Friday, June 17, 2016

Ev Williams is The Forrest Gump of the Internet - The Atlantic

From an extensive profile of Evan Williams and Medium; on a related note, see Condé Nast will purchase Backchannel, bringing Steven Levy back to the Wired group (The Verge)

"Williams and his team at Medium say they are working to resist this consolidation, though they are not doing quite what anyone else would recognize as resistance. The truth is that they themselves want to consolidate some of the web, too; and then—with that task done—govern as just, beloved, and benevolent despots. Josh Benton, a media critic at Harvard, once described Medium as “YouTube for prose,” and that’s an apt summary of what it feels like to use. But as I spend more time with Ev, I catch him thinking of Medium as a project philosophically akin to the “Foundation” novels by Isaac Asimov. The heroes of those books sought to centralize all the learning across the galaxy before a dark age set in, knowing that though they cannot stop the shadowed era, they may be able to preserve scholarship and therefore shorten it. Ev’s ambitions, though not as grandiose, follow similar lines. Medium seeks to replicate the web’s old, chaotic hubbub on a single, ordered site—because, ultimately, Ev values the chaos."
Ev Williams is The Forrest Gump of the Internet - The Atlantic
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