Posted by: Tony Carson | 21 September, 2007

Brijit – teasing with 100 words

This Brijit idea makes a lot of sense (we’ve already looked at it here: Great content in 100 words or less.)Before you take on a long, on-line article, have someone vet it for you in a hundred words or less.

But that’s a lot harder than it sounds. I’ve read a few vettings on Brigit, some are brilliant others are weak. Being able to capture the essence of a long, complex article in a few words is no easy task. It requires unique skills, as a little time on the Brijit page will clearly show.

But when it works, it works wonderfully … to encourage you to devote the time to read the longer piece or to turn you away to look elsewhere.

To me, the perfect place for Brijit to tackle is Arts and Letters Daily, a brilliant site that has a highly eclectic mix of often long, often complex articles, reviews and essays on an enormous range of subjects. On site, each article is teased by a few words. As an example: “H.L. Mencken never gave lectures. He wasn’t bad at it, but he despised the kind of people who showed up at lectures… more»”

That’s about 20 words, another 80 would be most helpful to determine whether you want to devote the time to it or not.

In fact, one can imagine the day when a Brijit would have a link to Arts and Letters so you could easily vet before reading. That’s a hell of a service.

And Brijit is a hell of an idea. Its founder wrote in to explain it …

We’re just getting ramped up, so we appreciate any attention, and more importantly any constructive feedback.

To answer your questions and get into it a little, if you’re interested:

Yes, the model is advertising driven. There’s potential for fee and subscription based hyper-customization down the road, but for now we’re focused on building a platform around unique, high-quality, short-form content.

As for the $5 we pay per abstract, it does add up, but we think it’s worth it. It may seem expensive relative to, well, free, but in the context of professional journalism, we’re getting really good value for our money. And we’re taking advantage of the virtues of crowdsourcing without tossing aside the benefits of traditional editorial control. The result, we hope, is terrific content (created relatively inexpensively) that real, busy people can use.

I like to think of our Brijit Abstracts as a kind of haiku for review. As you point out, Tony, it’s not easy to give people an understanding of what the underlying material is about and a point of view on its quality in 100 words or less. But when you do, I think it’s a pretty elegant format, as well as an extremely extensible one.

In terms of breadth and depth of coverage, we’re working on it. We expect to be dramatically expanding our coverage universe in the coming weeks and months. If you have any suggestions, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

And if you like what you see, please tell your friends.

Thanks,

Jeremy

Founder & CEO, Brijit

Have a look. Maybe you have some ideas. I did, I emailed the Arts and Letters suggestion and even offered to be a beat writer. Didn’t hear back.

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