Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter and Blogger, is launching a startup called Medium to improve the way people write and collaborate online. The goal is to find a balance between traditional journalism, where professional editors help reporters publish articles, and modern journalism, where anyone can post anything online. Williams hopes to tackle the massive amount of articles and posts currently online, which makes it challenging for readers to decipher which information is important and accurate.
Instead of this influx of information making a more informed society, it has actually hindered the population’s depth of understanding. Medium will allow users to leave notes tied to phrases or words to allow for more constructive feedback to writers than comments at the end of posts do. These notes will also help Medium suggest similar and relevant posts based on these notes.
“This means your posts link to each other, your ideas bump into each other, and instead of living on an island somewhere out on the Web, you’re part of a dynamic whole, where each part makes the others better,” suggests Williams.
“Some of Medium’s features recognize that people often read more on their phones than on computers,” reports The New York Times. “Posts have an estimate of how many minutes they will take to read, and Medium automatically formats them for small screens.”
Medium is also meant to reduce the amount of time bloggers spend worrying about formats and backgrounds, so they can focus more on generating useful content.
“It’s clear we’ve only scratched the surface of how we can use the tools available to us to connect hearts and minds,” notes Williams. “It’s also clear that the way media is changing isn’t entirely positive when it comes to creating a more informed citizenry. Now that we’ve made sharing information virtually effortless, how do we increase depth of understanding, while also creating a level playing field that encourages ideas that come from anywhere?”