite Longreads about Late 1980s Hip-Hop Stars”) or a certain author or publisher (“My 5 Favorite Longreads from Sady Doyle”).
-When it’s ready, link to it on Twitter, using the tags #longreads #list. I’ll retweet the best ones.
-Longreads is an Instapaper-friendly establishment, so we prefer links to single-page articles that are free to read. If you have a story that requires a subscription or registration, that’s fine, but just remember that many people will expect a good ratio of free reading material, so make sure you’ve got a decent amount in there.
-Diversity is key: Look for stories that come from different sources and that don’t overlap with too many other recommendations. We all want to discover something new and interesting.
-It’s difficult for us to retweet link lists that span several successive tweets, so for now, post your list on your blog or Tumblr.
-Want Extra Credit? Put the reading time in the post or headline. (“Longreads About Squid Hunting: 2 Hours”) Longreads calculates reading time by taking the story word count and dividing by 250 (words per minute consumed by the average reader).
We acknowledge: This assignment is more difficult than the year-end Top 5’s, so I’m not sure how many of you will accept this challenge. But a few of you have already tweeted great collections in the past (Julia Arthur, I’m looking at you), so this will help us formalize the process for sharing them.
Thanks, and happy longreading.