Anywhere but Medium

Dave Winer:

If Medium were more humble, or if they had competition, I would relax about it. But I remember how much RSS suffered for being dominated by Google. And Google was a huge company and could have afforded to run Google Reader forever at a loss. Medium is a startup, a well-funded one for sure, but they could easily pivot and leave all the stories poorly served, or not served at all. I’m sure their user license doesn’t require them to store your writing perpetually, or even until next week.

I only want to point to things that I think have a chance at existing years from now. And things that are reasonably unconflicted, where I feel I understand where the author is coming from. Neither of those criteria are met by posts on Medium. I also want to preserve the ability of developers to innovate in this area. If Medium sews up this media type, if they own it for all practical purposes, as Google owned RSS (until they dropped it), then you can’t move until they do. And companies with monopolies have no incentive to move forward, and therefore rarely do. Look at how slowly Twitter has improved their platform, and all the new features are for advertisers, not for writers. I suspect Medium will go down a similar path.

The comparison to Google Reader is perfect. Google Reader was both (a) the most popular thing that ever happened to RSS, and (b) the worst thing that ever happened to RSS.

Saturday, 23 January 2016