Editorial Tips

When we post new content to Open Culture, here are some questions that we generally ask ourselves.

1) Will the material be interesting to a broad intelligent audience? Is it lively and engaging? (Or is it a little too esoteric/ponderous?)

2) Is there a piece of media (video, audio, text, etc) that can be featured in the post? That’s something that we generally try to include.

3) Is the media free? Can it be accessed at no cost (or at least very minimal cost)?

4) Can the media be accessed in all geographic locations? (Sometimes content will only be available, for example, to a US audience. We try to avoid that. This is particularly an issue with movies. If you have questions, feel free to ask.)

When we gather material for the site, here are several things we keep our eyes open for…

  • Audio/video clips dealing with iconic cultural figures. See example or this one.
  • Audio/video clips featuring important/well known contemporary cultural figures. See example.
  • Awe inspiring science videos. See example. Or this one.
  • Great cultural resource collections available on the web. This includes music, film, literature archives with free content. etc. See example. Here’s another. And yet another. And finally another.
  • Posts that tell people where they can find new books, songs, movies, etc. released in free formats. See example, this one, or this one.
  • Audio/video that does a good job of making quality culture relevant to a broader public. See example.
  • Online academic courses (usually from liberal arts or sciences) that will generate broad interest. See example.
  • New technology (Kindle, iPad, Google software, iPhone apps) that changes the way that we read and learn, or engage with culture. See example. Or this example. Or this one.

These are just a few items that we generally look out for. But we can always move in new directions. If you have any questions or contributions, feel free to contact us here.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.