Updates

Hello visitors,

Just wanted to inform you that my portfolio has been updated, and that I’m actually working on revamping the site, finally.

Thanks!

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Freelance Work For The Atlantic  Online

November 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Check out the top of my “portfolio” page for two articles I recently wrote for The Atlantic Online on urban military officers as well as transgender soldiers.

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Recovery Road: After Being Flattened by an Eighteen Wheeler, Runner Targets Olympic Trials

November 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Nargus Harounzadeh woke up at 6 a.m. one October morning in 2007 to volunteer at a one-mile race for kids. At 23, she was fresh out of the University of Pennsylvania with an apartment in New York City, a job in marketing and realistic dreams of qualifying for the Olympic trials.

When she woke for the second time that day, her neck was in a brace and she was strapped to a stretcher inside an ambulance bound for St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital.

Read the rest at: NarrativeNYC.org.

And check out my other work on that site, which can also be found on my portfolio page.

One final and: If you think I’m cool enough, follow me on Twitter: @ColinDaileda

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Restaurant is a Two-Faced Experience

September 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Experience the ambiance and atmosphere of the world-famous Jekyll and Hyde Restaurant of Greenwich Village in New York City.

Two-Faced Experience from Colin Daileda on Vimeo.

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Dishrags to Riches

August 29, 2011 1 comment

Afghani-turned-New York City resident Abdul Mosaver went from the kitchen to the front office– of seven restaurants.

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Power to the Freelancers?

June 28, 2011 1 comment

Freelancers have always been stigmatized as the low man on the totem pole. They can’t get jobs, so they string along like lost puppies in search of a home, praying that someone either pities them or recognizes their genius and finally gives them a consistent paycheck.

There are the aforementioned freelancers, and then there are the freelancers who are so good they can sell their pieces to wherever they choose—magazines and publishers come to them. In the minds of the journalistic community, these are the only types of freelancers.
While the future is not more likely to produce a higher percentage of genius freelancers, a few Internet startups may put a boatload more of them into the second category, at least in terms of selling their content on their terms.

Story Market and Ebyline aim to create an easily accessible, agent-free environment. They allow you to set up a digital storefront displaying your content and allowing you to set prices for each piece. In addition, they have a Twitter-like feed that users can customize to follow whatever content-producers (freelancers) and content-buyers (publishers) they want, thereby creating a personal content feed. Publishers are encouraged to do the same in order to follow potential content-providres.

Anyone interested in your content just has to browse your page in search of material they want to publish. This could change things. Instead of sorting through hundreds of emails from Mrs. or Mr. Poor Journalist on a daily basis, publishers can browse content in a digital store and, if a bunch of them find a piece they like, they’ll flood the freelancer’s inbox, not the other way around.

There will be no need for talent agencies, because publishing houses and magazines will browse by themselves, perhaps employing their own ‘talent agents.’

In addition to Story Market and Ebyline, two other startups are doing something a little different; and at the moment, they’re generating a lot more noise.

Byliner and The Atavist, both launched by well-respected advocates of longform nonfiction with deep ties to the world of literary nonfiction writers, launched this year, and are set up a little differently than the two sites I talked about earlier.

Both Byliner and The Atavist publish longform ‘singles,’ as Amazon calls them; longform narrative nonfiction usually in the 6,000-35,000 word range. They’re longer than most magazine articles, not as long as books, and they’re sold by the sites themselves for anywhere from $1.99 to $5.99 depending on the piece and publisher. Writers get an advance and 50% of the revenue.

The potential is big in large part because of how fast digital publishing works. After stories are submitted to either site, they’re ready to be sold within a few weeks or months, not years. Authors get advances that aren’t huge yet (but remember, these aren’t books) and, like I said above, 50% of the revenue. Authors and publishers see the money quickly, and the publisher is able to quickly build a name for itself by constantly churning out new content. If these epublishers are successful, writers can easily build a name for themselves, too. Speaking of, according to brooklynbased.net, The Atavist is working with someone in Los Angeles to determine the movie potential of each story.

What’s more, authors can continually add information during the publishing process. In Byliner’s first single, renowned author Jon Krakauer added material to his “Three Cups of Deceit” just a few weeks before publication.

But despite the similarities, the sites are far from mirror images of each other.

Byliner publishes its singles, or ‘Originals’ as it calls them, on its site, and also has a database of narrative nonfiction authors and stories that they hope will be ever-expanding. The idea is that readers, when looking for material, can search for and follow their favorite authors, thereby giving them reading material. When they search for an author, a feed of articles and books will appear. Byliner also plans to use reader preferences to suggest new authors to them. The database currently has around 200 listed authors, and they hope to hit 2,000.

The Atavist doesn’t have a database plan, but does have a difference in the way they present stories that might just be the real way of the future. Their singles are not just longform nonfiction in a format akin to the digital cousin of a book, they’re also filled with multimedia aspects that draw readers in, such as audio clips, source interviews, video, photos, timelines, character lists, primary documents maps and more. At first glance, this might seem like a distraction, but the multimedia aspect can be turned on or off depending on whether you’re in the mood to dig around or just read the story.

However, they are testing reader interest in multimedia storytelling in a way it’s never been done before.

One of the pieces, about a bank heist in Stockholm, Sweden, actually begins with video of the heist caught on tape and then guides the reader into the story. It’s a flashy beginning designed to peak reader interest. The text then reveals how it all went down.

You know that future of journalism everyone keeps talking about? This might be it, at least for longform material.

To create the multi-platform stories, The Atavist developed their own CMS, which, like WordPress, anyone can use. Its beta form is being tested by clients now, but it should be released in the near future. The CMS, called Periodic Technology, allows users to assemble, design and add multimedia to stories on one screen. It then automatically converts and exports material to platforms like the iPad and the iPhone, and they’re working on others. If readers enjoy this new way to tell stories, Periodic Technology could be the new WordPress.
Despite the obviously different intentions of these sites compared with Story Market and Ebyline, they should have other very positive for freelancers. The turnaround for story publication is fast, so they’ll see sales money soon and be able to move from project to project more quickly. But perhaps more importantly, these epublishers allow writers to tell stories at the length they are meant to be. Nothing has to fit within the confines of a magazine’s image or physical space, and nothing needs to expand to ‘book-length,’ whatever that means.

Story Market, Ebyline, Byliner and The Atavist all stand to give a ton more power to freelancers than they’re used to, and they might be able to use each other to build an enticing online home for narrative nonfiction. The Atavist and Byliner are looking for a combination of established and young-but-good writers to work with them, while Story Market and Ebyline allow writers to cast a few lines and hope some publishing fish bite (although, full disclosure, they both have some form of an application process. Not everyone gets a fishing pole). But, as these companies evolve, perhaps The Atavist and Byliner begin to peruse Story Market and Ebyline, offering to purchase some material as singles.

I’m not quite sure where these startups will lead, but it’s the first time I haven’t had to convince myself to be excited about longform nonfiction in a ‘book-length’ while.

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Redesign Coming

I bought a new theme about a week ago. As soon as I have time to install and play a little, which should come this fourth of July weekend, but no later than the middle of the month, there will be no basic WordPress here anymore!

Stay tuned…

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