This Is How Atavist Was Born

Teddy WeatherfordWhat happens when two journalists and a freelance web designer launch a site dedicated to great non-fiction writing found in old-school magazines? Why, stuff that would make for great non-fiction is what happens. At least this is the back story of the Atavist, an app dedicated to “long-form journalism” that’s more at home in the print world (think New Yorker, Playboy, Vanity Fair, National Geographic) than the social media cluttered web.

The main culprits were ex-Wired staffers Evan Ratliff and Nicholas Thompson who wanted top notch content available thru a convenient app. Lacking the necessary skills, they tapped Jefferson Rabb to build their dream. Of course, there was endless consultaion involved. Mainly along bars in Atlantic Avenue. The result of all those impromptu meetings was an app with a purpose. According to its About Us page:

“We like to think of Atavist pieces as a new genre of nonfiction, a digital form that lies in the space between long narrative magazine articles and traditional books and e-books. Publishing them digitally and offering them individually—a bit like music singles in iTunes—allows us to present stories longer and in more depth than typical magazines, less expensive and more dynamic than traditional books.”

The Atavist launched at the end of January and so far the reception has been great. (“Piano Demon” comes highly recommended.) Catering to the tablet and e-reader market, the Atavist so far has a handful of compelling stories that have actually caught the eye of publishers. If the early success of  Atavist is worth contemplating, it’s proof that the tech scene’s media front is flowering into a beautiful multi-hued creature.

Via: NY Times

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