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WETA Launches inReads—the First Online Community Dedicated to “Social Readia” for a Changing World

inReads is a Conversation Starter and Hub—For Those Who Are Redefining and Remixing the Reading Experience to Those Who Simply Love Books

(For Immediate Release: Washington, D.C.—Tuesday, June 21, 2011) Today, Michael Holstein, associate general counsel at WETA, Washington D.C., the flagship public broadcasting station in the nation’s capital, announced the launch of inReads, a website and online community dedicated to the changing world of literature and books. With innovative use of web technology, inReads will foster conversations about books, technology and culture and how the three intersect and influence each other. inReads offers people the opportunity to take whatever online experience works best for them and contribute their voice within this community. As part of defining this “social readia” experience, inReads reviews traditional books in nontraditional ways; highlights enhanced e-books and new technologies; interviews writers and artists on the forefront of innovative literary endeavors; and features other art forms and their relationships to reading. 

inReads is the new online home and social community dedicated to those of us who love books and can’t get enough talking about them, but also recognize the myriad of ways that reading is changing,” says Holstein, who is also executive producer of inReads. “WETA recognizes the power of media and the impact technology has had across the board in our community; inReads is the perfect outlet for the young, cool, and plugged-in to start the conversation.” 

Bibliophiles are encouraged to join the online community talking about dynamic changes in the book and publishing world—a central theme throughout the inReads community. inReads offers original content from professional authors and widely published writers who also freelance for the Christian Science Monitor, New York magazine, Newsday, and The Huffington Post.  Authors already featured in content exclusive to inReads include Alice Ozma, Eric Gordon, Adam Mansbach, David Foster Wallace, Rebecca Skloot, Seth Godin, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, and Tomas Mournian. Additionally, the site offers rich content curated from on and off-line publications such as Los Angeles Times, AllThingsD.com, and Gawker.com.

Within the community platform, inReads allows members to store their own reading history and thoughts within the myReads section and compiles information about the entire community in the ourReads section. Once a myReads account is created, users can keep track of what they have read, dazzle the community with their brilliant insights, share quotes that blew them away, and find out who else reads the same things. These personal myReads shelves can hold links to reads of all types, not just books. While myReads is a personal space where people can express their love of all things reading, ourReads is everyone’s space. The ourReads shelves are accessible to all and give a snapshot of what’s hot, or not and what has the community buzzing. As the inReads community conversation grows, so will these features on the ourReads page.

“By broadening the conversation about reading, we are truly encouraging a reading culture,” says Felicia Pride, executive editor of inReads. “We have to be more inviting when it comes to books and the way we read, and get more people involved in the conversation—including those who’d rather experience an enhanced e-book on their iPad. The inReads staff, contributors, and advisory board will help the conversation along but the community members will really steer it.”

Felicia Pride is an independent content producer, author, and former book publishing professional with more than 10 years experience working in media. Her work has been featured in USA Today, NPR’s “Talk of the Nation,” Publishers Weekly, and The Baltimore Sun. Currently she serves as the executive editor of inReads and she’s the co-creator of 2MPower Media, a content production firm that connects media, entertainment and education.

About inReads:
inReads is an online community dedicated to the changing face of reading, focusing on books, technology, and culture. inReads is a production of WETA, Washington, D.C. The executive producer of inReads is Michael Holstein and executive editor is Felicia Pride. Major funding for inReads is provided by Park Foundation with additional funding provided by WETA Washington, D.C. Join us and help steer the conversation at inReads.com.

About WETA Washington, D.C.:
WETA Washington, D.C., is the third-largest producing station for public television. WETA’s other productions and co-productions include “PBS NewsHour,” “Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal,” “The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize” and documentaries by filmmaker Ken Burns, including his upcoming work, “Prohibition.” Sharon Percy Rockefeller is president and CEO. More information on WETA and its programs and services is available at www.weta.org.

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Press Contact:
Donna Hardwick
On and On PR & Marketing
O: 978-358-7209
M: 617-308-5677
dhardwick@onandonpr.com

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