Twitter co-founders launch new publishing platform

Steven Loeb · August 14, 2012 · Short URL:

Evan Williams blasts media, says Medium will make the world a better place

With so many publishing platforms already available on the Web, it may not seem very exciting to hear about the launch of yet another place for people to vent their feelings. And yet, there has to be something kind of special about a website whose founder goes so far as to say it will better the world. Words like that will make you sit up and take notice.

The Obvious Corporation, the company led by Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone, announced Tuesday a new publishing platform called Medium. 

The new website is an attempt to turn publishing into “an evolutionary leap,” Williams said in the site’s inaugural post.

Medium organizes posts into collections with a theme and a template. So far the collections include This Happened To Me, which is a collection of crazy stories, or When I Was a Kid, which features pictures of users as children.

“Collections give people context and structure to publish their own stories, photos, and ideas. By default, the highest-rated posts show up at the top, helping people get the most out of their time in this world of infinite information,” Williams said.

So far the number of people who can post is limited, but all users with a Twitter account will be able to read and give feedback on Medium.

Other collections that users are invited to explore include: 

Been There. Loved That., a collection of photographs from places around the world

Look What I Made, pictures of different things made by users, from shoes to bacon

The Writer’s Room, which features tips on how to be a better writer

The Obvious Collection, which showcases projects that Obvious is currently backing.

Medium's lofty goals

Williams does not say exactly how his publishing platform will be so different from all the other currently out there that it will actually enhance the world, but his post can double as a sort of manifesto for how Williams sees the media. It is clear that he is passionate about bringing people together.

Calling the media “pointless and destructive,” he blames them for holding back the potential of all of our recent advances in technology,

“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,” Williams wrote. “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.”

With Medium, Williams says he is hoping to make the media better for creators, consumers and, yes, the world.

Many will probably read what Williams has to say and roll their eyes at such flamboyant language. Thankfully, he also sees how over the top some of his words are, conceding that what he is saying sounds “grandiose,” and that he is still“ figuring out what all that means.”

No matter what you think of his diatribe, Williams sure seems to have some ambitious and lofty goals for his new platform.

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