Jim Giles (of The Atlantic and The Economist) and Bobbie Johnson (of GigaOM) have launched a fantastic Kickstarter project, MATTER. Built with the focus of doing one thing "exceptionally well," MATTER seeks to reignite the Internet's collective interest in unique and wonderful long-form journalism and writing. From the Kickstarter page:
MATTER will focus on doing one thing, and doing it exceptionally well. Every week, we will publish a single piece of top-tier long-form journalism about big issues in technology and science. That means no cheap reviews, no snarky opinion pieces, no top ten lists. Just one unmissable story.
MATTER is about brilliant ideas from all around the world, whether they come from professors at MIT or the minds of mad people. But most of all, it’s about getting amazing investigative reporters to tell compelling stories.
MATTER will be available across most major devices (i.e., Web, Kindle, iOS and Android) and will cost roughly $0.99 per story.
The project raised 100 percent of its funding within 38 hours but that's not to say they're done. With their initial funding achieved, the duo are looking to truly expand upon their idea and bring it to the masses in short order.
From my perspective, long-form journalism is certainly lacking on the Internet, but that's not to say there's not significant interest. On Tuesday, for instance, I published two lengthy articles - Negativity and Forgetting the Operating System - that brought record traffic to the site. People are clearly interested in longer pieces, but independent outlets for such content are evidently in small supply.
If nothing else, MATTER is a worthwhile experiment. Delving into the nature of the average Internet reader, MATTER will shed light upon the viability of the Internet as a source for serious, lengthy journalism rather than simply providing useful skimming material.
I, for one, am deeply interested (and invested) in the outcome.
You can back MATTER here.