we don’t need Medium

As for that en­tan­gle­ment among sto­ries, Mr. Williams has con­ceded that it’s “confus­ing.” But this am­bi­gu­ity isn’t a bug. It’s an es­sen­tial fea­ture of the busi­ness plan. The goal is to cre­ate the il­lu­sion that every­thing on Medium be­longs to one ed­i­to­r­ial ecosys­tem, as if it’s the New York Times.

But un­like the Times, Medium pays for only a small frac­tion of its sto­ries. The rest are sub­mit­ted—for free—by writ­ers like you. Af­ter a long time be­ing elu­sive about its busi­ness model, Medium re­vealed that it plans to make money by—sur­prise!—sell­ing ad­ver­tis­ing. This means dis­play­ing ads, but also col­lect­ing and sell­ing data about read­ers and writ­ers. So Medium will ex­tract rev­enue from every story, whether it paid for that story or not.

In truth, Medium’s main prod­uct is not a pub­lish­ing plat­form, but the pro­mo­tion of a pub­lish­ing plat­form. This pro­mo­tion brings read­ers and writ­ers onto the site. This, in turn, gen­er­ates the us­age data that’s valu­able to ad­ver­tis­ers. Boiled down, Medium is sim­ply mar­ket­ing in the ser­vice of more mar­ket­ing. It is not a “place for ideas.” It is a place for ad­ver­tis­ers. It is, there­fore, ut­terly superfluous.

“But what about all the writ­ing on Medium?” The mea­sure of su­per­fluity is not the writ­ing on Medium. Rather, it’s what Medium adds to the writ­ing. Re­call the ques­tion from above: how does Medium im­prove the In­ter­net? I haven’t seen a sin­gle story on Medium that couldn’t ex­ist equally well else­where. Nor ev­i­dence that Medium’s edit­ing and pub­lish­ing tools are a man­i­fest im­prove­ment over what you can do with other tools.
In sum—still superfluous.

As writ­ers, we don’t need com­pa­nies like Medium to tell us how to use the web. Or de­fine open­ness and democ­racy. Or tell us what’s a “waste of [our] time” and what’s not. Or de­ter­mine how and where read­ers ex­pe­ri­ence our work. We need to de­cide those things for ourselves.

Matthew Butterick expresses in his piece one of the main reasons on why I’m not sold with Medium, and still prefer to publish everything I want over a space I can really control. Thanks to my pal Andrea Contino for pointing me to Matt’s article…

Share a story of personal defeat

Every now and then I try to collect infos and books over a topic. Let’s say text editors.

At university it was Vim; after coming to Mac, years ago, I started documenting over TextMate. Lately it’s been the turn of Sublime Text

I read introductions, how to correctly install, maybe apply a graphical theme to the app (this remembers me I have to post some resources I found over Sublime Text themes) and the first chapter.

Then something comes by and I get distracted. Time passes by, the ebooks/guide remains unread and I use all those extra-useful apps at 0,05% of their power.

For me this kind of behaviour is a personal failure… and sharing those feelings here, I’ve accomplished my participation to the latest task on the Daily Post series over Desk App Community…

On creating a better web

Another interesting read today, over Marco Arment weblog…

Google and blogs: “Shit.” →

Starting from the visitor’s traffic decline since the Google Readers’s closure, Marco notices how search engine is more and more driven by the amount of dollars spent in marketing, against the quality of the content and the ‘connection’ to the user’s query.

We – all – write contents in our blogs, and then start a spam-like behavior of spreading our URLs over every single social network in existence. Searching for a peak in traffic gained organically, against a brought search result placement.

Marco – as the ethical hacker he is – proposes to start building tools that make the web “better”. But from my point of view this does not excuse us from using the Internet with greater awareness,  and keeping educating people to do the same.

Old Posts

What a funny coincidence!

I’ve spent half of this Saturday morning at home editing some old “uncategorized” posts here over the blog, and removing duplicates that has come from importing the Posterous space I had here. Then I took five minutes of relax opening Mr. Reader and having a look at my friend’s feed. Among those here’s Khürt’s one: Old posts.

Today’s Desk.pm community writing prompt is “Do you go back and edit/update old blog posts? What is your philosophy or practice in that regards?”

Well, I regularly edit my old posts … especially here over my english WordPress.com blog.

Too many times I witness how my written english skills are slowly fading, given the lack of exercise. When I was a teen my vocabulary and sentences had richness and flow… it was a pleasure having a conversation or writing an essay or a letter to a foreign friend. Nowadays I have only this blog (and the occasional post on Twitter / App.net or Google+) as a place to express myself in the Shakespeare’s language, and most of the time it’s a technical topic (hence my impoverishment).

A second reason in post’s editing is a change in the URL or the occasional modification of hot-linked images.

What’s your take? Once published it’s forgotten? Or do you edit over and over again?

ciao Wilson, benvenuto Sela

After no more than fifteen days I’m giving a farewell to the Wilson theme and changed again the theme of this weblog. Wilson had a couple of major issues in scaling and some spaces in the information text of each post. And it was probably a bit too dark for my tastes.

So here’s in action Sela, another free post-formats, responsive theme here on WordPress.com … the silence in these days is due to my ongoing quest to clean all the mess of the Uncategorized category of this blog (which I remembers comes from the defunct Posterous.com import).

2014 in review

As the year runts to its end, the WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 45,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 17 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

deleting the Uncategorized

I’m spending some more time during these last few days working on this blog, deleting that damned uncategorized post’s category obtained “thanks” to that Posterous import last year. That was a platform I liked a lot, where I’ve written down a lot of inspiration and potentially interesting software to test.

I do hope that will be a bonus for those ~100/150 visitors that everyday lands here on my little weblog…

Tumblr declares war on the internet’s identity crisis

I think that right now, the Valley is very tuned for communication, social, and very utilitarian tools, and I think a lot of that is built around their ‘engineers will show us the way’ mindset, where something we’ve always tried to instill here, and always tried to hire for, is that the creators are going to show us the way. We’re here to empower them.

David Karp, on the Verge: Tumblr declares war on the internet’s identity crisis

Some Thoughts About Writing

People often ask how it is I come up with topics, thinking, and ideas to post on my site. The truth is, I have a lot of help. I have said before that one of the keys to writing is to live a life worth writing about. Such a living is intentional. It is not enough to live through it and let it happen to you. You must surround yourself with interesting and inspirational, friends, family, children, environments, situations, etc.

I’m very lucky (and remember that luck shows up for those already working). I have a regular start of the week coffee meeting with a friend who is one of the smartest people I know. I discuss some of my ideas and thinking with him and our discussion always leads to ways to improve or expand them. I also am married to one of the other smartest people I know and our conversations often produce similar fruit. Then, there is Beatrix. My little girl is always a study in creativity and unrestrained joy. There are also the places I choose to go and the things I choose to do. And I do my best to be present for and observe as much as I can about all of it.

Patrick RhoneSome Thoughts About Writing

… probably a bit too long for my tastes, but indeed one of the best insightful and inspirational article read this year!