Medium Founder Ev Williams Wants Better Metrics For Online Companies

Ev Williams thinks Internet companies should be judged on more than just their monthly active user numbers. In an interview this morning at the CODE/Media conference, the founder of Blogger, Twitter, and Medium said there are other metrics those companies and their investors should be paying attention to. "I think a lot of the Internet and tech coverage of the Internet focuses on a distorting number of metrics... primarily users or monthly active users," Williams said. While user count is an important metric, Williams said it could be misleading. He gave the example of a user who requests a site on mobile but gives up before it loads. In that case, the server will count the reader as a user, even though he received no value and the advertiser received no value from the request. Williams said his current company, Medium, judges its success more by the amount of time a person spends reading a story as opposed to just pure page views. "We don’t want to trick ourselves into optimizing for the wrong thing... A better measure is the time people spend on these story pages," Williams said. It's a metric that advertisers like, especially as they realize banner ad impressions aren't that important. While that's a practice adopted by Medium, it's also something that could be applied to Twitter -- which has seen its stock price hampered by questions of slowing user growth. When asked about Wall Street's view of Twitter, Williams said, "I think Wall Street does not have a sophisticated understanding of what creates value in this world."
Ryan Lawler

Ryan Lawler is a Writer at Gigabuzz, focused on covering early-stage startups, especially those with a technology focus and great perks.

Next Results

and 5 more articles