What is now the Matter at Medium?

And Other Questions, Answered

Ev Williams
3 min readJun 9, 2014


About a year and half ago, Medium acquired Matter, a Kickstarter-funded publication focused on investigative journalism in the area of science and technology. Since then, the Matter team has published several award winning stories, moved all its publishing to Medium, dropped its paywall, and grown its audience into the hundreds of thousands. Good progress, but we wanted to do something bigger.

Today, we are relaunching Matter. Created from the ground up specifically for the Medium platform, Matter is a new online magazine committed to telling deeply engaging stories with fun, feeling and impact. From science and tech to pop culture and politics, Matter stories provoke and entertain while providing a unique point of view on the people and issues of the day.

Matter will be headed up by Mark Lotto, formerly of GQ and The New York Times. Mark has built a crack team, and Matter’s founders, Jim Giles and Bobbie Johnson, will continue their efforts to bring important stories to our readers, as senior editors. Read Mark’s vision for the new Matter here.

Yes, we’re a publisher.

​A lot of questions have been asked about Medium since we launched, and this is as good a time as any to clear a few things up:

Medium is unquestionably a platform. We have a top-notch product team working hard to make Medium the best place for people and organizations to publish their stories and ideas to the world. More than 10,000 were published just last week.

One of the publishers on the platform is Medium, the company, as we have been from the beginning. Sometimes we find a writer we like who has a story we think should be told and commission them to tell it. Sometimes we partner with great editors to create ongoing publishing efforts, things like War Is Boring, Human Parts, and The Nib. The relaunch of Matter is our most ambitious publishing effort to date, but it’s likely not our last.

What we care about is enabling the best stories and ideas to be told, to be presented in the best light possible, and to find their right audience quickly and efficiently. Many of these will come from individuals — and from unexpected places — which is why Medium is free and open to publish on by anyone. And while some of them will undoubtedly come from the top-notch editors and storytellers we work with, the more important reason we engage in publishing is because we think there’s no better way to improve the Medium platform for everyone. We push on the tools and systems we’re building until they break, and then we make them better.

For that reason, close observers may find features deployed in Matter (and future publications) that are not generally available on Medium — yet. For instance, you’ll see the Matter homepage is substantially more vibrant than most Medium collection pages. To be clear, we’re not giving our publications special treatment — more accurately, we’re making them eat our own dog food. Everything we do for Matter we expect to be available on the platform as a whole (unless it turns out to be a terrible idea) after we work out the kinks.

Like everything we do, expect this to evolve and change. Thanks for coming along for the journey.




Ev Williams

Curious human, chairman @ Medium, partner @ Obvious Ventures