Quoted: Evan Williams on news, Medium and our ‘most base desires’

“News in general doesn’t matter most of the time, and most people would be far better off if they spent their time consuming less news and more ideas that have more lasting import. There’s an audience for ideas and stories that appeal to more than just the most base desires of human beings.”

Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter — of 140-character fame and countless links to news articles — and now of Medium, home to mostly long-form writing. About a year after we wrote about the launch of Medium, the posts on it that have received plenty of attention include entrepreneur Peter Shih’s rant about San Francisco, or the programmer who wants to teach coding to a homeless person.

Williams tells TechCrunch: “People are going to publish crap on Medium…. And guess what? There’s crap on Twitter. There’s crap on blogs. There’s crap on the Internet. And if we try to keep crap off the Internet, the Internet wouldn’t be important.”

Ideally, Medium would be the place to get away from the crap of which Williams speaks. TechCrunch reports that Medium is willing to pay good money for exposé-style writing.

To reiterate, Williams is no fan of online click bait: He recently told Bloomberg Businessweek that “the economics of media are pushing things in a bad direction.” But TechCrunch points out that Medium doesn’t have much of a business plan yet.


Photo: Evan Williams speaks at the first Chirp, the Twitter developers conference, April 14, 2010 in San Francisco. (Mercury News archives)


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