Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Wired's Steven Levy Starts Work On 'Tech Hub' For Medium

Posted by Tom Foremski - September 5, 2014

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Steven Levy (center) introduced tech book publisher Tim O'Reilly at the 2014 Visionary Awards.

I was on a Bulldog Reporter panel this morning with former Wired senior writer Steven Levy and he spoke about his new gig at publishing platform Medium, which was co-founded by Ev Williams from Blogger and Twitter.

He says that on Medium, he'll be creating a "Tech hub" and he's interested in a very broad range of topics, from "phones to drones." He will be writing a mixture of long form and shorter pieces. He's interested in opinion pieces, too.

The tech hub will have a very high bar for quality and the articles will be fresh and original -- it is not "just aggregating."

He will honor embargoes, scoops are great but not vital. He wants PR people to pitch stories that have context and "must be meaningful beyond day of publication." He hopes to discover "unheralded" writers.

PR people can reach him by email with a subject line with this template for a pitch: "We think X deserves special attention because of Y reach (trend/wider impact)."

Unlike me, he doesn't want to pitched on Twitter, Facebook, or on his cell phone, and he doesn't use LinkedIn. But he would like you to follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

There will be product reviews but don't send him anything unsolicited. He's based in New York but will be over in San Francisco a lot. 

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I've been a huge fan of Steven Levy ever since reading his book, "Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution" published 30 years ago. I'm curious to see how he'll move Medium forward. The publishing platform has a nice design but it desperately needs editorial leadership and strategic direction, which the founders haven't been able to provide. 

Hiring a talent like Levy is not cheap. I'm looking forward to seeing how Medium will make money. A nice design is great when you don't have to litter the page with advertising, "native ads" or calls to subscribe.

So many other sites look like Medium these days that it must be hard to standout when so much looks the same. Print media has always jealously guarded its look and feel. But in online media the value of a unique look seems to be forgotten and so many online news sites follow whatever is the current fashion in layouts. 

What hasn't changed is that a publication can still stand out from the crowd with compelling and exclusive stories. Levy certainly knows how to do that. 

StevenLevy

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Levy's most recent article, and his last for Wired, "is a deep dive into the attempt to reform calcified and often catastrophic government IT." America's Tech Guru Steps Down--But He's Not Done Rebooting the Government | Enterprise | WIRED

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