1. The quarterly short fiction magazine Electric Literature recently launched the oral-storytelling Web site Broadcastr (beta.broadcastr.com). Visitors can navigate across a Google map to hear place-based tales from around the globe, from the heights of Machu Picchu to the streets of Israel. After setting up a free account, users can create playlists and add stories of their own—recorded on the site or uploaded from elsewhere—then include a photo and pin the tale on the world map. There’s a social-networking aspect to the project too—users can follow fellow storytellers and make connections by commenting on posts. In the words of the magazine’s cofounder Andy Hunter, the site is “like a museum tour of the entire world.”
2. Write Rhymes (www.writerhymes.com), a pared-down, no-frills Web site designed by Foursquare staffer Matthew Healy, does essentially one thing: It finds rhymes. Poets can enter text into a box, then option-click a word to produce a bubble of its rhyming counterparts, broken down by number of syllables. Clicking one of the offered words adds it to the text box, which can be saved as a text file or printed on the spot.
3. Minnesota Center for Book Arts (www.mnbookarts.org), the largest institution of its kind in the nation, offers visitors a glimpse of the craft of bookmaking—from papermaking to letterpress printing to hand binding—seven days a week in downtown Minneapolis. Located in the Open Book Building, a space it shares with Loft Literary Center and the indie press Milkweed Editions, the MCBA houses studio space, a bindery, and gallery space for rotating exhibitions, all of which are free to the public.