A new digital multimedia project, which will offer daily in-depth stories on a local level in New York, has already been pledged almost $10,000 in crowdfunding via Kickstarter, just less than a week into its campaign to raise $50,000.
Narratively, which is due to launch in early September, will be a "digital multimedia magazine devoted to original, true and in-depth stories about New York", founder Noah Rosenberg told Journalism.co.uk.
"I've always dreamt of creating an outlet for this type of journalism, this type of storytelling, on a local level".
He added that Narratively is "really not involved at all in breaking news".
"We're really just doing beautiful storytelling for beautiful storytelling's sake. So really capturing through our storytelling ... what it means to be a New Yorker."We're really just doing beautiful storytelling for beautiful storytelling's sakeNoah Rosenberg, Narratively
Narratively will focus on one New York theme each week, with a series of multimedia stories produced throughout that week around the central theme.
Each day a story will be published on the site, in the most appropriate medium, which could mean a long-form magazine-style written feature on the Monday, a short video documentary on the Tuesday, an animation on the Wednesday and an audio package on the Thursday, Rosenberg explained.
Fridays will be "reserved for behind-the-scenes" material, "curating the social conversation" which has taken place over the week, he added.
Content will be available free of charge via the website - Narrative.ly - with the option for a premium membership subscription "for a few dollars a month", which will offer members free access to Narratively events, "regular ebooks, interactive guides" and exclusive additional content.
Speaking about his decision to keep the main content free to access, Rosenberg said the idea is to "really grow the concept first".
He wants to let the content "roam free and evolve and expand and go viral", and this will then help "people come to realise what Narratively is all about and what more they can get from the premium membership system".
Features of the premium membership include access to events, which may be "live storytelling series" where the subject of a story or the author speaks to an audience about the topic, or screenings of Narratively's short films.
"I think the live events will add another dimension to the storytelling experience," Rosenberg said. "So the website is a starting point but by no means the finish line, we really want to take Narratively and the brand and digital, local, multimedia storytelling in a new direction."The website is a starting point but by no means the finish line, we really want to take Narratively and the brand and digital, local, multimedia storytelling in a new directionNoah Rosenberg, Narratively
He added: "Really the important thing for us at the beginning is just getting our website out there ... So initially it will be Narratively and that's a mobile-friendly, responsive website that will look just as good on your iPhone and your iPad as it will on your web browser."
But he also said that he is "excited" about the prospect of potentially launching a print product to accompany the digital platform at a later date. He said Narratively is also "exploring apps".
Looking ahead and Rosenberg also has hopes to branch out the Narratively format to other cities in the US or abroad, potentially to London.
"I'm of the belief, and as are other contributors, that every city has a story to tell, every person in every city has a story to tell, and we really want to capture those stories ... in a really engaging, multimedia format that really gives an element of surprise, enlightenment and really engages the audience in ways that traditional print storytelling might not."
Currently the business model includes advertising, event tickets and sponsorship and its premium membership offering.
"Long-term we'll be looking to syndicate and license our content to outlets, like the New York Times or smaller websites, or weekly newspapers, other people that want access to this type of storytelling that maybe have their priorities elsewhere, maybe don't have the resources for this type of storytelling any more," he said."
He added that while Narratively is committed to this model, which has been "very well thought out", he is "not above tweaking the business model down the road" if necessary to make the platform more effective.
Narratively's Kickstarter campaign launched on Tuesday last week (7 August) and will run until 10 September, by which point it hopes to have $50,000 in backing.
According to its Kickstarter project page the $50,000 in funding will be used to "create six months of compelling, innovative and important Narratively stories".
Rosenberg added that Narratively, which currently has around 30 to 40 people working on stories, is "hoping to be up and running in early September and right now we have about seven weeks worth of stories that are more or less ready to go".
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