You probably know Medium, the publishing platform which was founded by Twitter’s co-founder Evan Williams. It was geared to make it easy for anyone to write a lengthy post complete with simple formatting tools for easy sharing on Medium or on other social media channels.
Maintaining such a platform is a challenge and this very fact was explained by Ev Williams in a Medium post. The company has decided to make some major changes which he outrightly outlined.
First, Medium will axe a third of its team (50 jobs) in the sales and support departments. This is due to the company’s renewed focus of changing its business model to its “original plan.”
What was this original plan? Well according to Ev, “our vision when we started in 2012 was ambitious: To build a platform that defined a new model for media on the internet.” As noble as the plan was, there were problems in the way. This included the likes of misinformation and the pressure by publishers to put out more content cheaply.
According to Ev, the current system at Medium was “unsustainable and unsatisfying for producers and consumers alike” and that is why they are doing away with it. They had started on various strategies to lure commercial publishers on the platform which according to him was a success. They were able to get the “best publishers on the web” on Medium as well as seeing interests from big brands. The platform is growing too as according to Williams, readers and published posts were up 300% year on year which is impressive.
However, they realized they realized they didn’t have a proper platform to drive people to pay for quality content on Medium. Ev realized that the current ad driven digital media system is broken and this is why they are making a change.
This is why Medium is moving to a new model where writers and creators will be rewarded based on their value of their creations. This will not happen soon according to Williams but it will be interesting to see what Medium will come up with as they focus on changing the digital publishing world as we know it.