Back Scratch Fever

Jim Hanas, a freelance editor and writer living in New York City, found inspiration in heirarchy-flattening social bookmarking sites and has now brought the concept to life in an arena that means something to him (and others like him). has been making a lot of noise lately, and spawning a lot of imitators. Not only has the site’s method of allowing users to promote stories to the front page given Slashdot a run for its money, the idea can easily be extended to topics beyond technology news.
I thought using a community approach to sharing—and rating—links to online fiction would be interesting and useful (to readers, to writers, and to sites that publish fiction), so I put together The Lit List. Built on the free Pligg platform, the site allows users to submit links to fiction (websites, eBooks, or podcasts) in all genres and vote on the ones they like the best. When a link garners enough votes, it is promoted to the front page.

Hanas reports that The Lit List is off to a promising start, thanks to strong support from the blogosphere and outlets like the Utne Reader.

In the first six days, 85 registered users have submitted 48 stories, 10 of which have been promoted to the front page. The site has logged about 4,300 page views on 2,300 visits. That’s not going to rival Digg, but it does rival the circulation of some literary journals. I think the site is a viable place for writers and publishers to gain exposure for their work—and for readers to find good writing.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I submitted a story to the site yesterday. Actually, one merely points to existing fiction on the web, in this case a story on my personal web site.
This morning, Hanas made a post about my story, and now I’m making a post about his project.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.