David Carr’s recent article on Evan Williams’ Medium, A Platform and Blogging Tool, Medium Charms Writers (New York Times, 5/25/2014) is well-written, informative, and worth reading if you’re interested in such things. Here’s an excerpt:
Mr. Williams is putting good tools out into the world and letting the users decide what the product is. That strategy worked out O.K. for Twitter.
Still, at a time when more words are coming from more and more sources, it is difficult and expensive to gain attention. Medium, which doesn’t emphasize writing about celebrities, sports or gossip, will be fighting for mindshare without those clicky attractions. Mr. Williams reveres magazines like The New Yorker and The Atlantic, and does not seem to care that building an audience without listicles and LOLcats is hard.
“It turns out the Internet, like every other technology, doesn’t trend toward good or bad. It is just a convenience machine for what people want,” he said. “Television was going to make us all better people, smarter and better educated, but people ended up sitting back and watching sitcoms. We want to create something that rewards other things that have more lasting value.”
The accompanying video of Evan Williams talking about Medium is also interesting.