Things to Read on the Morning of December 15, 2013
Robert Waldmann: Hoynes, Schanzenbach, and Almond with Convincing Evidence That Food Stamps--SNAP--Really Do Work: Monday Focus

Morning Must-Read: Anil Dash: What Medium Is

Anil Dash: What Medium Is:

MEDIUM IS BLOGGING IN FORM, BUT NOT IN STRUCTURE: Ev explicitly evokes blogfather Dave Winer’s definition of blogging as the “unedited voice of a person”.... I think that’s an adequate description of the content of blogging, but that the reverse-chronological structure that’s defined blogging and its descendants such as Twitter’s timeline and Facebook’s news feed is just as essential.... Medium eschews reverse chronology, organizing instead by “collections” (which seem to be an aspect of the platform that is in significant, if largely behind-the-scenes, evolution).... The abandonment of reverse chronology has the effect of undoing a core tenet of blogging: The social contract... an implicit promise from the blogger that more content will appear in the future, and the expectation changes the nature of reading what’s written. The promise of updates to a blog has positive impacts... but it’s also been the biggest cause of stress for bloggers: Having to keep updating is seen as an overwhelming obligation by many, and the requirement of newest-on-top has frustrated countless bloggers who want to assign some semblance of editorial judgment (or simply want to inflict their authorial authority) on behalf of readers. Trying to fight reverse chronology has been the impetus behind most of Gawker’s never-ending parade of reader-enraging redesigns.... Despite the good reasons for Williams, Winer, Denton and many others to resist the tyranny of reverse chronology has triumphed.... So what does Medium resemble more, with its organization-by-collection, diminished prominence of the creator’s identity, and easy flow between related pieces of content? It’s simple: YouTube.... Medium is evolving to be the same; We get sent an article that someone wants us to read.... Medium is much closer to “YouTube for Longform” than it is “Blogger Revisited”...