What is Matter?

Mark Lotto
Jun 9, 2014 · 3 min read

Matter is a publication about the worlds we live in now: the big, weird, changing world outside and the sometimes too small, often too noisy, occasionally still surprising world online. It was born as a Kickstarter-backed publication in 2012 and was acquired by Medium in 2013; it’s already been the home to a series of award-winning in-depth features. Now we’re relaunching as… something more.

We’ve got two stories up on our first day. Tomorrow, we’ll probably just have one, but it’s an interview so long you’re going to think we’re insane. Between now and then, everyone savvier than us will publish 12 posts or 96 of them. We must seem tiny, or bad at this.

Honestly, what we’re doing is hard to explain: We’re not a news site, but we’ll cover the news, often, and in provocative and playful ways. We’re not another longform publisher, but we’re going to be publishing a lot of longform. We’re not going to be Wikipedia-broad, but we’re not going to be niche either. We’ll jump in big on the stories and issues from across the globe we actually care about, and think you care about too, and we’ll skip the rest. We’re sort of a magazine for a generation who grew up not caring about magazines.

Mostly, Matter is going to try stuff. We’ll produce timely, original journalism that combines the reporting and scope of serious publications with the fun and intimacy of the social web. We’ll do narrative nonfiction like it’s cable TV, filled with vivid characters, enthralling plots, and unpredictable turns, always trusting you to keep up. We’ll design visuals that astonish you, move you, make you laugh. We’ll explore ideas that start or end conversations, that have meaning and impact, that change minds. We’ll try to show you things that aren’t just shareable, but memorable. We’ll try not to screw up, but sometimes we will. (Sorry about that, in advance.)

But also, Matter doesn’t exist in isolation. It’s a publication that’s entirely native to Medium, and built by the editors, designers, and engineers of Medium. Matter will grow and evolve and change as the platform grows and evolves and changes. (Ev has lots more to say about this here.) In the meantime, when we publish something that inspires you, excites you, pisses you off, misses the point, or begins a conversation you want to carry on, which is hopefully often, hey, that’s what Medium is here for.

Mark Lotto
Editor-in-chief | Matter

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