As much as I love bloggers, very few bloggers can beat professional writers when those writers labor sometimes months on a 15,000 word story for the New York Times Magazine or The New Yorker, interviewing dozens of people and officials, going where the story is really happening.
But who has time to read all those meaty stories online nowadays?
Enter Brijit. Brijit is part online magazine newstand, part crowd-sourced 100-word abstracts, part online community centered on the best stuff coming from a hundred mainstream and not so mainstream sources.
Brijit online writing community ponies up hundred-word abstracts on stories, radio and video shows spanning 15 topics – from politics and business to religion and style and areas in between, each with its own RSS feed for quick digestion. Brijit’s sources range from The Economist to Sports Illustrated, veering off towards National Geographic on one hand and The Onion on the other. All 95 sources are regularly indexed by this Washington, D.C. startup that began in October 2007.
Brijit has grown to 50,000 unique visitors in March so far and 3,000 registered abstract writers. By summer, they plan to expand from 50 to 200 sources, with more emphasis on web-native and audio/video contents. You can even make money on Brijit: If your abstract is chosen for an article you signed up for, you earn $5 (or $8 if it’s from an audio/video source like The Colbert Report or The Charley Rose Show).
The CEO and editor-in-chief, Jeremy Brosowsky is not new to media startups, having run the trendy but now defunct Washington Business Forward magazine. Jeremy explained where the name “Brijit” came from: “We’re connecting and bridging in all sorts of ways: readers and writers, long-form and short-form, new and traditional media, etc. We’re also abridging, in a unique way, with our abstracts. And we liked that Brijit sounded a little like ‘widget,’ too: small and functional. We liked that it was a girl’s name (although unconventionally spelled). And not for nothing, a good 6-letter URL is hard to come by!”