Friday, July 15, 2022 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Ev Williams to Step Down From Medium

Ev Williams (via Hacker News):

Next month will be the tenth anniversary of the launch of Medium. As we gear up for the next decade, I’ve decided to hand over the CEO reins.

Casey Newton:

As I wrote at the time, by some measures Medium was succeeding. It had started 2021 with around 700,000 paid subscriptions, and was on track for more than $35 million in revenue from its $5 monthly subscription offering. At the same time, internal data showed that it largely was not high-quality journalism that was leading readers to subscribe: it was random stories posted to the platform by independent writers that happened to get featured by the Google or Facebook algorithms.

[…]

Nieman Lab’s Laura Hazard Owen wrote an essential guide to Williams’ whipsawing in 2019. Among the things Medium tried during his tenure, from its launch to the present day[…]

[…]

On the high end, well funded digital publishers from BuzzFeed to Vice to the Atlantic excelled at publishing high-quality journalism. And on the low end, Substack emerged to let solo creators develop thriving, sustainable careers by offering individual subscriptions. […] In such a world, Medium had no obvious advantage. With its owned and operated publications gone, it became a general-interest web magazine staffed by freelancers and dependent on Google.

M.G. Siegler:

In fact, in many ways, that would be my critique of Medium on the front-end. It has gone from utter elegance through to various stages of clutter and buttons to get people to sign up or download the app, etc. I just want people to be able to read without anything but the words in front of them.

But few people know that better than Coach Tony who is maybe the Medium power user since the get-go. And now he gets the run the joint. So that’s exciting. Just don’t ruin this beautiful writing canvas.

Previously:

3 Comments

On the high end, well funded digital publishers from BuzzFeed to Vice to the Atlantic excelled at publishing high-quality journalism.

That's a laugh.

"That's a laugh."

I don't know about Vice, I guess reasonable people can disagree, but BuzzFeed has, oddly, been wonderful at using the money they make from their stupid quizzes, and putting it towards valuable journalism, like their recent investigation into the Tampa police department, or their coverage of Uvalde. I also found their investigation on WWF's war on poaching incredibly informative.

Those who mock Buzzfeed's journalism are unfamiliar with it.

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