Here is a super great Q&A with S.O. co-founder Joshua Glenn. This is Rob writing this so I can say with no bias whatsoever that it is awesome and you should read it immediately!
Significant Objects, a literary and anthropological experiment whose first two phases ran from July 2009 through October 2010, demonstrated that the effect of narrative on any given object’s subjective value can be measured objectively.
The project auctioned off thrift-store objects via eBay; for item descriptions, short stories purpose-written by over 200 contributing writers, including Meg Cabot, William Gibson, Ben Greenman, Sheila Heti, Neil LaBute, Jonathan Lethem, Tom McCarthy, Lydia Millet, Jenny Offill, Bruce Sterling, Scarlett Thomas, and Colson Whitehead, were substituted.
The objects, purchased for $1.25 apiece on average, sold for nearly $8,000.00 in total. (Proceeds were distributed to the contributors, and to nonprofit creative writing organizations.)
Most recently, a book collection of some of our finest stories has been published by Fantagraphics.