FORTUNE -- Where online publishing is concerned, Ev Williams is on a roll.
The 41-year-old serial entrepreneur developed, then sold the early blogging platform Blogger to Google in 2003. More notably, he co-founded Twitter (TWTR) with Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone, an origin story fleshed out in New York Times columnist Nick Bilton's bestseller, Hatching Twitter. With his most recent venture, Medium, Williams, Stone, and former Twitter exec Jason Goldman are after digital publishing again, this time shirking the 140-character constraints for a long-form-minded platform of idea-sharing and storytelling.
"We call them 'ideas' and 'stories,' but it can be personal stories or it can be investigative journalism. It can be two paragraphs or 50,000 words," explained Williams to senior editor-at-large Adam Lashinsky Thursday evening at Fortune's Brainstorm Tech dinner in Menlo Park, Calif. "On the creation side, it's the easiest way to put a thought out in the world or a story."
Launched in 2012, Williams says Medium is growing quickly: The platform's userbase ramped up from 9 million unique monthly visitors in December 2013 to 13 million visitors currently reading items like Susie Cagle's "San Francisco's Class War, By the Numbers" or "The problem with false feminism," by Dani Colman. Williams also revealed that an iOS app is due to launch next week that will focus on consuming content on Medium. (Users won't be able to create content through the app yet.) Williams declined to give further details, other than to say he believes the platform "is going to be really big," words he also once used to describe Twitter during its early days.
Williams also remains a Twitter board member and recalled reading Hatching Twitter, the critical origin story of the now-popular social network. In fact, Twitter read the book on a flight en route to the company's IPO in New York. He recalled the experience as "very intense." "I mean, the book starts with me puking in a trash can," he elaborated. "But it ended with me reading books with my wife to our kids, which was lovely.">
The 20-year-old festival is constantly evolving.
FORTUNE -- In conversations with friends leading up to the SXSW Interactive, the standard response to the topic has been somewhere between pity that I'm going and disdain that they too have to attend.
Many lead-up stories to the event have reflected that tone. Business Insider declared, "Everything you've come to know and love about SXSW has died." Digiday wrote, "This will be the last SXSW MOREErin Griffith - Mar 7, 2014 1:04 PM ET
How ABC, Twitter and Samsung stage-managed the world's most re-tweeted snapshot.
FORTUNE -- The photo had everything. Lights. Action. That sparkle of spontaneity. And subjects who really know how to smile for a camera.
But the moment that turned into the world's most-retweeted post -- 3.1 million and counting -- wasn't 100% spontaneous. Rather, it was the fortuitous product of a carefully planned multimillion-dollar business arrangement that served the mutual interests of MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 4, 2014 7:57 AM ET
The microblogging service has built a successful following, but it needs to rethink its longer-term strategy.
By Sanjay Sanghoee
FORTUNE -- Twitter (TWTR) was initially derided for its strange and non-intuitive format, but as most of us have seen, the micro-blogging service confounded expectations; it has become a wildly popular medium for sharing information and creating buzz, and its 140-character limit is perfect for the short attention span of modern society.
Yet, MOREFeb 21, 2014 5:00 AM ET
The league used the 63rd NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans to debut new technology.
By John Gaudiosi
FORTUNE -- It's been six years since the National Basketball Association (NBA) last brought its All-Star weekend to New Orleans. While that may seem like a small gap of time to fans in the Crescent City, it's a lifetime in the technology world. In that time, the NBA has built one of the MOREFeb 17, 2014 9:06 AM ET
Secret is the latest in a line of faddish apps -- and we're burning through fads faster than ever
FORTUNE -- In a scant few days, social media app Secret went from a viral hit to a bona fide phenomenon. Launched just over a week ago, the iOS app allows users to anonymously share notes and photos.
It's been steadily climbing the App Store rankings, cracking the top 20 in social networking MOREErin Griffith - Feb 12, 2014 5:00 AM ET
Fortune sits down with the leader of the most recent anti-tech strike.
FORTUNE -- On Monday night, one tech awards show became a coalition's latest reason to rally.
Nearly 50 protesters gathered in front of San Francisco's Davies Symphony Hall, signs in hand, hooting and hollering to protest the Crunchies, a tech awards ceremony hosted by industry sites Gigaom, VentureBeat, and TechCrunch. While startups inside the event received award statues for categories MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Feb 11, 2014 1:12 PM ET
Gnip's ability to sift through big data is a big business, even if everyone working in the field hates the term.
FORTUNE -- A spate of acquisitions of big data startups has drawn attention to an already hot category. In December, Apple (AAPL) bought Topsy, a social data analytics company, for $200 million. Last week Google (GOOG) outbid Facebook (FB) for DeepMind Technologies, an artificial intelligence and big data company, paying $400 million, MOREErin Griffith - Feb 7, 2014 11:41 AM ET
To attract more users, "We simply need to make Twitter a better Twitter," says CEO Dick Costolo.
FORTUNE -- In its first quarterly earnings report as a public company, Twitter's (TWTR) CEO Dick Costolo was on the defensive. The company, which has not yet turned a profit, reported strong top line revenue growth with widening losses.
Twitter Wednesday reported fourth-quarter earnings of $243 million, an increase of 116% over the same period last MOREErin Griffith - Feb 5, 2014 6:48 PM ET
He buys, he tweets, he cajoles, and the hearts of Apple traders skip a beat.
FORTUNE -- Three tweets so far today from Carl Icahn about Apple (AAPL):
10:50 am: Since tweeting about our large position in $AAPL on Aug 13, when the stock was 468 per share, we've kept buying shares of this 'no brainer.'
10:50 am: Having purchased $500 million more $AAPL shares in the last two weeks, our investment has crossed the MORE
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