Liberal Arts‎ > ‎

Shorter

I want a collaborative website where people summarize long articles found online.

Why?

  • people are busy. Just the facts, please.
  • social encouragement to write more concisely but still in paragraph form. Arguments take time to develop, and can't necessarily happen in 140 character bits. I want people to lay out their argument in well-crafted pieces.
  • fight against the paged-article tendency, where website publishers break up a long piece in order to cynically increase page views. I do like the page metaphor, being over 30 and having grown up with the printed page, which offers a pause to briefly consider what has been written. That said, I'm OK with length, and would like to encourage people to write what they have to say in paragraphs. Just do it better.
  • comment threads that go on forever. Let's summarize those too! See also: highlight disagreement.

Make summarizing "social", collaborative

Many writers, no matter what medium they choose, are too verbose. What I want is a service that offers summaries with a type of verification.
  • a place for competing summaries? Is the summary you're reading no good? Provide your own? With ranking for which is the best summary of an individual article.
  • voting and reputation. Is the summary accurate? Who leads the list in accurate summaries?

Obstacles

  • SEO. The original piece should show up ranked higher than the summarized piece. Linking to the original piece is a hard requirement.
  • copyright. My understanding of American copyright is that publishing summaries without permission is not allowed. Is this correct?
  • time. It's time consuming to read and write summaries. There are writers that I like enough to do this for, since it will help me to understand their arguments (if they have one) and help internalize the factual nature of their piece.
  • snark. If I could find the political blogs that snarkily summarize the crazy people they disagree with in one sentence, I'd point to them here. Otherwise, I want a snark-free summary of articles. The Internet seems to reward humour, sarcasm, snark, pettiness, meanspiritedness, etc. How do we check against that for factual, serious summaries?

Related