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The Medium Is the Message: Electric Light's New App

abstract:Marshall McLuen's catch phrase "the medium is the message" coined in 1964 has never been truer for the folks at Electric Literature Company in New York who have just launched their new Broadcaster App. Key to McLuhan's argument is the idea that technology has no per se moral bent—it is a tool that profoundly shapes an individual's and, by extension, a society's self-conception and realization. How does this relate to Broadcaster App? Using your iPhone you can download free storytelling using social media and an interactive map. Access 6,000 stories (and counting) it uses your geo locator to pinpoint a story near you. There's also an upload feature if you feel the need to contribute.

No iPhone? No problem. All the stories are also available on the website. Here are some stories we think you and Electric Literature readers might enjoy:

A daughter talks about her mother’s long love affair with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jennifer Egan reads from A Visit from the Goon Squad, and one man shares his deep thoughts on Shakespeare.

For a blast from the past, you could listen to the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler from your iPhone while strolling through the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Find it in iTunes:

Electric Literature is


March 16, 2011
— the first literary magazine to release an iPad edition, ElectricLit FREE, available now in the iTunes store. The app, featuring enhanced video playback, a built-in audiobook, live readings by EL authors, full-color images, exquisite large-screen design, and interactive graphics, has been designed and developed from scratch by the publisher, who’s mission is to use new media and innovative distribution to keep literature vital in the digital age.

ElectricLit features original content by award-winning writers like Michael Cunningham (The Hours), MacArthur “Genius” grant winners Colson Whitehead and Lydia Davis, and literary heavyweights Jim Shepard, Rick Moody (The Ice Storm), and Aimee Bender, alongside the publisher’s signature video collaborations. The collaborations have established a high-water mark for book videos, garnering praise in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Huffington Post, and Entertainment Weekly, who write, “it makes me forget how much I hate book trailers.” Thanks to the multimedia capabilities of the iPad, the films can now be seamlessly paired with the stories that inspired them.

The new format also allows Electric Literature to feature audio recordings of authors and actors reading the stories, alongside rich, beautiful photography and art. The free application comes pre-loaded with work by Jim Shepard, along with Rick Moody’s “Some Contemporary Characters,” which was famously written for and first serialized via Twitter, a move that helped @ElectricLit gain over 150,000 followers, more than any other publisher in the world. Users of the app can also purchase any issue of Electric Literature’s eponymous anthology series, enhanced with video and audio content, for just $4.99 a copy – 50% off the paperback price. Additionally, the new platform allows the publisher to periodically provide free content to their readers and update them on happenings in the literary world.

“The future is personal,” said Andy Hunter, Editor in Chief of Electric Literature. “Our iPad app is not only a wonderful way to experience our stories and videos, but it also allows us to build a relationship with our readers, which just isn’t possible on any other platform.” About Electric Literature

Founded by writers intent on creating a viable publishing model for literary fiction in the digital age, Electric Literature is a quarterly anthology of some of the most stunning, innovative, and moving short fiction being written today.

"The premise is simple but brilliant: pick great writers and broadcast them to the wider world using technology that speaks to the contemporary consumer." – Flavorwire



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