The web is better than your silo, Ev
Thursday, December 24, 2015 by Dave Winer

Evan Williams says we're all going to publish on Facebook and Medium.

I have a few things to say about that.

  1. That's like Hilton saying in the future everyone is going to live in hotels instead of their own homes. Sure it might be more convenient in some ways. You can meet people in the lobby, says Hilton. But it's nice to have your own place. Hotel restaurants usually suck. And sometimes you want to be on your own, without all those other people around. I think at one point they did think everyone would move into hotels. Didn't happen.
  2. If Ev is right then everyone must use mass transit instead of driving their own cars. Heh.
  3. If everyone will be publishing to Medium and Facebook then it'll be Facebook. Why would anyone choose Medium? They're infinitesimal compared to Facebook. Everyone uses Facebook. Seriously, most people, even avid Twitter users, have never heard of Medium. 
  4. Eventually there will be features you can't get from the silos, because they are controlled by corporations who won't want users to have certain features. The web is great because of the freedom.
  5. I like that I can add features to my own website. When I get an idea for Facebook, I'm stuck. I can suggest that they implement it, but they never do. I've been down this road so many times. Eventually monocultures stagnate. 
  6. Finally, Ev, that's old hype. It didn't happen. People are still publishing to blogs. Twitter still has its 140-char limit. If you want to read something good, it's probably on a blog, still. Ev has been pushing this idea for years now. I would have hesitated before to say he's wrong, but not any more. He's wrong.

And by the way, why can't we publish to his silo and our own sites? We can, as this post illustrates.

  • I see both sides of this one, Dave. In the end it's not about where you write, it's about who reads it. To have impact - to *matter* in the conversation - a writer needs readers. You've earned yours over time, and invested time and energy building a platform people follow on the "open web." While I'd like to believe traffic flows to content worthy of attention (at least over the long run) the fact is there are lots of people with something substantive to contribute on a given topic or question who lack either the skill or the sustained will required to be visible. Platforms like Medium help, combining a social overlay with powerful and well-integrated discovery features.

    • I guess I don't like it when people like Evan, who made so much money on the open web, is so misleading about who his competition is. His service is dwarfed by Facebook. That's his competition, and that's why he has lost. Instead he picks on the web, that has no marketing budget, can't hire analysts, or buy coverage in Re/Code. That's weak, unfair, selfish, and needs to be exposed. He's got his money. He can't make any more off kicking the open web, that's been mined. He doesn't have the guts to admit he lost to Facebook, but that's what happened.

    • It's more or less exactly what the tech insiders did in their marketing campaign against RSS. Easy to attack, because its only marketing tool is its own existence, which is insurmountable. The web is even bigger than RSS.