But it is something I wanted for me.
I was recently introduced to the Mobile App Tinder. I have little to no interest in the app but I was curious about this tool that brought online dating to the mainstream and actually pulled off making it cool.
Last night I had twenty minutes before my bartending shift and I was wishing after all that I did bring my backpack so that I did bring my book so I could read a little something before starting work.
Oh no, I thought, I have a phone, it has the internet, there has got to be some quick website where I can read something worthwhile.
Not really though, not at least that I knew about. I mean I found a couple but there were zero stories that grabbed me.
Then I thought about the addictive nature of Tinder and the selectivity of the user.
What if there was an app that presented short fiction and poetry (you could choose between the two at the main screen) that worked semi like Tinder semi like pandora semi like publisher?
Semi like tinder because you start reading a piece, as soon as you tire of it or just outright dislike it you swipe it into nope. Then you're presented with a new one right off. If you finish reading it which means you enjoyed it you swipe yes.
Semi like pandora because if you swipe nope you are pushed away from that author and/or authors like them. If swiped yes then that piece gets a point (gets pushed further to the front of the line) and if you want you can see other pieces by that author or in general it refines what you like to read.
Semi like publisher because these stories and poems are getting out there, into the hands of the masses. And I bet that publishers would be interested in what authors and what stories/poems were getting yes the most. That information could be sold which could provide money for the app.
I’ve never forgotten an Amy Hemple quote from an interview that went something like, “You owe your reader nothing, every single sentence has to win them, has to keep them, they are liable to stop reading at any moment.”
This app would surely prove that quote, especially in the short attention span of todays phone user.
This app would be perfect for people on the bus, people waiting for a friend, on the toilet, in the DMV, if you want to kill time but you want to do it with your literary brain.
It would be free because the user is helping develop it by sorting through the literature that is uploaded.
There would have to be an adjacent website where writers could make a quick profile and upload their stories. At the end of a month they could go online and see what pieces were swiped yes and which ones nope and how often. They would get tangible results from unbiased people. Which can be quite valuable to a writer.
There seems this disconnect between publishers and readers/writers that Literary Agents are meant to bridge. I sincerely believe good writers fall through the cracks of this system everyday.
Let the people be the agents that bring the solid work to the publishers.
At the end of it all I would have something interesting/worthwhile to read before the beginning of my bar tending shift.
We could call it LitFlip or SwipeLit…