Syllabi -- prepared reading for curious readers
January 23, 2012 1:14 PM   Subscribe

Syllabi -- prepared reading for curious readers
Syllabi is a website I "launched" last week where I'm collecting informative or educational reading across various topics. Each post covers a specific subject comprehensively, providing a comprehensive selection of relevant (mostly journalistic) writing. I'm aiming this at curious, intelligent readers with a lust for substantial reading material.

This is essentially my iteration of the longform aggregator format (as for my credentials, I run one of the more popular ones; not sure if linking it is bad form, but it's called Give Me Something To Read, google it). Although they regularly provide great reading material, I often feel some of the articles would benefit from some context and related reading, which is what I'm aiming to provide.

For instance an article on concussions in the NFL by Jonah Lehrer did the rounds recently, which is a subject with so much written about it already, not providing more context and related reading almost seems like a crime. So for one of my first posts, I did just that. Another example would be Tom Junod's Esquire piece on the Waffle House terrorists, featuring an informant egging them on, something else that's frequently made the news recently, so I did a post about the FBI's use of informants in terrorism stings. I'm hoping to do 2 or 3 sizeable posts per week, supplemented with occasional shorter posts with less links, probably usually on more eclectic subjects that don't necessarily have much written about them yet, but are interesting nonetheless.

I'd love to hear some feedback if you have any. I'm particularly proud of the site's design; I hadn't written a shred of Javascript before now, but I muddled through a bunch of it on this. (Click one of the "Read Later" buttons.)
Role: Chief Everythinger
posted by nostrich (9 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
This project was posted to MetaFilter by Anonymous on January 30, 2012: prepared reading for curious readers

Really like this.
posted by threeants at 4:25 PM on January 23, 2012

Fantastic work! I love, love, love the 'Read Later' script.
posted by n2linux at 1:15 PM on January 24, 2012

This looks great.

One of the things I'm always interested in is historical context, which current events coverage and even serious journalism is often lacking. How is this like / different from things that came before it? What led to this? What's changed that makes this possible?
posted by ElfWord at 4:55 PM on January 26, 2012

This is a great blog. Really liked it. Added it to my longform folder in my greader.
posted by ollyollyoxenfree at 4:44 AM on January 29, 2012

Nice work!
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 12:35 PM on January 29, 2012

Bookmarked! This is a great idea - been waiting for someone to do this.
posted by rahulrg at 6:15 PM on January 30, 2012

Would you open to accepting contributions from users?

I think that this project would be even better if it were crowd-sourced with a stringent check on quality. Given that the topics chosen seem to be pretty specific, I'd think that it's hard for one person to maintain the same high quality and depth in a range of topics (even after taking to your account your cred)
posted by rahulrg at 6:25 PM on January 30, 2012

Thanks for the positive feedback, everybody, I'm glad people are enjoying it.

Rahulrg: yep, eventually I'll be soliciting theme ideas and features themselves (you can submit them already by going to /submit if you like), but I'm waiting to Grow An Audience first. Very interested in deferring to the intelligence of others eventually.
posted by nostrich at 8:47 PM on January 30, 2012


This is a lovely idea! It's extremely timely too - I'd just been moaning about how little I know about anything, and how hard it is, despite the profusion of information floating about the interweb, to really learn anything.

Thank you very very much!
posted by undue influence at 1:42 AM on February 10, 2012

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