Monday, December 06, 2010

Teen poetry web-wide

by Jim

Some folks may have seen the article in the NY Times yesterday about new teen website Figment. It’s a forum for teenagers to post their own writing and be advertised to…I mean, get the chance to read chapters of works that will be published. The site is now live, and there’s already ample teen writing to browse through, if you’re into that sort of thing.  I’ll just say this: I do feel bad for a generation whose teenage poetry will have life on the internet long after they’ve become embarrassed by it.

That said, I think there’s a lot to love about this idea. It has the same sort of feel as Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s HitRECord. That site is about creating user generated creative content that can be worked on by a larger online community. HitRECord feels purer because there isn’t a component allowing advertising to crop up. After all, it’s doesn’t seem as profit-motivated as Figment.

However you look at it, I think efforts to create communities around writing are great things. Something about this site, though, seems to be especially artificial. “ZOMG we’ve launched!” What do we think? Nifty place for teens to find a creative outlet or shameless attempt to cash in on YA market growth?


  1. On one hand, I can see this being a good thing for teens. I probably would have been into this if it existed when I was younger. On the other hand, I'm glad it wasn't around when I was a teen. It sounds like it could create a lot of pressure, competition, or posturing. In other words, a lot of noise instead of just focusing on the writing.

  2. I think it looks engaging enough. At least they're looking at purchasing books. It can be overwhelming but that's what parents are for. It could be a good thing if monitored properly.

  3. I'm trying to imagine myself going into my parents basement scanning my old diary and then posting all the forgotten poems. Would I ever consider doing that?
    Would I allow my daughter to? I think I'd make her wait a few months to gain perspective on the raw emotions she'll be putting out there for anyone to read.
    Could I ever censor her? Never. I would be proud of her courage.

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