In an artful thirteen-point meditation on what Medium is, or might be, or might become, Josh Benton drops this little bomb:
Degrading authorship is something the web already does spectacularly well. Work gets chopped and sliced and repurposed. That last animated GIF you saw — do you know who made it? Probably not. That infonugget you saw on Gawker or The Atlantic — did it start there? Probably not. Sites like Buzzfeed are built largely on reshuffling the Internet, rearranging work into streams and slideshows.
It’s been a while since auteur theory made sense as an explanation of the web. And you know what? We’re better for it. In a world of functionally infinite content, relying on authorship doesn’t scale. We need people to mash things up, to point things out, to sample, to remix.
His throwaway line there—And you know what? We’re the better for it—made my hackles rise (what are hackles? Nobody knows) and made me want to write about this myself—which I will—but not yet. For now, read Benton’s thirteen points, which are super smart and subtle and well put-together.