Feb 29 2012

Good reads from the last week of February ’12

Published by at 8:03 am under Books,General,Information Diet,Journalism

Dorade: Max Kaleoff is a fellow blogger and New York digital marketing guy (Clickable) I’ve known for over six years. We’ve struck up a friendship over our shared love of wooden sailboats. He even grew up on one, a Sparkman & Stephens yawl. I’ll let him tell the tale:

“I lived on a 52-foot sparkman-stephens yawl named Magic Venture until I was eight years old. Didn’t have running water or electricity or non-coal heat — ever. Had the boat until I was 22. Rebuilt it along the way at Gannon & Benjamin shipyard in Martha’s Vineyard along the way.”

Max recommended a book review from the Wall Street Journal about one of S&S’s most famous boats, the Dorade. Published by the Boston publisher, David R. Godine  (I interned there in 1980), Dorade is going into my bookshelf very soon. This boat is as much an icon of American yachting as Finisterre or any Herreshoff  design.

From the review:

“Boats, like people, have yarns to spin, some better than others. Dorade, the low-slung wooden yawl that revolutionized ocean racing nearly a century ago and launched the career of America’s greatest modern yacht designer, has a rich tale to tell. Indeed, it’s still unfolding.

At 82, the graceful dowager still slices through whitecaps on the West Coast, where she is in the hands of her 15th owner—or caretaker, as he might more aptly be described. “She was, and is, unique,” writes Douglas D. Adkins in “Dorade: The History of an Ocean Racing Yacht. “On one hand, lovely and dainty, and on the other purposeful and determined. She is still an icon of a certain beauty in yacht design.”

Lewis Dvorkin on the Long Form movement

Lew Dvorkin runs Forbes.com these days. We were colleagues in the 90s when I ran the place and he was on the magazine side editing cover stories under Jim Michaels. Lew went on to run AOL’s homepage — making him arguably one of the most powerful traffic generators on the planet at the time (a link from AOL to Forbes.com in September 1999 on the occasion of the annual list of the richest 400 Americans, generated so much traffic that Forbes.com crashed went dark for three days under the traffic load, my first and lasting lesson on flash traffic capacity planning) — he’s recrafted Forbes.com into an interesting exercise in “open journalism”, opening the platform and tools to not only the paid staff of Forbes, but select outside contributors. The net result is a little like Huffington Post, but to draw too close a parallel would be a disservice.

Lew has written two excellent columns about the new strategy and how it fits into his view that online journalism can foster and support long-form reporting/writing over multiple screens as opposed to his earlier view that USA Today-style “news nuggets” and bullet-form journalism was best suited to the attention-deficit medium known as the web. I agree with his observation that “Store-and-read-later” apps such as Instapaper,  digests such as Longform.org, and the ability to push long form content onto e-readers is helping to drive the renaissance.

Anyway, two good reads for anyone interested in the future of journalism, online writing, and the state of Forbes.com

How Long-Form Journalism Is Finding Its Digital Audience: Part I

Long-Form Journalism, Part II: The Challenge for Reporters, and What Forbes Is Doing About It

 

More Sailing Fun:

Bloomberg Pursuits has a piece by Aaron Kuriloff on the state of the art in ocean racing, and the tale of one ill-fated hedge funded super yacht, the Rambler 100 that capsized during last summer Fastnet. A very fast boat this boat was, especially for a monohull:

“In one 24-hour period during that passage, she logged 582 nautical miles, just 14 shy of the record for a monohull (catamarans and trimarans go faster). That’s an average speed of 24.25 nautical miles per hour, or knots, equal to about 28 miles per hour. ”

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2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Good reads from the last week of February ’12”

  1. Max Kalehoffon 03 Mar 2012 at 10:54 am

    “In all phases of my work I was conscious of the need for balance, and I did my best to find balance in both the long and the short view. Broadly I think I can say that I applied the principles of balance in design, in business and in the pleasures I enjoyed.” — Olin Stephens, from the final paragraph of his autobiography.

  2. Olin Stephens and Doradeon 03 Mar 2012 at 5:48 pm

    [...] I recommend Angus Phillips’s great book review in The Wall Street Journal. By no coincidence, I learned about the book and review from longtime family friend Jesse Terry, who, similarly, grew up on a Sparkman & Stephens 48-foot yawl named Tomahawk. I immeidately shared the review with several friends passionate about wooden boats, including David Churbuck. [...]

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