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June 21, 2011 9:57 AM   Subscribe

Launching today is Byliner, both a portal to the best narrative nonfiction from around the web, and a publishing platform for original works. Some additional background here.
posted by Horace Rumpole (15 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
Like the interface a lot, but it's another in a line of products (cf Flipboard) that make it easier even than RSS to avoid the source entirely. Have to wonder how long ad-supported sites will be OK with that.
posted by bonaldi at 10:05 AM on June 21, 2011


I don't understand how you manage to skip the source pages. When I select an article I get the first few paragraphs and then a link to the original source.
posted by oddman at 10:18 AM on June 21, 2011


Byliner is the original source. It's a publisher. Amazon is the book seller.
posted by stbalbach at 10:24 AM on June 21, 2011


Yeah, you only get the first paragraphs. Could turn out to be something truly useful.

Something needs to be done about the color scheme. Caution tape yellow with barely visible gray is just poor readability (cf).
posted by Foci for Analysis at 10:29 AM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ugh, my eyes burned out from the yellow.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 10:32 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like The Browser better.
posted by dave78981 at 10:34 AM on June 21, 2011


Byliner is the original source. It's a publisher. Amazon is the book seller.
Only for "Byliner Originals". All the links in the left-hand "article lineup" are taken from other sites.

I don't understand how you manage to skip the source pages. When I select an article I get the first few paragraphs and then a link to the original source.
Click the "Read It Later" link that's right beside the "Read At Source" link and you'll never have to visit the source site.
posted by bonaldi at 11:14 AM on June 21, 2011


See also Richard Nash's new platform Cursor. I see a post on Unbound has also just hit the front page.

Seems the new mantra is never trust a publishing house older than 15 years old.
posted by Toekneesan at 11:44 AM on June 21, 2011


Interesting. The original Byliner was a Phil Gyford project (he of the Pepys Diary blog), that scraped newspaper and magazine websites and notified you when one of your favourite columnists had a new piece of work appear on the web. It scratched my Charlie Brooker and Nancy Banks-Smith itches for quite a long time, but it closed a couple of years ago and I heard that Phil had been approached to sell the domain. I'll be interested to see how this does.
posted by Hogshead at 1:09 PM on June 21, 2011


I really liked "Three Cups of Deceit."
posted by ph00dz at 1:14 PM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Interesting if they can continue to keep the stories high quality. That story on Anne Desclos
was excellent.
posted by adamvasco at 1:55 PM on June 21, 2011


I'm the founder. If anyone's curious about Byliner, AMA (as all those Reddit kids say).
posted by Scoop at 9:17 PM on June 21, 2011


Hey, cool, I had no idea a MeFite was involved. If you're serious about the second "A" in AMA, I have a lot of very nosy questions (which you are of course free to politely decline to answer).

Does the main part of the site generate revenue for you at all, or is it just do draw eyeballs to the originals? What do you think about Bonaldi's concern that by providing a Read It Later link, your users may never land on the hosting site? Why just RIL and not Instapaper? Is RIL sponsoring that?

How does the revenue break out between Byliner, the author, and the sales venue on the sale of a $2.99 Original? What services does Byliner provide for its cut--just the eyeballs, or are you doing editorial work as well? Why should an author publish with Byliner instead of selling an article to, i.e., The New Yorker, or are you more of a place to turn if they won't bite? Who retains copyright, you or the author?

How did you amass the database of articles (30,000 pieces seems impossibly big for a manual process)? How will you keep from getting overwhelmed by spam submissions?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:13 AM on June 22, 2011


And, is cereal a soup?
posted by secretseasons at 10:01 AM on June 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


This site has already taken up way more time than I expected. I already have more than enough to read but I keep going back. Thanks!
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 9:31 AM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


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