With Medium's Acquisition of Matter, the 'New Internet' Gets Whiter (and More Male)
Matter, the new longform science and technology platform, was acquired yesterday by Medium, the other new publishing platform created by Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone. Launched last fall, Medium is essentially a blog without blog content, a place for valuable, high-quality writing to stand apart from the hordes of rambling blog posts that flood the Web today. If you haven’t heard of either of these new publishing platforms, that’s OK: This is some serious inside tech-and-startup baseball, and that’s the problem.
Williams and Stone weren’t the only entrepreneurs with the idea to create a more structured, less cluttered, and less accessible space on the Web for good content—there’s Svtble, another invite-only blogging platform, Branch, the let’s-move-off-Twitter discussion space, and App.net, the $36-per-year Twitter without the riffraff. All these startups of the “new Internet” are ad-free but not free to enter. (Branch is slightly different: free to start a discussion, but participation by invite-only.)
The Kickstarter-funded Matter, which Williams backed, raised $140,000 in February 2012 and began publishing one long article per month in November, available to members for a subscription fee of 99˘ per month. So far the articles have been pretty great—I purchased their debut story, “Do No Harm“, which explores the neuropsychology of perfectly healthy people who want to amputate their limbs. It was an excellent piece of science journalism, the kind that should cost money, so it makes sense that Williams and Stone wanted to pull Matter’s good stories into their pristine publishing ecosystem—”the best place on the Internet to read and create high-quality content,” Williams told the Matter co-founders, according to their blog post.