The thing that threatens the web is the mobile ecosystem and the inevitable march of centralization.
Over the next few years, there is no doubt content and attention will continue to shift from tens of millions of web sites to a few centralized networks that people access via apps on their phones. It’s not that I wish that future to be true. It just is. The open web will not go away (knock on wood). And there may be (hopefully) something that disrupts the centralization eventually. But the near-future is clear.
Given that, at Medium, we’re trying to create a network that creates the levelest playing field possible for individuals, that has rules that promote thoughtfulness and quality, and that, as a system, makes the whole greater than the sum of the parts.
Speaking of, while the future does not look like the past, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Blogging was essentially stuck in the same place for a decade. It was (is!) great. But we can do more. Loosely connected islands that few people know how to optimize are not the best way to get stories and ideas that matter to the most people or to drive meaningful conversation and collaboration.