Longform (Exclusive beta)

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Discussion

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Aaron Lammer
Aaron LammerMaker@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
Hey thanks @eriktorenberg! Longform has always been focused on making it easy for you to find something great to read without hassle. On Longform.org, we've been curating the best non-fiction from around the web for over four years, and a sizable audience has come to trust our Staff Picks. With the new Longform app (which is FREE on iOS in September) we wanted to take the existing Staff Picks section and let people customize their information diet. You can follow just about any publisher that puts out in-depth feature articles, but in addition (and I think we're the first service to do this) you can follow writers and get all their pieces regardless of where they appear. Everyone comes across great links (from Twitter, emailed from friends) but it's hard to know what to do AFTER you read something you love. We recommend following the writer, then we'll notify you the next time they publish. Plus, you can get articles your friends recommend right alongside the publishers and writers you've chosen. Our approach to design is "reader-first" and I think the app represents what we've learned over the last few years about what readers really want. When Longform started recommending articles, the iPad was brand new and Read Later services were just emerging. Readability/Pocket/Instapaper are great, but we noticed that the mere act of installing a bookmarklet excluded a huge portion of the audience. So we built a self-contained reading universe where great articles are waiting for you (everything is available offline) whenever you open the app: commute, flight, Sunday afternoon... A pre-populated Pocket? Flipboard for people who read? Spotify for articles? A client for the English language? A Wikipedia-like archive of high-quality journalism on every topic under the sun? There are a lot of cool places this can go, but basically: if you'd like to read more smart stuff, download the beta and let us know what you think. (I'm aaron@longform.org)
Tori Bunte
Tori Bunte@stttories · PMM, HPE Storage
@aaronlammer Thanks for the early access, Aaron! I've already spent some time in the app (getting a lot of actual work done this morning, clearly) and I've already moved it to my home screen. I've needed a place I can go for a solid reading fix throughout the day/week. I like "Spotify for articles." :)
Aaron Lammer
Aaron LammerMaker@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
@stttories Fantastic. Yeah, we looked a lot at stuff like Spotify/Rdio and Hulu+/HBO GO when were designing the app and wanted to convey a similar sense of comprehensiveness. If you spend the 20 minutes following stuff you're interested, you should have a planes worth of reading material any moment you choose.
Erik Torenberg
Erik TorenbergHunter@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
Been a big fan of longform (and esp the podcast) for a while now, so when @aaronlammer offered Product Hunt users a pre-release beta, I had to jump at the chance. Check it out! Yo Aaron! can you give our audience some background on longform and what we can expect with the new app - what is the big goal here?
Andrew Zusman
Andrew Zusman@uxandrew · UX Designer
@eriktorenberg How smart is it to change that page to say "Hey Product Hunters!" I read that and felt special :)! Makes me wish I had iPhone. I would have jumped all over that beta offer like duck on a junebug.
Jeff Shin
Jeff Shin@jeffshin · Design @ 500px
Nice. Really digging the type in the Read view.
John Davi
John Davi@johndavi · VP Product, Diffbot
Great work @aaronlammer. Writer-following is so great, especially with so many new/diverse web publications catering to free agents out there.
Aaron Lammer
Aaron LammerMaker@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
@johndavi We could not have done it without Diffbot! For anyone interested in text parsing APIs, I highly highly recommend Diffbot. Domain-specific rules made the app 1000x better.
Jason L. Baptiste
Jason L. Baptiste@jasonlbaptiste · Founder, Studio
@aaronlammer @johndavi Diffbot is an amazing product, especially the domain specific rules. They're also the best outside platform I've worked with over the past few years. Ps- loving the new app while traveling. More feedback to come.
Noah Chestnut
Noah Chestnut@noahchestnut · Product @BleacherReport
Longtime reader, first time caller? The longform website, podcast, iPad app are all part of my media diet. I'm excited to have this on my phone as well, especially since I never quite figured out how to replace my Google Reader. I'm hoping Twitter + Email Newsletters + Longform App + _______ (maybe a news app?) will get me to where I want to be.
Aaron Lammer
Aaron LammerMaker@aaronlammer · Co-founder, Longform
@noahchestnut Excellent. Glad you're enjoying it, we're excited to be on the phone after a long sojourn in the iPad desert. Personally, I read the NYT app with breakfast and Longform app on my commute and it has been working out well.
Libby Brittain
Libby Brittain@libbybrittain · At Facebook with the Branch team
@noahchestnut "+ _______ (maybe a news app?)" The struggle is real.