Monday, 7 September 2015

MacGuffin and Open analytics

Autumn is on its way
James Bridle reports that Manchester’s Comma Press, which specialises in short stories, has launched something called MacGuffin. It is a self-publishing platform that gives detailed analytics showing when readers get bored.

Read the whole article: here

“The clean, minimalist interface echoes popular blogging platforms, and visitors are encouraged to search for something to read by theme and length: trending tags at time of writing included #crime, #humour and #10minuteread. Currently in beta on the web and launching mobile apps in the next couple of months, the site already contains plenty of stories from Comma’s own authors.
Alongside every story published are its open analytics, visible to both author and readers. Mercilessly, these detail the exact number of people who have opened a story, and the number of people who actually finish it. They even display a chart of exactly when each reader stopped reading: which, while painful, does give writers the chance to test their narrative structure. Whether this will prove a digital innovation too far for more sensitive writers remains to be seen, but if MacGuffin does take off, mining this data for insights into human attention might be one of the smartest things any publisher has done in some time.”

I’m half-tempted to try it.... except that I might not like what I see!

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