Insites: Suggested Sites, Projects, and Resources That Are Worth a Look

Dec 06, 2013

December 2013 Issue

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Article ImageThe EContent team suggests some sites, projects, and resources that, while outside the scope of the EContent 100 list, are well-worth a closer look.

Emily Books

The relative ease of producing and distributing ebooks makes them a fun (and inexpensive) format to experiment with. At Emily Books, the team seems to understand this, and the anti-Amazon is making a play for the e-readers of America. According to its site, "We still think there should be as many ways to sell ebooks as there are to sell physical books. And we want authors, agents and publishers to get paid so they can continue creating and curating, because we know those things are important and that the people who do them deserve to be paid. ..."

Emily Books asks readers to subscribe, and then they send subscribers a new ebook each month. No, you don't get to choose what the book will be. Originally, Emily Books distributed its ebooks solely by sending subscribers a link in an email, but now they have an app for iOS devices. If you subscribe, the ebook of the month will be pushed directly to your device.

Storyful

Breaking news is notoriously hard to cover, but in the age of Twitter, it has become even harder. Firsthand accounts on Twitter of, for instance, the Boston Marathon bombing beat the news media by a mile when it came to initial reports of the blast. Of course, after that, we all know how the coverage degenerated into a free-for-all on the web. Enter Storyful. It bills itself as "the first news agency of the social media age" and promises to help newsrooms separate actual news from the noise of social media.

"Storyful discovers, verifies, and delivers the most valuable content on the real-time web," according to its site. It uses technology and actual human beings to help determine which user-generated content is the best, and then it helps clients license that material.

Little Bird

A theme seems to be emerging when it comes to new tools and companies popping up around social media. People need help sorting through the noise, verifying information, and finding the right people. Still in beta, Little Bird aims to solve the problem of "Influencer Discovery & Engagement." Try searching "content marketing expert" on Twitter some day, and you'll learn the definition of "overwhelmed." But Little Bird helps with that by helping users find peer-validated influencers and emerging news in a variety of fields.

You can create lists of influencers from Twitter, and LittleBird will even help you discover those people on other social networks-such as LinkedIn or Facebook. In short, this is another tool that helps you make sense of the social media noise.

Medium

The buzz around Medium has been building for quite some time. With Twitter co-founder Evan Williams at the helm, Medium has had no problem getting attention from the start. According to the site, "It's designed for little stories that make your day better and manifestos that change the world." That's hardly a small goal!

Medium is, at its heart, a blogging tool-but a very, very simple one designed to keep you focused on writing rather than plug-ins and multi­media. But no new web-based tool is complete without a social component. Medium takes it a step further and is part blogging platform, part social network. It even allows you to collaborate with other writers with a simple "Share Draft" button. It will give you a private link to your work in progress that you can email to potential collaborators. There's a lot more to Medium, but you are going to have to check it out for yourself.