Medium: A Reader’s Digest for the Digital Era

Medium, a sort of online magazine, is the creation of Ev Williams and Biz Stone, who created Twitter (Medium is somewhat more Ev than Biz, but they are fairly joined at the hip). By that provenance it could be the most important innovation in publishing since ... Twitter.

Or, by the evidence, not. Perhaps it is more like its equivocal name, neither high nor low, hot nor cold. In the middle.

From a publishing perspective, that would be a fairly generous review of its discursive nature. But people from a publishing background, at least if they are realistic in any sense, doubt their own views on modern publishing. Who, in our business, could have foreseen the usefulness, power and addictiveness of Twitter? Or Pinterest, Instagram or any of the other self-publishing tools and methods that have taken all the air out of our dear old world?

Still, Medium just seems to publish words, lots of them, without limit, in standard form. That's what it is, a way to publish longer articles, like in a ... magazine. And they are even, as in a magazine, selected, sort of. There are editors at Medium. Publishing colleagues call me often now to say they have been interviewed for jobs at Medium, which, actually, pays well.

I know both Ev and Biz. Lots of people do. Ev and Biz appear to like publishing people. They are interested in ideas. Words. At the same time, they rather admit to knowing little about the publishing world. They come to New York and seem to look up in wonder at the tall buildings.

But, of course, they've revolutionized what we do. First with the blogging software, Blogger, and then Twitter.

Although they remain major shareholders, they left active participation in Twitter, where Ev was the CEO, in 2010. They are not so much...

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