lunes, 13 de diciembre de 2010

Figment.com Aims for Young Readers and Writers - NYTimes.com

Estimular el desarrollo de las habilidades de lectura y escritura en las nuevas generaciones es una prioridad si queremos lograr un futuro con posibilidades. Este "site' promueve eso, que los jóvenes se expongan y expongan a su vez, la producción de sus ideas de forma verbalizada y escrita.

Vale la pena tenerlo accesible y reflexionar sobre lo que se produce aquí.

Figment.com Aims for Young Readers and Writers - NYTimes.com

Web Site for Teenagers With Literary Leanings




When Jacob Lewis helped create the beta version of the Web site Figment with Dana Goodyear, a staff writer at The New Yorker, Mr. Lewis envisioned it as a sort of literary Facebook for the teenage set.
Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times
Jacob Lewis, one of the founders of Figment.com.
“I really went into it and thought, ‘We’ll be the social network for young-adult fiction,’ ” said Mr. Lewis, a former managing editor of The New Yorker. “But it became clear early on that people didn’t want a new Facebook.”
The young people on the site weren’t much interested in “friending” one another. What they did want, he said, “was to read and write and discover new content, but around the content itself.”
Figment.com will be unveiled on Monday as an experiment in online literature, a free platform for young people to read and write fiction, both on their computers and on their cellphones. Users are invited to write novels, short stories and poems, collaborate with other writers and give and receive feedback on the work posted on the site.
The idea for Figment emerged from a very 21st-century invention, the cellphone novel, which arrived in the United States around 2008. That December, Ms. Goodyear wrote a 6,000-word article for The New Yorker about young Japanese women who had been busy composing fiction on their mobile phones. In the article she declared it “the first literary genre to emerge from the cellular age.”
Figment is an attempt to import that idea to the United States and expand on it. Mr. Lewis, who was out of a job after Portfolio, theCondé Nast magazine, was shuttered last year, teamed up with Ms. Goodyear, and the two worked with schools, libraries and literary organizations across the country to recruit several hundred teenagers who were willing to participate in a prototype, which went online in a test version in June.
“We wanted people to be able to write whatever they wanted in whatever form they wanted,” Mr. Lewis said. “We give them a piece of paper and say, ‘Go.’ ” He added that so far contributions had included fantasy, science fiction, biographical work and long serial novels. “There’s a very earnest and exacting quality to what they’re doing.”
Teenagers and their reading habits have been the subject of much fascination in the publishing industry lately. They were a huge driving force behind best-selling books like the “Twilight” series by Stephenie Meyer and the crop of paranormal-romance books that followed. Publishers are eager to learn more about their reading habits and introduce books to them.
Mr. Lewis said he hoped Figment would eventually attract more than a million users and serve as an opportunity for publishers to roam the Web site looking for fresh young talent, or promote their own authors by running book excerpts. “For publishers this is an amazing opportunity to not only reach your consumers but to find out really valuable information about how they are reading,” he said.
Several publishers have already signed on. Running Press Kids, a member of the Perseus Books Group, will provide an excerpt from “Purple Daze,” a historical novel for teenagers written by Sherry Shahan. (Figment charges a small fee to publishers for the privilege.)
David Steinberger, the chief executive of Perseus, said he saw Figment as an opportunity to get the company’s content in front of teenagers.
“The teen culture is a constantly moving target,” Mr. Steinberger said. “We’re looking for partners who are deeply embedded in the way teens interact.”

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