Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Twitter Founders Launch Medium, a New Collaborative Publishing Platform

Obvious, the company led by Twitter co-founders Ev Williams and Biz Stone, today showed off a collaborative publishing tool called Medium.

The launch is particularly notable given the Obvious team’s storied history of providing the world with new publishing platforms, first Blogger and then Twitter.

Williams writes today, “Lots of services have successfully lowered the bar for sharing information, but there’s been less progress toward raising the quality of what’s produced. While it’s great that you can be a one-person media company, it’d be even better if there were more ways you could work with others.”

Medium has various types of posts including text and pictures, which are grouped into collections that multiple people can add to.

Rather than being organized chronologically, the highest-rated posts are at the top, and the rest tile down.

Obviously this is meatier than can be addressed in a quick take, but starting today people can look at Medium for themselves and give superlatives like “This is good,” “This is helpful” and “Nice work!” which contribute to a scoring system.

Only a limited group of users can publish new content.

Stone added in a separate post that Medium wants to be sort of networked publishing. “Much of our vision for Medium is just that—vision,” he wrote. “Our ideas are much farther along than our product. Medium is only a sliver of what it could be.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work