Twitter co-founders seek to shake up Web publishing with Medium

They believe it's still early days in Web publishing and that there is plenty of opportunity for improvement and innovation

Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone, who were also leaders at Blogger, have unveiled a preview of Medium, which they describe as a new Web publishing platform.

With Medium, they aim to inject a dose of collaboration into Web publishing and distance it from print publishing practices. They also want to raise the quality of content.

"When you consider we've been publishing on paper for over 500 years and on the Internet for only a couple decades, it's no surprise we haven't figured it all out. It's still early days," Williams wrote in a blog post.

Medium, developed at the pair's newest company called Obvious, is an attempt to re-imagine and rethink Web publishing from scratch, with the knowledge and experience they have accumulated since Blogger's launch in 1999.

"That sounds pretty grandiose, so let's not get ahead of ourselves. Truth be told, we're just starting the journey of figuring out what all that means," Williams wrote.

Medium organizes content into buckets of categories, each with its own theme and template, providing context for both contributors and visitors.

"Together, the contributions of many add up to create compelling and useful experiences," he wrote.

Some sample categories already up on the site include Been There, Done That, Look What I Made and This Happened to Me.

In addition to posting on existing categories, people may also create their own. Readers can rate contributions -- photos, articles -- so that the most popular get more prominent placement.

Posting content on Medium for now is limited to a hand-selected group of contributors, but Obvious plans to open it more broadly in the near future. People with a Twitter account can sign into Medium and rate content right now.

"We haven't tied everything in Medium together yet, partly because we expect our ideas to evolve rapidly as we experiment and learn from usage," he wrote. "Our philosophy is that quality begets quality, so we will grow Medium smartly, ensuring that our platform is valuable to everyone in this increasingly mobile, connected, and noisy world."

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

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