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Determining the Message Behind Medium

In March 2013, Evan Hansen left his job as the editor of Conde Nast’s to join Medium, the blogging platform started by Twitter founders Ev Williams and Biz Stone.

In doing so, he left a relatively large media outlet with an established voice to join a high-profile startup many people have a difficult time defining.

Nearly two years later, Mr. Hansen admits that it’s still not entirely clear what the sleek, streamlined platform that once hosted an inordinate volume of posts about CrossFit and startup advice is, exactly. But he’s not worried, regarding that uncertainty as part of the experience.

And a lot has changed on the site in the meantime. A hand-picked collection of posts are now categorized under various verticals, such as culture, humor, and tech. Readers can join the site with Facebook credentials, rather than only signing up through Twitter.

The site is also home to a handful of online magazines that publish natively though the platform, such as Backchannel, a tech-focused publication that’s edited by another Wired alum, Steven Levy.

Things remain in flux at Medium. As Mr. Hansen explained during a recent conversation with The Information, the company is not afraid to float a new feature or idea only to take it down if it seems like users don’t like it. During our talk, Mr. Hansen also explained why Medium will probably never be a place to break news, as well as the differences between monetizing the professional magazine content on Medium versus the user-submitted posts.

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