Sweet vindication – thank you, Gawker

by David Alm May 16, 2013

Sometimes justice is served swiftly, sometimes not at all. And sometimes it takes 14 years, but when it’s finally served, it’s delicious. In an earlier life (i.e., my mid-20s), I was an aspiring arts journalist. And I did pretty well at it, for a kid from the Midwest who moved to New York with nothing […]

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The (uncertain, post-apocalyptic, exciting) future of long-form journalism

by David Alm March 5, 2013

Writers can be gloomy folks — no news there. But these days, as everyone from David Carr on down to kids just starting J-school are pondering the future of long-form journalism, they’ve gotten even gloomier. And for good reason. As Max Linsky, a co-founder of the site, told an auditorium full of people at […]

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Is the Atlantic making itself go viral?

by David Alm September 24, 2012

About six years ago, I mentioned to someone that I’d just read an interesting article in the Atlantic that concerned whatever it was we were talking about at the time. She was a bit older than me, in her 40s, and visibly taken aback. “What are you doing reading the Atlantic?” she asked, as though […]

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In her fall from dot-com grace, Jennifer Sultan makes me consider my own

by David Alm August 15, 2012

Whatever happened to all those dot-com millionaires? That question comes up a lot, and you’d think I’d know the answer. A little over a decade ago, I spent one year in the middle of the dot-com party, right before reality swept in and flipped on the floodlights. I had just arrived in New York, and […]

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Finding the slack in Malcolm Gladwell

by David Alm July 25, 2012

When you think of slackers, Malcolm Gladwell is probably not the first person to come to mind. He’s an enormously successful author who became a staff writer at the New Yorker when he was just 33. He’s at the apex of New York’s professional class, which has about as many slackers as Minnesota has surfers. […]

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David Carr on Atavist, good as gold

by David Alm May 22, 2012

Leave it to David Carr to let us know what’s what. Yesterday’s New York Times featured a classic Carr piece (no pun intended, honestly) about Atavist, a new Web-publishing platform that allows publishers to “seamlessly weave together their text, video, audio, photos, maps, interactive graphics, and timelines” in a multimedia “environment.” Atavist also produces its […]

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Getting paid in links

by David Alm December 28, 2011

You can call it narcissistic, but sometimes I Google myself. Who doesn’t? If you’ve done anything in the public eye — writing, especially — you’re bound to show up in unexpected places on the Web. When I Google my own name, it’s simply to find those places. And each time I do this, I find […]

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Mixed metaphors, and other things to keep you up at night

by David Alm November 30, 2011

Writers pride themselves on understanding — and caring deeply about — the minutiae of their craft. I once met a writer who had a semicolon tattooed on her forearm. When I asked her why she had such a tattoo, she plainly said, “Because I’m an elitist.” I got what she meant, and somehow calling herself […]

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Readers rescue us

by Jeff McMahon June 30, 2011

[capti on id=”attachment_2694″ align=”alignright” width=”300″ caption=”By fox_kiyo via flickr”][/caption] When we published the summer issue of Contrary two days ago, we had less than $2 in the bank. We’ve been scraping by since the recession hit, but this marked the first time we had published an issue without knowing how we’d pay for it. Scary, […]

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