Conceived by Craig Mod, a writer, designer, and digital publishing entrepreneur based out of San Francisco, the “networked storytelling tool” is designed to share stories attached to specific geographic locations (referred to as “narrative mapping”).
A post starts out as a “Sketch,” which includes a photo, a geo-tag, and up to 20 words describing the moment or place. Each Sketch can then be further developed into an “Extended Moment,” allowing writers to write multiple drafts and longer stories, without the pressures of time or character limits.
In an lengthy essay posted on medium.com, Mod speaks about the “balanced risk” involved in the process of making creative work “publicly visible just enough to raise self-awareness, but not enough to paralyze – establish[ing] a tension required to create well, to create interestingly.”
If readers find a Sketch appealing, they can subscribe to its associated Extended Moment by clicking a “Tell me more” button. Hi stories can be shared, but there is no commenting feature. Stories can be recommended to others and readers can send a one-line “thank-you” note to the author.
Ultimately, Mod hopes that Hi’s ease of use and unobtrusive response system will keep people writing: “Anyone who creates for a living — is creative, has output — knows you need to produce more to get better. There are no shortcuts. The algorithm is painfully simple: Sit in the chair and write, paint, compose. Every. Damn. Day.”
The app is still in beta, but eager writers can register here.